To the readers: This post is quite personal. You may skip if your’re not interested in my personal life.
When I saw the video #HugYourDad by Vicks emphasizing on the power of a parent’s touch, I got totally emotional. Hugs, cuddle, holding hands, these touchy actions fall just into my mother’s department. I don’t easily remember when did I hug my father. When I was about to move into the teenager zone, I remember how I was afraid to hold papa’s hands. While all my friends who used to come with their fathers in the parents-teacher meet would come hanging on their dad’s arms. Such extent of closeness, I don’t remember if I have ever experienced in my life with my father.
My dad is a typical man of the patriarchal society of Bihar. Of course, patriarchy wasn’t all about anti-women. It also has some positive things attached to it. Like my father has always stood in the front foot to get the smashes of the innings of life. Whatever happens my family knows there stands a man who would ultimately take care of every small-big things that fall onto us.
I have a faint memory of holding my father’s index finger while walking to the school. I did not cry on my first day to school. Perhaps, I knew that crying couldn’t help me to get even a sweet word of affection. I and my siblings have grown keeping in our minds that Papa is a serious man. He is strict. He wants things in place. We should not watch TV. We should play less and study as much as we can. Pocket money are for kids who have rich dads. Money needs to be spent cautiously. God exists. Parents are next to God. One must be sincere and truthful in life. Love marriage is bad and Papa is short tempered man but he would take care of all the shit we create after he scolds us up to his heart’s content.
I am like me because of the things that happened to me in my childhood. We are all like ourselves because of the experience that has carved us. My father had a troubled childhood. He had to struggle a lot to have three meals a day, to get educated and to find a job. He never received that protection and support from his parents that I and my brother and sister have taken for granted in our lives. When I think why Papa is so rigid and strict, why I fear him most of the times and why does he want us to earn more and be successful in life, then I feel it is all because he doesn’t want us to confront what he had to as a kid and as an adult. Working double shifts to give us a comfortable life, not going to restaurants, not spending on luxuries, I have seen my parents making sacrifices for us. Starting from his childhood to today, I understand how has he reached to this place. He is serviceman in a Govt firm. He earns well and educated his three kids in the best possible way. I couldn’t have walked even half a mile if I had to be in his shoes.
Time has changed. Papa has positioned all his children at a secure place in their lives. But he still is rigid and tough from outside. I don’t dare to touch him except when I have to touch his feet to receive his blessings. Perhaps, the fault lies in our sides as well. We kept fearing and never tried to break the shell of rigidity around. Somewhere, he might be needing a support, one person he could depend on. He is standing strong and independent since ages which has made him harsh. I wish I could just say that he can rely on me. I will take care of him. But I feel hesitant. I wish on this Father’s day I could just hug and express my care. However, I lack courage. But this doesn’t change the fact that our parents who strongly held us and dragged us to a position where we could feel proud and successful, need a touch of care when we grow up. I hope I would be able to do this for my parents someday.