My Best Friend – A Superhero

“The monsters are gone.”
“Really?” Doubtful.
“I killed the monsters. That’s what fathers do.” 
― Fiona Wallace

I’ve come across different kinds of fathers. The stingy one, the overly obsessive, the over protective, the non-stop traveller, the man buried in money, the playful one, the furious one, the perfectionist..

I’ve read stories of fathers who kill their daughters because she divorced her abusive husband. I’ve read stories of fathers who abuse – physically, mentally and sexually abuse – their daughters. I’ve read stories of fathers who died protecting their daughters. Of fathers who live in guilt that they survived a hazard and their children didn’t. Of fathers who would give their world to keep their little ones safe. Of fathers who run away from responsibility. Of fathers who come back from war to see their daughters graduate.  Of fathers who hold their dying child’s hand and tells them he’ll meet them there. Of fathers who warn their daughters’ boyfriend, “Hurt her and I’ll hurt you!”

Like I said, I’ve come across different kinds of fathers. But nobody quite like my best friend.

I could start this off saying “he’s a superhero.” But that would just be the child in me. So let me talk about the man that would give up his world to put a smile on his kids’ faces, the man who doesn’t have the ability to say no, the man who has accepted his kids for who they are even though he comes from a place where any other father in that situation would have looked at their child and said “I’d rather throw you out than call you mine.”

He’s the person that every child dreams of having in their lives. Even during the most difficult of times, he tries to give them everything they want. He works hard is an understatement. He makes every other man in this world not worth it. He supports, understands, loves, cares and most importantly, stands by you.

Like all best friends, we quarrel. We have big arguments and stop talking for a few days. But then we snap out of it because, “come on. You can’t be mad at your best friend!!” I tell him everything. My secrets, my dreams, the comments on my blog that make me smile and most of all, boy troubles. He always understands. When I had my first break-up, he was there for me. When I was half-way across the world crying on the phone because I wanted to come home, he stayed on the line and talked me through it.  Midnight medical emergencies, ligament tears, home sickness and fights with my sister, he’s been there for me through it all.

I’ve heard many childhood stories of mine with him. But I don’t remember much of it. What I do remember is the person that said “Let her have a life and make her mistakes and learn from them.” I remember the care when I had all four of my wisdom teeth taken out at the same time. I remember the tears of joy I had when he gave me a card to congratulate me for the very first money I ever earned. I remember the silly laughter, the perfect movies, the love for popcorn. I remember Hindi movies with subtitles, Drive-in theatre experiences, our first trip alone and the first time he put me on a flight back home all by myself.

I’ve learnt so much from him. I’ve learnt to stand up for what I believe in, I’ve learnt to not settle for anything less than what I deserve, I’ve learnt what unconditional love and care means and he is the reason I learnt to dream, to chase those dreams and to not stop for anyone.

Like all people in this world, time and life pulled us apart a little by little. But even today, when I have news, when I am hyper for no reason, when I am bored, when I find something interesting on Buzzfeed, I rush to him. And even today, he listens and nods his head even if he doesn’t have the time to be doing so.

To my superhero and my best friend,

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

🙂

Great Expectations

When I was a kid, one of my cousins said she wanted to be a journalist. It sounded so appealing. So fancy. I wanted to be a journalist too. Then I wanted to be a doctor, an actress, a singer, an F1 racer, an astronaut, a movie producer, an advertising creative head.. A full circle that ended in “I want to be a Journalist.” It was my first dream as a kid. It is my dream as an adult. I also want to write a book but that’s more a desire than an ambition.

Many of you would know, writers don’t get paid much. I knew that at some point I was going to have to give up my ideas of living like the Kardashians (You can call them my guilty pleasure) . No private jets, no Bora Bora vacations and definitely no million dollar wedding. My luck was that I always told myself, If you’re content, consider it enough because, sometimes, even billionaires don’t get there. So it was not THAT difficult for me to accept it and I always thought that was enough.

Turns out, I was wrong. You accepting your life choices is the easy part. Getting everyone else to where you are, now that’s a challenge. I remember reading somewhere : When I picked up my kid, I realized my father would have felt the same way I feel now and it makes me wish I had been a better child to him.

I didn’t have to pick up a kid to know that my father had big dreams for me. I was the smart one. I would go places. The world would look at me and say “Your parents must be so proud” and my father would stand beside me nodding his head yes. Instead, I defied him every chance I got. I chose an industry he didn’t particularly approve of. I chose a lifestyle he didn’t enjoy. I now chose a dream he knows would never get me to where he hoped I would be. I became someone he didn’t understand and in all things short, I will openly say : That dream that he had when he first picked me up at the hospital and looked at my face – I crashed it. Hard. And someday, I might regret this. But today, I choose to be that rebellious kid that says “But Dad, I’m happy !”

