On Father’s Day

I had a greeting card for the day waiting for me in my e-mail from Emma, Shannon, and Anand. India on the whole is fast adapting to the western customs. It was pretty clear after glancing through the newspaper full with many ads for this occasion. Fortis invites the children to spend for the discounted medical checks for their parents. Many enterprises have many things to offer.

But the card from Shannon had a request to write about my father and grandfather. In my childhood, I lived mostly with my grandfather up to school. He planned and shaped my career. In Presidency College and even in IIT, Kharagpur, he used to come pretty often just to see me, and certainly to accompany me back home at the beginning of long holidays. Sometimes, it embarrassed me. One can’t appreciate his attachment and his worries with telecommunication completely absent in those days. I still remember one occasion of Presidency days, when I had gone out and he couldn’t meet me. He was so worried. He never allowed me to know anything about the household affairs, though perhaps I would have liked to get involved.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t do much for him. He went to our village after retirement with many dream projects. But very soon, he came to realize that my uncles did not like his ideas, as it meant hard work. Very soon, he started working again in High School at Dalmianagar. He remained busy till his last moment. He had fine sense of literature and music too. But he loved to meet people the most. I never came across any person who could become as loving and respectable as him.

For that matter, my father was the luckiest person on this earth. He never had to take any responsibility. In joint family, his uncle hardly asked him to do anything, but supported whatever he did. When he started to live in my mother’s village, he had hardly anything to do. When he got sick, I brought him to live with us. He lived a peaceful and contented life till last. Perhaps he never expected anything in life. Today, I really envy him.

But both my father and grandfather lived in a time, when they respected their elders, loved all the younger ones and got respected by their children. My father would have given anything he had to any one if he asked for it. My grandfather never raised his voice against anyone.

They were in era with no Father’s Day.

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