my father my hero

A really sick baby girl, born underweight. Suspected hole in the heart. With double diarrhea. Chances of her survival — very bleak. Some older relatives sulk for a second girl child has been born in the family. But he didn’t care. The ailing child sleeps on his chest deriving strength from his love. She survives. He quietly supports her every step of the way not letting the patriarchal society dictate how he should feel about his children. Both his daughters are brought up on par with his son.

“He believed he could and so he did!”

He was a naughty kid. He preferred climbing trees and picking guavas in the hot UP sun much to the chagrin of his mother. Even at a very young age, he was headstrong. He lived in a large joint family in a small village of UP. His mother passed away when he was just 14. That was a watershed event in his life. A brilliant student he moved away from his village into the cities of UP. He juggled from one hostel to another; his connect with his family all but lost. His thirst for knowledge egged him on. He qualified for Indian Civil Services in both the IPS (Indian Police Services) and IRS (Indian Revenue Services) while he was pursuing Law after having done his Masters in Maths. An erudite man; he had a passion for reading and writing. 74 years old now, he still reads passionately and works professionally, his mind sharp as ever. His quest for knowledge unfulfilled!

“Seek and you shall find!”

After choosing the Indian Revenue Service, he began a career in the Income Tax Department. A career that had its own ups and downs but was sterling and decorated. He stood up to challenges, temptations and roadblocks with rare integrity and gumption. He never brought his work home. He fought his battles alone with quiet dignity. The family never realized why they had to put up with frequent transfers. It was part of life for the children to be uprooted from school during the middle of the session. A man of few words; his children imbibed from his life. His fairness and democratic nature was a precursor of carrying out things at home!

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion.”   Franz Kafka

He married as per his father’s wishes. The match was one perfectly balanced. The wife was devoted and an excellent homemaker. The children learned as they moved from place to place, culture to culture. The wife fell sick. First afflicted with a skin ailment, stroke at 40 and later liver failure due to medication reaction. He nursed her when she was sick and bedridden. His prime years at a top government position, but he had no social life. He stood by her stoically, always by her side, his love and devotion never spoken of aloud but always amply demonstrated in his actions. He was there when she breathed her last, left shattered and vulnerable by the loss of a devoted life partner, a woman who had helped him build his life and family.

“For better or worse… In sickness and in health, till death do us apart!”

When the daughters got married, he had only one lesson for them. Build your home and new relationships but never compromise on your self-esteem! You are and will always be mine.

A man of stature, intelligence and morality, he can be always relied upon to show the unbiased path. He is the pillar of strength that his children, now adults, lean on and look up to. He is the one his children derive their strength and moral character from.

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” — Mae West

This man, my papa, is my hero; he is turning 74. A fitness and health aficionado, he still actively works 6 days a week. He leads an independent life and loves traveling.

When you have a person like this in your life, you never have to look far for role models. He is and always will be my role model. I am truly blessed to be born his daughter. That single event changed the course of my life. Yes, I was that sickly infant whom even the doctors had given up hope on.

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my father my hero

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56 Thoughts on “My Father, My Hero

  1. You’ve got best of both, Rachna. You’re as uncompromising to your ideals as him and as loving a Mom and wife as your Mom.

  2. A wonderful tribute to a strong dad from a bold daughter. Here’s wishing him the best of everything and a very happy birthday! Good luck for the contest. I just realised that today is the last date 🙁

  3. Beautiful, heart-touching post, Rachna. I am sure this is going to be one of the winning posts 🙂

  4. This is beautiful…:)

  5. Nursing a partner who fell sick at the age of 40 is a very tough thing to do. Your father is indeed an awesome man who taught his children how to live through his actions.

    • I know that Nisha. I actually started appreciating my mom and dad much more after I got married and had my own kids. You can then begin to see their own lives with perspective — how they were as a couple, how they raised you. Yes, he is a man of few words but a true gem. And it is not only a doting daughter speaking but a very objective human being. Thanks for reading!

  6. There are very few people who live a life that ennobles everyone connected with them and inspires everyone who hear of them. You dad is one such rare person.

  7. A fitting tribute Rachna. Dandavat Pranam to him and best of luck for the contest to you

  8. What a lovely, heartfelt, moving tribute to your father, your true role model. He sounds like such a gentle and loving soul. A very inspiring read, Rachna!