I came across this picture recently.. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I’m someone who believes one must always do what they love, not what they’re forced into. So it’s not a surprise that I automatically took to this picture.

 

Image

 

I’m doing what I love and what I believe I’m good at. Yes, I’m terribly broke but when I get up every morning, the only thing I don’t want to do that day is take a time consuming shower. I’m always so excited to go to my internship because going there means writing and I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I realize that the #WIN is something that I might not get to. It is a space that only a few people actually make it to and maybe I will, but the chances are slim and I can accept that. But how do you convince the people who have raised you and loved you and dreamt big things for you that you’re going to be a normal working class person and you don’t mind and neither should they ?!

With great expectation comes great disappointment. It really is true isn’t it? I wish it could be different. As a kid, I enjoyed studying. As a teenager I hated school with every cell in my body. As a university student, I loved it again. And now, I just want to move forward. I want to find a job that allows me to do what I love. All through my years as a student, I never succumbed to expectations. Until now..

I want to say something to you.. Something that I am now repeating to myself, every single day of my life. People will always have their expectations. There are the ones who expect you to be better at what you do and there are the ones who expect you to be doing something better than what you do. Mute those voices. Some call them motivating but I think if those voices didn’t exist, you’d be more happy doing things your way. They always pressurize you with their great expectations of who you should be. And I believe in taking a stand for who you are. Who you are might change the world, might cure cancer and might even make penguins fly. But you won’t get there if you let others manipulate the way you think, constantly. Sure, you might still get to your destination with those voices. But the journey without them might have been a more peaceful one and it’s always the journey that defines how you feel about the destination.

Every time I send a resume somewhere, I remember my father’s face. I realize how he deserves much more than this. He deserves to be by my side as the world looks to me the way he wanted it to. I think of what the future might hold. The expectations the people in my life will have. The example I set for my siblings. How I wish I could mute them and do what I love like I always did..

As I write this, I can still hear people telling me this isn’t enough. This isn’t success. But I’m going to try and not care about it. Because this.. this makes me content. And that’s more success than I could ever ask for..

Wish You Were Here

Recently, my father and I had a long conversation about my grandfather. His life and his struggles.

Do you have that one person you wish you could meet but can’t?

That one person you’ve never met but feel like you know very well. You’ve heard stories about them, people tell you things that person said, you’ve seen pictures. For a lot of people, that person is a celebrity. To me, that person is my grandfather. I’ve never met him. He was long gone by the time I came around. I’ve seen six-seven pictures of him. But I feel like I know him very well.

The world lost him to Cancer. I can’t say I lost him because I’ve never met him. But I would have loved to. There are times when sharing stories about someone, you hear the person say something wrong about them. It’s never intentional. It’s just part of who he/she used to be. But I’ve never heard something like that about my grandfather. I’ve heard about his struggles, I’ve heard his jokes, I’ve heard his wisdom, I’ve heard about his sickness. But never in all those stories has anyone ever said one bad thing about him. That’s the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of him. Someone who made no mistakes. Is it weird that when I think of him, I think of superman? He raised a superman too.

A lot of my conversations with my father include stories about my grandfather. Lessons that were taught or left. One of those things was to live life with principles. To stand by what you believe is right, no matter what the circumstance. If you’ve known me for a while or read my previous blogs, you know that’s a lot similar to what I believe in. Except in my generation I’m called rebellious, not principled. It’s funny. I never met him. There were no videos of him. There was no way for him to have influenced my life on a personal level. But somehow, when I hear stories about him, I know I’m a lot like him. His behavior, his thoughts. My father would beg to differ but I know that if my grandfather was still around, he’d have been someone who would have understood me and supported me. He’d be my kind of person. Like my father is.

In life, you at times land in trouble. My grandfather has taught me that it doesn’t matter how you got there. There are only two ways  to get out of it- The Easy Way, The Right Way. Now remember, anything that comes easy is not here to stay.

He inspires me. When I hear about him, I keep trying to look for similarities. I take pride in knowing I’m a lot like him. Also because it secretly means I’m a lot like my father. I don’t know if my father knows this, but when I hear stories about his dad, I get reminded of him. I can see the day I sit my kids and my grandkids and talk to them about him like he talks about his father to me. It’s cheesy but it’s true. He’s open-minded, like my grandfather was. He’s principled and determined, hardworking and trustworthy, a fighter. He’ll do anything he can to excel at everything. Including fatherhood.

Through my difficult times they’ve helped me. One through stories and the other by just being there to tell me it’ll be fine. Some day, when I’m ready, I’ll go out into the real world. I might not become the next billionaire but thanks to the life lessons, I’ll survive. And when the going gets tough I’ll repeat my grandfather’s words like I do every time I’m in a bad situation :

“This too shall pass”