My dad leads a very principled life. His honesty, simplicity and unassuming personality are something that I’ve always admired. Being the father of 3 brats, I always wondered how he never lost his temper. In my entire life, I saw him get angry on two instances. Yes, only twice. I’ll narrate only one of them as the other is not relevant here.
Once, my brothers and I were playing with friends. As we didn’t have gadgets those days, we used to innovate and create new games to play. One such game was to break the windscreen of an auto-rickshaw that was parked nearby. Guess what, we won!!! All the winners get to take a trophy home and we took the auto-rickshaw driver home. After paying up the price for our victory, my dad got furious and shouted at us. This was nothing new for us as we always had our mom lose her patience on us.
My work has taken me to different places while my parents still live in the same city. I visit my parents often and spend time with them. While my mom speaks everything on her mind and shares every bit of detail, my dad is very reserved. He seldom shares what’s on his mind and rarely displays his emotions. Most of my conversations are with mom while my chats with dad are transactional in nature.
During one such visits a few weeks back, dad sat next to me and said “When you were a kid, I slapped you once. I lost my temper on you when you damaged the auto-rickshaw. I’m feeling very sorry for my behaviour.”
I didn’t know how to react. I looked into his eyes and I could seem them damp. It’s the first time in my life that I saw my dad like that. I said “Dad, don’t think about that. The same incident, for which you’re feeling bad, is a sweet memory for us. Whenever we sit together, this is one of the incidents that we talk about and have a hearty laugh.”
He said “I used my strength on you. You were a kid and I was a big man. Just because I was stronger than you, I mis-used my power.”
“Dad, whatever we are today is solely because of the values you instilled in us. You should be proud of that. Please don’t feel bad about this small incident.” I said.
He didn’t say anything. He was silent. So was I. But when I looked at him, I could see he was a bit relieved…relieved that he said what he wanted to say. He probably was glad that he got that monkey off his back. Knowing him, I can imagine that this was on his mind for ages. He probably was carrying this pain and suffering for long. He finally mustered courage to spit it out and I’m sure he must be feeling good.
Isn’t this what happens to most of us? We carry the baggage of guilt for a very long time. The longer we carry this baggage, the heavier it gets. The heavier it gets, the more the pain and suffering that it inflicts. The most difficult part of getting this baggage off is to take the first step – which is mustering the courage to speak up. For some, it comes naturally but for many it isn’t.
Remember, speaking up is much better than keeping it and suffering for life.
I’m trying and I hope you would as well. Thank you for teaching me this, Dad.
STAY HAPPY AND STAY BLESSED!!!