  9. Oh this was so heart warming. I’m am sure your dad is a very proud man today!

    All the best for the contest Rachna! 🙂

  10. When he said ‘You are and will always be mine’ I teared up. I miss dad now.

  11. Rahul on May 27, 2014 at 4:07 pm said:

    A lovely post Rachna! There could be no better role model and you have definitely done him proud!All the best for the contest:)

  12. Rachna! Wow! It is so so awesome to hear about your absolute awesome story and I must say I am your Dad’s Fan already 🙂

    I absolutely loved ALL the quotes you have mentioned; but my favorite is your Dad’s words, when he got you married.. It is so so important to know that you are loved, you feel so secure and confident to face the future.
    LOVE it!

    • I agree, Veens! For a daughter, it is so important that her family stand behind her firmly through thick and thin. She then has the confidence to lead her life without fear. Dad is a person who can inspire anyone. Thanks for reading!

  13. Please plesae first of all extend my regards to your dad and a very happy birthday in advance ..
    and what beautiful words he said to you when you got married , awesome ..

    for some reason we dont find that many articles about dad’s . Good to read this one Loved it .. and that’s like my dad he loved my sis s much, she could get away with anything …

    Thank you so much for introducing your dad to us Rachna.

    • Thanks, Bikram! I have written many times about dad. He has been a major influence in my life. Yes, what he said and how he has conducted himself through his life has always been an inspiration for his children. Thank you for your lovely words!

  14. janu on May 28, 2014 at 9:43 am said:

    We have a lot to learn from our parents and grandparents. Their humble beginnings, their value and principles…simple yet stoic. Dads are out first heroes. He stood by my mom when she was ill….that was real love. He did not cry then…but he still lives for her now.
    You are blessed to have such a dad. Wishing him many more years of healthy life.

  15. Though I have heard you speak of him, reading about the wonderful person and role model that he was makes him come alive in our eyes. We now know where the spunk, courage and forthrightness that you amply exhibit come from. Wish him a very happy birthday in advance and many more years of guidance for his doting family.

    • Thank you so much Zephyr for the lovely wishes! I guess in a way it is our parents who influence the people we become. I see a lot of him that I have imbibed. I also see so many of my mother’s loving nature and family values in me. And I do love the fact that he lives a responsible, independent life that he enjoys. He is a joy to be around and an elder who feels more like a friend and confidante. I shared all that I did with love and pride. I hope he has seen the post. I haven’t directly sent it to him.

  16. Very touching post, Rachna! You are indeed fortunate to have such an inspirational individual in your father. Wishing him a long and healthy life!

  17. A wonderful tribute Rachna! and frankly having known you now and read about your outlook towards life and bringing up you children, there was no doubt in my mind about how wonderful your parents must have been 🙂

  18. Rajeev Moothedath on May 28, 2014 at 10:09 pm said:

    Rachna your story is so touching…you also tell stories so well, this time from the pages of your own life!-

    • Thanks a lot, Rajeev! This one was easy as it was written from my heart. The emotions sometimes just flow out in a gush! Thank you for your warm words.

  19. Touching and very eloquently written. I always take back strong writing lessons whenever I visit your blog. 🙂

  20. I think this is the my first time here and what a wonderful post to read, so much warmth in this post… Salutations to your Dad! 🙂

  21. Such a lovely , heartwarming post. Fathers are often daughters’ first loves isn’t it ? And you and Papa look really well in the picture 🙂 <3

  22. Rachna, your Papa deserves respect and love for being such an inspiration in this selfish world. Do they make still make such kind souls? More power to you and your Papa. Thanks for telling us the story of your role model.

  23. This is such a heart-warming read. You are blessed to have a father like him and he must be proud of you.

  24. What a lovely ode to your father. You both must be so happy to have each other in your lives. As they say, good things happen to good people!
    Good luck with the contest!

    • Thank you so much, Rickie. I think all 3 siblings feel blessed to have such a balanced and morally upright person in our lives. He inspires me constantly!

  25. Saulte to your dad for the way he’s lived his life. It was so nice to see someone with so much of hope and determination and perseverance.

    Please wish your dad on my behalf. May God Bless him abundantly 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your lovely wishes, Ashwini! Yes, all those qualities that you mentioned inspire me. Also I came to know very recently about his childhood. He has never really shared his struggles with us. No tom tomming of his own wonderful traits. His humility teaches me so much.

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  28. You have every reason to be proud of your dad. Wishing him health and happiness. And for some strange reason this post made me emotional. I miss my father and the fun we share. Part of the marriage deal, I guess. 🙂

    And I am reading this post so late. Sooo much I seem to have missed out on!

  29. You get it all from your Dad then:) Such a heartwarming post, Racha. Wishing your Dad health and happiness always.

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