Remembering DAD and The Gift of Life

DAD AND MOM Just after their wedding

DAD AND MOM Just after their wedding

This is a NaBloPoMo post 4 under the theme Heroes

Today is my father’s third death anniversary and Sitting here alone praying for yet another life which is fighting to beat death I think of what he taught us as children. The biggest gift that my father gave us was the power to discern. To judge the right from wrong.
He always said that life is beautiful gift that has been given to us and we should respect and love it in all it’s forms. That our aim in life should be to blossom from within.

Dad was one of those rare people who left the comforts of a pampered Indian male’s life to fight for gender inequality and the orthodox system of favoring the male child.

He gave up all his rights to ancestral property and material benefits because he thought there were treasures much more valuable than these and led a simple life , never turning his desires into his wants.

All through my childhood and in later stages I wondered why my dad was different. Unlike all fathers why he did not earn and made mom work but slowly I recognized how much he cared about what mom wanted to do. When it became a choice about who will quit the job to bring up the family .. He did.

Mom excelled in her field and dad brought us up with the best education of humanity he could provide. We were a middle class family and the only wealth was his teachings, mom’s unconditional love and total support.

He not only practiced what he preached but also completely trusted the universe and the healing abilities of the human mind and body.

Three years ago when I watched him lying on his hospital bed in Pune, I wondered who was this person I am looking at? The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS, formerly known as “preleukemia”) took life out of him.
Silently waiting for his last journey he his eyes saw more death in the eyes of those around him.

Many a times he would slip into a state of delirium or go back to his childhood or teenage days, recounting stories to me. I felt he transferred a lot of insight and strength into me as we were very close.

He would want me to sit beside him and remember some nazm or sher from Firaq or Faiz and in quivering voice explain it to me. I with welled up eyes would hear but my mind would only listen to the sounds of my childhood, of happy evenings spent together playing chess or our long nature walks, even the long hours of conversations on life which I at that time detested sometimes calling them sessions , urging mom to rescue me.

Later I understood that at least some part of what he said I subconsciously retained and it helped me become a better person.

I dropped my surname coz he wanted me to be known by my name and not as someone’s daughter or belonging to some caste etc. I was initiated to become independent and courageous since childhood and he sent me on a trekking expedition when I just turned 13.
Never in my life I felt that my parents treated me and my brother differently, in fact I was given a higher status and persuaded to do every that is considered “For Boys only”.

He himself did everything in the house from getting us ready to school and cooking to managing finances and almost anything a homemaker would do. I think he did a better job than many women.
Not that mom did not do anything but in her life as a working woman she never had to bother about the home when dad was around.

There were negative elements too and every life in the house was open to debate and discussion. We were friends. Religion was not forced on us and he always told us to respect other people’s beliefs and listen to our inner voice.

Some people thought ours was an abnormal family as each one had a right to decided his or her own course of life but in reality we all were individuals with a choice to lead our lives in the best possible way. He and mom always said that they were their to guide and offer advice and support but we must learn to choose our own path and make our own destiny. Something rarely parents do.

Today I miss his physical presence but the gift that he have me lives in me and guides all my decisions in life.

A young life is about to end any time now unfortunately as I write this and my prayers are with him. He chose to squander the gift of life and did not use his power to discern. Drowning himself in alcohol for no apparent reasons or maybe just to avoid facing his own self. The lives attached to him are affected deeply and his own beautiful life is coming to an end. I have spend my childhood with him and known him like my self and all I can say is a gifted life wasted.

My prayers are with him and all the love and remembrance of happy times spent together.

Please do not squander your life as it is a gift. Love it respect it each moment and never do anything that is against your inner. Justify your existence on this earth as a human being and look within each day to see if you have done something that makes it difficult for you to face the mirror.

Do not forget to connect to people you love and especially those who love you and say your thank you and sorry before it is late.