Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Father's Daughter

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My father and i share the same numerological number.  We are both number 2.  And as per Mum we have many common traits.

This post is dedicated to you Dad.  For instilling in me the right sanskars, which go a long way in making me the person  I am.

Growing  up in a cosmopolitan Civil Aviation Training Centre in the 70s, in Allahabad was  bliss.  The fact that Dad was in Government Service and raised four daughters, meant everything was disciplined.  But there was no dearth of love, care and adventure.  Trips to Melas, Circus, the Allahabad city, studying in St Mary's Convent and later in Kendriya Vidyalaya, Swimming in the Centre's swimming pool and watching movies in the Amphitheater, the  monthly Tambola sessions at the club, participating in the Cultural programmes organized by the Welfare department every time a batch of  Trainees left , Taking part in the games organized by the club, we lived it all.

Today on Father's day, i recall details of how you taught me to live life completely and  meaningfully.

You were always fond of quotations and encouraged me  to make my personal book of quotes.  And you loved to  make a point via quotes.

You instilled in me the importance of Getting up early.  "Early to bed and Early to rise, makes a man Health,  Wealthy and Wise".  Further you would say"

Uth jaag musafir bhor bahi

Ab rain kahan jo sovat hai

Jo sovat hai wo khovat hai

Jo jagat hai vo pavat hai

Loosely translated in English, it says:    

Wake up Traveler, its morning now

It is not night that your are still sleeping

The one who awakes is the one who gains

The one who sleeps is the one who looses

Thanks to this teaching, i am a morning person.  And if i happen to get up late on any given day, i feel my day has been wasted and i am not in control.

As a student, you instilled in me the importance of Hard work.  I remember you quoting Henry Longfellow:

"The heights achieved by men, and kept, 

Were not attained by sudden flight,

 But they, while their companions slept, 

Were toiling upwards through the night" 

Whenever you wanted me to change  a bad habit like biting  nails or some other habit you would give us the example of 'Green stick and Brown stick'.  You would tell us a green stick can  bend and change,  but once your bad habit is formed, it become like a brown stick that is rigid and cannot change.

You had Green fingers and loved to grow flowers and vegetables in the garden.  I grew up watching you patiently tending to plants and have imbibed your love of plants.

You taught me about Fleixibility.  You would told me, " When a storm comes, the tree that bends , remains intact, but that tree that doesn't bend gets uprooted and dies".

You taught me about Humility. You  showed me the lemon tree  laden with lemons and said, "When a tree bears fruit, it bows down".

You taught me to Focus in life.  You told me, " When Dronancharya  gave  his disciples the task of  aiming  an arrow at a bird in the tree, he asked his disciples one by one what they saw.  Some said they saw the sky, other said they saw the clouds, others said the tree and some said the bird.  It was only Arjun who said that all he saw was the 'eye of bird'.  Till date when some important project is at hand, i get all charged up and give my full attention to it, till the task is done.  

You were influenced by Dale Carnegies' book, "How to Win Friends and Influence People"  You instilled in me the importance of being soft spoken and having Perfect Etiquettes. You said, "Good manners cost nothing but can buy everything".

You taught me about Patience.  You would sit with  me and sort out my stamp collection.  Together we would painstakingly cut the stamps from the envelope, dip it in a mug of water and allow it to soften.  We would then take it out and allow it dry.  Once dried we would store them in individual envelopes labelled with country name.

You taught me  not to be hasty in life.  You would say  "Haste makes Waste" and "Patience bears fruit". We would pluck Sharifa (custard apple) from the trees and carefully  wrap it in newspaper and wait for about a week for it to ripen.  You would allow us to eat them only only they were perfectly ripe.

You taught me  how to be Caring .  You would get up in the middle of the night to nurse my boils when i was a kid.  Today, you never hesitate to help Mum whenever there is a stop gap arrangement with the maid.

You taught me to be Brave in face of adversity.  Recently when you had to undergo two surgeries, you were so brave about it.  I still remember , as the nurse wheeled you out of the ICU for a check up, you gave me  a broad smile, when i enquired about your well being.  I was astounded as you were lying on a Hi Tech bed with lots of monitors and half a dozen tubes coming  out from your chest.  You dealt with your health issues head on.

You taught me to be Generous in life.  You would quote in Punjabi,  " Rab neeta noon bhaag laganda hai".  Loosely translated it means, 'God gives you your Destiny as per your mentality'

At 82, there  is Sparkle in your eye, Grace on your face and Enthusiasm in your gait.  In words of your grandchildren. "You Truly Rock"!.

May God  bless you with good health and long life so that your daughters and your grand children can continue to receive your blessings.

Life is short.  You never know what the next moment may bring.  So i thought of writing this post.

Life is not perfect always.  But we can fill it with perfect moments.  This is one such perfect moment.  Happy Father's Day Papa :)