I am the first born in my family and I have learnt the code of survival the hard way. Like any first born, I was given all the love in the world, cherished and fed. But it always comes with a price, that’s what my dad has taught me anyway. He has so many character shades and it’s kind of hard to predict his mood. But hey, I am his daughter, so like any Indian kid, I had to get used to his mood swings. It aggravated me and I used to curse the day I woke up before the sunrise, because my brother and I were trained to do so, every day. His angry and cool gaze could mechanically lower mine, it was not like I was suppressed or anything and denied my rights or anything. The respect I feel towards my father cannot be described in words. That man is the reason I am molded into a good human being and remain true to my religion.
His cruel yet staggering honesty and brilliance amazes me to this day. I have been tempted to disobey him so many times and mind you, I am not an angel. I think I inherited the rule-breaking badassiness from father himself. He taught me to balance all that, the pros and cons of my character, analyze my actions and finally draw out a solution by myself.
I have broken his rules so many times and we have laughed it off too. I think I know how to handle him best, I do feel proud about that. One such incident was this ridiculous boy-girl birthday party in ninth grade, never told him we were having the guys over, I felt horrible that I kept the little detail to myself. It did not end well as my friends and I had expected, but we somehow got out of there before the police gate-crashed the party. As it turns out, there was a huge fight that broke out between my friend’s brother and her boyfriend. It was really nasty and there was a lot of blood too. To this day, I don’t know what made me buzz him up and ask him to pick me up and get the hell out of there as fast as possible. None of my guy friends turned up and I was too uncomfortable with the other bozos staring at my ‘Hijabi’ face. He is my saving grace, whether he admits it or not, maybe that’s why I called him even before that crappy little incident was about to occur or it was my guilt! Either way, my father is incomparable.
He is flawed like any other human being and I could not love him less. He makes his own rules and lives by it. His sense of judgment is a killer! His overwhelming sincerity and frankness is like an open door to help me take life decisions. I don’t think I have ever regretted any decision that I have taken with his help. Sometimes I hate his guts though, the guy can be extremely honest that can rip my heart out, yet it inspires me to shadow it. He never backed down even when he got fired for being too honest. He did break a lot of vases and casseroles, he even went for the washing machine and mom threw herself in front of it! His tongue is not the only thing that is iron, the man has enormous arms.
A man of many shades, he is, my savior and my teacher. Right from the first bike ride to the first day of school, I know that I can count on him to let go and help me discover it all on my own. Though we have lived in tinier houses, he made life easier for us and hell we laughed and survived alright. No whiff of extravagance and damn he knew how to NOT take shit from people and throw it back on their faces a little too much. A meant to be lawyer turned accountant, super-smart and witty. He is my unsung hero who has the power to turn the silver tongues to lead.
My Father, #MyRoleModel.