All our lives, we are told, conditioned and made to believe that the mother is the better of both the parents and the ignored one is the poor father. The “she was bearing you for nine whole months” “she went through the ultimate pain for your birth” etc are done and dusted dialogues that most mother’s still use to their benefit. Along with the million sperms, it is that one sperm that fought and sailed through and made it to the victory line, this nobody talks about!!!
The very fact that “Mother’s day” was founded in 1905 and it took three years of its success to bring in “Father’s day” much later in 1908 is proof enough to say how ignored the “father” is..
Right from the day we were born, we are conditioned to say “Amma” as our first word. No offense meant to any of the mother’s out there, I love my mother very very much too. But, somehow over the years I have seen the value of a father is just over shadowed and the mother takes away all the credit for being the “Mother”.
To me, fathers are Genie’s of our lives. They create magic and give away the credit to “Alladin” and stand back. Right from our first day into the world, the first pair of clothes that we wore did not come magically to us. The genie worked towards it. When we were in school, we never knew how the fees were paid. We continued going to school day in and day out. Those expensive tuition fees, dance classes, music classes etc, all of them duly paid. The genie worked day in and day out to create the magic and give us a life of non-compromise.
When we had a roof above us and food to eat, not just any food but the food that we wanted, it was on the plate whenever we wanted, the genie did his job and kept doing it day and in and day out. When there is a festival at home, the latest design clothes is what we wanted. Little did we look back to see if the genie bought himself anything.
The genie worked for us, every day without taking a day off. Doing those over-time hours to ensure we have a comfortable life. I always knew TV worked on electricity, but never knew it wasn’t free. I never bothered how the channels appeared out of nowhere. I did not bother if there was something called ‘rent’ that was paid month after month after month. I came home after a tired day at school and threw my shoes in either ends of the living room and ordered for something to eat. It did not bother me how much a computer costs, I wanted one and I got it. I woke up to a new day every day and life was perfect, little did I know there was a genie behind paying all those bills to ensure I have a home to stay, food to eat, school to go and a life to live.
I did not care if he was unwell, rather I did not know. The word “amma” was much more used than appa. The only times I used “Appa” was when I needed something. Little did I know that he was awake every night putting me to sleep and only then does he go to bed. Little did I know that he paid the house rent, the school fees, the provisions, the tuition fees, and all other things that I thought was free in life. Little did I know, he foregoes his basic needs to ensure I got that extra pair of uniform. I had all the time in the world but never stopped for a second to check if he was ok, though he was working 24X7, I was his first concern and he always ensured to check on me.
Years went by and the reality hit me and I knew everything in life isn’t free except happiness, family and love. I have ignored his love for me. I have never noticed that he loves me. The love of my mother over shadowed his in many times. How I wish I could be a child again and go through all that love that was showered upon me by this genie. How I wish I knew he used the same pair of trousers for a longer time, I would have not bought that expensive dress for my birthday. How I wish I knew he took two buses to get to work, I would have not wanted that computer that early and helped him travel in an auto or a car. How I wish I knew he wasn’t well but still went to work to keep the family going, I would have been beside him.
Now when I look at my father, I cannot hold back the tears that fall on the cheek bones. The work that he has done for the family and most importantly how tirelessly he took care of me in the worst times… He is getting old now… he has wrinkles on his face; he is not as active as what he was. He doesn’t go for a 8 hour day job anymore. I work in a demanding job; I have my meetings day in and day out. I hardly see him every day. But yet, he is the first one to call me in the morning to check if I had a good night sleep and wishes me a good day ahead. He is the first one to check on me if I’m unwell and comes home to meet me with my favorite snacks. Today, when I see him I feel complete as a daughter. I feel proud and filled with love and satisfaction, the kind of content that god chose me to go through this wonderful journey as a daughter to this man who is nothing less than a magic himself. A man who no other can come close to, a man who had showered the purest form of love, A man who loves me for who I’m.
I can’t hold back my tears as I write this blog, on second thoughts, I don’t want to hold it back. I let it flow as I reflect back my life while writing this blog. I know his love will continue to my next generation too. I know he will do to me what he did twenty years back. Oh, how lucky am to be given this opportunity to be born as a daughter to the most wonderful, loving, caring, humble father in the world.
If I haven’t said it already, Appa – I love you.