I Was Never Daddy's Girl But Only He Could Teach Me Things That Made All The Difference

neha kashyap neha kashyap in Your Story on 21 June, 2020

For all those who know him, know that he is a hardworking, organised (a bit much) and a short-tempered man. The only son to his parents and the only brother to his 3 sisters, Sanjeev had it all. Growing up in the erstwhile Bihar and now Jharkhand, he had the grades and the dream of getting into IIT which he achieved with great ease!

The day he completed his engineering, his father announced his marriage to a girl he had never met or seen. The photo was handed over to him and he threw it away because he was not ok with getting married. Cut to, the day of marriage (because nobody messes with father's decisions) when Sanjeev and Anjana came together. In their case, first came marriage, then came love and then came baby in a carriage (very quickly). My mother tells me how while she was screaming inside pushing me out, he was pacing up and down the hospital halls and had fever because of the stress.

He and I weren’t the best of friends or I wasn’t a daddy’s girl while growing up. And yet, he was probably the only one who had the ability to teach me something (at a pace that one can’t imagine). The short-temper kicked in as soon as he would start teaching me something and believe it or not, to avoid his anger - I learnt everything quickly. For instance, he started teaching me how to cycle, I fell down twice but the third time, I was peddling away free (under an hour). He was surrounded by colleagues and friends who believed that nothing but the marks you scored mattered the most. That studying science and maths are the only options if you want to succeed in life. Remember he went to IIT and perhaps, that should have been his thought too, except that it wasn’t.

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I was a below-average student throughout school, but the man celebrated my 54% and 57% (class 10th and 12th score) with so much joy that it put the parents whose kids scored 85% - 90% to shame. He called people over, bought a 2 ltr Pepsi bottle and dinner was ordered.

I distinctly remember a conversation he had with me, where he asked me "What do you wish to do?" and without any thought, I said I want to be an air hostess. He asked me why and I said "You don’t need to study for it," and he said that’s a very bad reason for choosing something. He said "Your oratory skills are decent and so are your writing skills. Think about law." That was it, I thought and then made it happen. He was so proud, for no reason whatsoever.

To the man who always saw us beyond our grades and skills, to the man who trusts us as he does, to the man who never lied to us or even dumbed things down for us, to the man who travelled the world and always worked with his head on his shoulder, to the man who cooks and cleans and in that process causes a storm (mostly for my mother now since we are away), to the man who taught us how to be professional and to the man who also taught us how to be there for his parents and friends, to the man who taught us that no job is small, to the man who never compared us to anyone, to the man who stood his ground and never questioned (may be reasoned) our decisions, to the man who is never convinced about our investments and to the man who will cry like a child on reading this piece - I only wish I have the ability to look at my kid with the trust you had and the honesty you displayed.

We love you, Papa.
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