- How important is a father’s presence in a child’s life? Very Much.
- How much can a father influence the upbringing of his child? A Lot.
- Can a father’s role ever be substituted in a child’s life? Never.
For many children the father invariably becomes the role model very early in life. At least for me, my father definitely was my role model. It took me many years to understand and acknowledge how much of a role model my mother too became for me later in life but more of that in another piece.
While my mother protected me with her warmth and rapping, my father was the one I looked up to whether it was for his extrovert nature that made him the cynosure of many friends or the benevolent nature that made him unhesitant in helping people whenever necessary. I admired the respect he got from people for being the self-made man that he truly was. I loved the adventurous streak in him that made him permit me to handle the family Ambassador when I was very young or the time when he taught me how to ride the cycle and then also ride it all the way to school despite my mother’s protests.
In many ways, I have inherited my father’s guts and also his obstinacy to do things the way I want to, in the manner I want to. In fact, this led to many a family conflict when I grew up into a teenager with neither of us realising that I was only expressing my emotions the way I saw it in my father!
Till some time back, my son identified with me despite our gender difference. But today, with tiny hair waging little wars to sprout on his yet to be transformed stiff upper lip, he sees in his father what he would like to become. Casual, carefree like his father in many ways, he is still to retrospect on his father’s ideals and principles in life. Shooting up like a bamboo tree, he is yet to chew on the thought that body structure is not everything.
His father-inherited sense of humour sometimes tends to clash with his mother-inherited wit and sarcasm. But yes, today he realises that whatever his Mamma might say (in anger), he is better off with her nagging which he dislikes instead of his father’s rarely expressed volcanic anger! Still to form, follow and delve on spiritual beliefs, I hope and pray that he picks up his father’s introspective and unconditional faith.
There was a time when I glowed proud when my son would come straight to me to share his school stories. Today, I feel proud to see my son sit down to chat with his father – man to man. A day will arrive when my son will sire his own children and teach them, share with them all that he has been influenced or touched by. And, I am sure that his father will definitely figure up there. Until then, I can only wonder:
“Papa kehtei hain bada naam karega.
Beta hamara aisa kaam karega.
Magar ye to koi na jaane
Ki mere bête ki manzil hai kahaan…”
For my father, my husband and my son: wishing you a Happy Father’s Day. Every Day!