There is a time when we look up to our father as the superman, capable of doing anything. We are very young then. Kids will often pick up fights on whose father is the best. Then as we grow up, there comes a time when the same Superman-like father, loses all respect. He is seen as just another human, one who is old, has lost all his senses; he might have a glorious history sometimes in the past, but not now. These are the teenage years. Today my blog post talks about one of these times in my growing up years and how I lost and found respect for my father.
I don’t know how this thought came in to me. Was it psychological or just plain cause-effect? Whatever! I suddenly started feeling that my father is no longer the same father he used to be. Always the one with solutions. Always the one to reach up to if you were in a problem. Always the one you looked up to as your Superman. I was very sure he has gotten old and certainly couldn’t help me with my age problems and issues.
I was in ninth standard then. The first signs of manhood had started appearing on my face. It was a big win and I loved to show it off. Until one day when a friend suggested that I shave it off. Shaving was yet another first that I hadn’t yet attempted. But the thought of it thrilled me to the core. I did it.
His mother wasn’t at home. I took a used blade from his father’s shaving box and carefully shaved off my moustache.
It was while coming back home that I realized that shaving for the first time can make your face look really weird. People were watching my face more closely. Will my parents notice it too? No, they have a very weak eyesight, I assured my mind.
But papa did notice it. He didn’t say anything though. He smiled instead. That night I prayed to god that my moustache grows fast.
Next year I was to write my tenth board exams. We had a three month break to prepare for the exams. Mathematics was a subject that I scored the lowest. When my elder brother visited home from Delhi, he would tell me to get my doubts in mathematics cleared from father. Brother owes his expertise in the subject to father. But I was very sure that father could at best solve sums of smaller classes. I had gone to him a few times but he had not been able to solve sums.
Then one day Sacchidanand, my classmate and neighbour, forcefully coaxed me into asking father to solve a sum. His father had never been to school. So he had advised him to ask Thakur chacha, my father, who he considered a genius at maths. Father is from the old school, he can do difficult multiplications without even writing down on paper. But maths is more than just multiplications, I thought.
Father took more time to solve the question. But he did. I felt embarrassed.
Then next day he again had another sum to be solved. I was sure Sacchidanand wanted to embarrass me. I told him that father was sleeping. He still went up to him. Today father was a bit more fast at solving the problem.
Over the next few days, father started visiting our study area more often. Sacchidanand always had problems to share. Father was getting quick in solving the problems. He could now also do matrices, data interpretation and other chapters that he earlier found difficult and new. I didn’t stop Sacchidanand from going to father with his queries.
Earlier I had to follow Sacchidanand by force. What if he is not able to solve a problem? But I was confident now. He may take time but he will come to a solution. I also got involved in solving the problems with them. I also started finding the subject much too easy. We spent a major part of the day solving mathematical problems, previous test papers and more. And papa was always there. He had taken a week’s leave from office so that he can give us more time.
Then the D-day came. It was the Mathematics exam finally. Until I got the question paper, I was a bit apprehensive. But once I saw the questions, I was pretty sure I am going to score quite well. I did. I scored 78 out of 100 in the mathematics paper; and the entire credit goes to father.
My papa is the best!