People are posting pictures, writing stuff on twitter and Facebook, and digging out old photos of their fathers; all the while I’m waiting for these few hours in a depressing train coach to pass, so I can go see him. When I think about Fathers’ day, I find it a bit weird. To those who are reading, I’m sure that your fathers mean the world to you, and I can’t claim to have a bigger bond with my father than everyone else, but I’m going to talk about my father today.
When my father was about 18 months old, he got infected with smallpox, which used to be a deadly disease at that time. With no real cure at the time, he lost both his eyes as a result of this disease. Without the ability to see, coupled with a rural background and an ignorant society, he had to go through a lot. He struggled for years, fought with the barriers put forward by people, and achieved great successes, something that we can only imagine, considering the limitations he had to get over.
When I was a kid, I saw other kids’ fathers and thought, although subconsciously, that something was missing. Other kids’ fathers were different. They did stuff that I did not get to see at my home. For a long time, I somehow felt a bit at loss. But, as time passed, as I started understanding things, I realized that for everything that was missing, there was more that I had received. It’s true that my father could not give me a lot of things that is expected of fathers in our society, but what he gave me is far more precious, far more substantial than anyone can imagine, let alone ask for. He gave me the moral core, the moral fiber, that has defined me and my actions for nearly 24 years now. He gave me character. He gave me hope. He gave me courage. He gave me a sense of right and wrong. He taught me to be caring, to be considerate, and to be passionate. He taught me that whatever happens, whatever be the problem, you don’t give up, you just don’t back down, ever. He taught me that when life gives you lemons, you not only make some amazing lemonade, but you drink it in the face of life, all the while laughing at life’s depleted stock of lemons.
Even though I don’t say it often, even though it might not be apparent, even though I might seem a bit irrational sometimes, the only hero that I will ever have is him. The only person that I could ever hope to impress, the only person I could ever hope to be, is him. And Papa, if you’re reading this, I want you to know, that from the deepest core of my heart, I love you, and I always will.
Happy Fathers’ Day.