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On The Father's Day

We like to believe love to be just and uniform. But it isn't. We do not love all the people. We also do not love those we love, equally, at all the time. There is some kind of gradation in love and we love different people differently. It may depend on our general outlook and the way we look at various relationships at one point of time. There are some relationships which emerges out of nowhere and overwhelms our being and all the other relationships.

Fatherhood has been one such love for me. Before we had my daughter, six years back, I never could have imagining myself of such a love. In love, one person loves and the another allows to be loved- that is what Somerset Maugham wrote and I had read him when I was quite young. Not only Maugham, whatever was left was further sealed by the man called Nietzsche. I loved, I loved with vigor, with an angry, audacious passion, but I never could give my last inch into the love that I had begotten into, ever. 

Some relations begin much earlier than the object of love actually arrive on the scene. That is the purest of love, for it transcends, shape, size and color and even gender. Fatherhood and love for progeny isn't something that descends suddenly when you hear the first cries of the child. The child lives in your mind. That is the embryo which men are blessed with, in the mind. We are seldom aware of the child that breathes in our consciousness, unknown to us. But our entire life, love that we fall in and out of, propels us to our child. At least that is the way it was for me. I wrote somewhere earlier, Fatherhood is not an accident of nature. One can be a father without embracing fatherhood, which is a pity. On the other hand one can embody fatherhood without biologically bearing a progeny. Fatherhood means many things, benevolence, grace, love and essentially a conscious strive towards being a better man than one is, at this moment, at any moment. 

It wasn't on 16th of May 2008 that I became a father, it wasn't even on 27th of August,
2007 that I became a father. On 27th of August, I had first heard you there, the quick heart beats as if you were scared of coming into the world, with all its ugliness. And I could only mutter assurances and offer promises of the grand beauty of life which survives all its squalid sadness.I did see you sometime in December 2007, resting your face on your palm with the grace of a ballerina on the monitor of Ultra-sound. I somehow felt as if you smiled at me, and felt deep in the debt of your mother for giving me something so wonderful. I had no clue if you were a boy or a girl at that time, though I did hope that if you could be a girl, it would be really very nice. I do not know why, thought it would round-off the rough edges that I had, bring out the softness from my heart, long as dead. I remember, walking into the nursery on 16th of May and saw along the walls all those little creatures lying with tubes running in their tiny arms. I saw you and saw you throwing those tiny arms in the air as if trying to catch some butterflies, with your eyes covered under the shade. I thought to myself and prayed if this girl throwing her tiny arms were mine. I had walked to you, and fearfully, I had turned the plastic bracelet to read "B/o (Baby of) Seema Suryesh" and I let a prayer for your mother leave my lips and wisp to the heavens for this magic she had created. That night, I held you in my arms and slept, for the first time holding you, but I did not become father that day. I had become father long time back when I softly had looked into your mother's eyes and imagined how our kid would be. I became father long time back when I started looking at myself with your eyes and tried to judge myself. 


You came into my house and made it a home. Through the day, you would sweep off all the silences and fill the evenings with music. You would welcome your mother and me at home every evening when we would walk in back from the work. You woke me up to the magical things in my heart and my mind and prodded me to write them. It is you that I write for, so that you may know all those brightly colored, happy things when I am long gone. It is for you only that I run in mornings so that I am healthy enough to play with you without burdening you when I grow old. I teach myself Nietzsche for I could learn solitude without letting it weigh heavy on your conscience when you want to be lighter and fly high in the world. Fatherhood overwhelms all my other relations. Everything revolves around being your father, and that is a secret that I would not want you to know. I do not want to spoil you today and obligate you tomorrow. In you, I discover a love that does not want to possess, a love that wants to prepare you for a flight above the ordinary and let you fly. What kind of love is this that does not want anything? I am happy in your happiness and I remember you through your forgetful youth. I treasure your Father's day card which you left for me the day you left for the grand-parents and I love poems for every day I am without you, here. I know, in your innocent playfulness, you might not even remember me, but that doesn't make me love you any less (Sanskriti visits her grandparents at this time). I will love you always. I am planning to write something only for you, which I will at the soonest. In the meantime, I will teach you to go beyond me, and yourself. Striving to be extraordinary, that is what you are meant to be, beyond the school report cards, beyond the scales on which the world will time and again, attempt to measure you. I love you, my child and that is your innocent gift for me on this Father's day. You urge me to write, to run and to be a better man than I ever thought I could possibly be. That is what fatherhood is to me.

(The post is shared and published on www.Yowoto.com)

Comments

IdeaSmith said…
Touching. There are dozens of such posts written by mothers (mommy bloggers!) but there's rare insight from fathers, especially fathers of daughters. Have you seen Yowoto?
saket suryesh said…
Many thanks. True, fatherhood is pretty lonely a job. The love which I encounter in fathers for daughters and vice-versa is amazing, at least in my circles, though much silent. I have been told that I write from the perspective of mother, I do not know why. I took it as a compliment. What is Yowoto? Will check that.
Anonymous said…
Hi Saket,
Very well written post. I hope you had the time to check out yowoto.com. If not, here's the link: www.yowoto.com. I'm the editor, so forgive the excitement when I see people recommending it to other people. :)
We'd love to share your post. Do let me know if that's okay. I'm available on sonali at yowoto dot com. Cheers!
saket suryesh said…
Thanks, sonali. Mailed you.

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