On June 17, I woke up to realise that it was Father’s Day. But, how did it matter? I, as a father, or as the son of a father, have never celebrated the day. And I believe this is one day least observed. I had not even heard of it until two years ago when TV channels beamed advertisements on greeting cards for “father so dear”.
So, why, one might ask, are fathers neglected as much as mothers are loved and pampered by their children? Is it because they are less emotional and not so serious about days to be named after them? This set me pondering, but a convincing answer was hard to come by.
After wracking my brains, I got a vague but sad feeling that like one’s birthday — Father’s Day too comes as a sad reminder that one has lost one more year, and hence edging nearer the passing-out day. And yet our folly makes us overlook all this, and we throw a bash, unmindful of the fact that the money spent on the day could very well have, if wisdom had prevailed, fed a few hundred hungry souls.
Such thoughts were tearing me apart. Being a father of two children, and also the eldest son of an aged father, I was at a loss. Having never celebrated Fathers’ Day in the family, I was categorical that I would not start now.
But I wanted to wish, if not celebrate, that my father lives to hit a century. Now in his eighties, I am happy and proud to proclaim that my father is stronger, physically as well as mentally, than me (having hit half-a-century recently). He is more peaceful and contented. He has the grace and the wisdom of a sure winner that I don’t seem to have inherited. And the secret of all this, I am sure, is his way of simple living, hard work and being a strong advocate of the principle of happy living: “Live and let live”. He lives happily in a tiny village in Ladakh, with the Indus roaring nearby, and mountain brooks and snow-capped hills all around.