Monday, December 6, 2010

Why I think father's role is always underestimated? (written by me)

~ ~ Dedicated to my dad on his 53rd birthday ~ ~

Often role of a father is underestimated in the family compared with that of a mother. Mother is always nice, caring, loving, someone who will run after you with glass of milk, food no matter you are 2 years old or you are 40. She will always neglect her child's mistakes. She will never accept that her kid underperformed in an exam; on the contrary she would say that paper was extremely tough. For a mother, her child is the best child in the world, doesn’t matter even if he is a criminal. On the other hand, fathers are exactly opposite. Tough expressions, always asking too many questions & reasons, asking you to behave properly, slapping you for the mistakes you do, will scold you for coming late, always probing you for something or the other. He will eventually force you to think that he is your enemy & all he wants is to interrupt you & is always a spoilsport. Finally a kid starts believing that dad is someone who doesn’t want you to enjoy life, enjoy late night parties etc, he is just too old-fashioned, orthodox and doesn’t love you one bit.

That’s not at all true. If mom is a pillar, than father is the base of any family. Open a newspaper and you will read hundreds of articles related to mothers. Despite father’s importance, not much is written about it. Even in ancient holy books, not much is mentioned about a father. All saints explain you the importance of a mother in your life. Not much is written about a father.

Mothers have oceans of tears, fathers have wall of patience. Mothers cry out their pain and disappointments easily, but it is father who has to console everyone. Crying is always easier than consoling. We appreciate & thank our mother for preparing delicious food, clean clothes, for reminding you important things, for taking so much care of you, but we often forget our father who actually slogs it out day & night to provide us all the luxuries/comforts we enjoy?

During difficult times, a mother can show her tears, but father looks firm & still as if nothing has happened. Is he not concerned? Is he not bothered? Ever looked at his face in such a situation? He wants to cry but he controls himself as he has to handle everyone. His heart cries from inside but he doesn’t express it in front of anyone.

It is dad who will work overtime for your new bike or for your parlor expenses. He himself will be content with his old dress but will always give you extra for your new shirt. He will be happy with his old Maruti, but will let you buy a Honda City.

Ever though how much self-sacrifice a father has to make for our higher studies. He will sacrifice his plan for a world tour for your higher studies abroad. Mother will be over-the-moon when her child achieves something but it is father who will run to the sweets shop to buy sweets for whole society.

At the time of a child’s birth, mother has to go through the pain in the labor room. Everyone will be concerned about her but no one imagines how much tensed a father would be? How sweaty is hands and head would be? He is the one who runs here & there making sure every arrangement is perfect. I would probably end up eating all my nails in such a crunch situation.

When the daughter gets married during that time he hides behind the car deliberately not to show his tears, he then cries alone once everyone’s left. If his daughter gets married in a rich & well off family he won’t visit there too often but if she is in a poor family he will always visit there with some gift or the other just to make sure that she is having sufficient comforts there.

A real incident

I was feeling down and out, dejected after my second startup failed. So I met my uncle who always motivated and cheers me up. He is a famous counselor, around 45 years old, but we share each and everything. We are more of friends. So his first reaction was – You look sad. Are you alright? My answer was – "I would love to say yes but I would be lying then". I narrated the whole thing. He said that everyone has so many problems in this world & then he told me something which really had a deep impact on me from inside. He asked what do you think- I don’t have any problems. I said I don’t think so. He said problems are part of life. He further said "I give counseling to so many people. Have you imagined how much I have to motivate myself daily to handle and console so many of them? Even I have faced serious problems & at times situation was too complicated for me to handle. It was all SAIs blessings that I weathered that storm.

These are the brief excerpts from what he told me…

"It was in year 1999 when I was due to be a father for the 1st time. I took her to hospital; operation started in the OT. I was really hell of a lot tensed. My parents, her parents, our other relatives and well-wishers - everyone was present there – both excited and nervous.
Due to doctor’s mistake, there were certain complications in the delivery. Actually at the time of taking out the baby he took a wee bit longer to cut the cord which is connected between the baby & the mother. Due to that the baby had some issues with breathing. Eventually the kid started to breath but she was not crying. It is important for a baby to cry. Nurse informed me about this after 10 minutes. They injected around 60 injections in her but the baby was not responding at all. Her breathing was pretty alright but it was important that she should cry once. They took her to the ventilator waiting if she would cry but she didn’t. I was from a medical family & I knew that now even if this child survives she will never be able to lead a normal life as her brain was already dead. She will an abnormal kid, this situation will never change as oxygen never reached her brain which is really imperative when the child is born.

Now, my wife was unaware about all this. I went to the doctor and asked him to take the baby out of the ventilator. If she survives just like that then it’s ok but don’t keep her in the ventilator more. Doctor gave a pat on my back for such a brave decision. I was absolutely sure of what I was doing. I always knew that she is demented and won’t be able to lead a normal life ever. It was bad for her, for us, for everyone.

My whole family was under so much panic. But I had to take a call. I had to do it. I was literally crying as I didn’t want her to be dead but somewhere for her kid’s well being I had to do it. As a father I was thinking that her life will be useless. She will never be able to learn, read, write, and think. She won’t have any social or married life. Who will take care of her once we die?

Eventually the baby died after half an hour. I somehow had to control my feelings as there was a Herculean task ahead that is how to tell and convince his wife about this. Suddenly informing her about this would have put her in a state of shock & depression which could be really serious and she might not be able to get over it ever.

So, when I met her for the 1st time after her delivery, she asked "I want to see my baby where is she?” I convinced her that there were certain complications & the baby is in the ventilator. She insisted that she would just like to have a look at her from outside. I had to convince her that she is not allowed to do that at this point of time as it could be very dangerous for the kid. Nobody is allowed to see her. She will be fine soon and then you can have her in your arms.

The important thing here was the timing, so I had to mentally prepare her first. I wanted her to make the decision herself though the baby was already dead. Next day I told her that baby’s condition has worsened further. In the evening I told her she is improving but she is not crying.

Three days went by, this way total 5 days went by giving her one excuse or the other. Then on 6th day I told her that baby is still in the ventilator. Oxygen has not reached her brain so you know what will happen now? My wife looked very much tensed and quietly asked "what"? I told her that baby will not be able to lead a normal life ever and she will be "mad"? My wife enquired again & again if something can be done, but when she was convinced that nothing can be done. She told me "we don’t want such baby as she will have to suffer pain & miseries for the rest of her life. Please ask doctor to take the baby out of the ventilator". I asked her "Are you sure?”. But what if she dies? She said "Then let her die as she will never be able to lead a normal happy life. She will never have any education, she won’t have any married life and who will take care of her once we die?" So I told her "Ok. I will ask doctor to take the baby out then". In the evening I informed my wife that the baby was dead. She started sobbing but I was well aware that situation is under control as she was now mentally prepared to accept this thing. It still had a deep impact on her. It took her 2 long years to come out of it. In that phase I had to be with her every single minute. There was never a moment when I left her alone. There was always somebody near her. Soon, she started recovering and I knew that she will be back to normal once we have a baby and so we had our 1st baby after 4 long years."

I was really amused what to say. I tried to put myself in his shoes and asked myself "what would I do if I was a father in such a situation?". The answer was that "I would have cried out like anything". I mean, I would be a father someday, I am absolutely sure that it would take me atleast 10 days to hold my baby for the first time just to make sure that I don’t hurt him. I mean just an imagination of being a father makes me behave like a sincere & dedicated man who would do everything possible for his beloved wife & kid. It will be an amazing feeling.


So, you see.. the whole point was to explain that fathers are equally important and I am thankful to god that I’m so lucky to have such a fantastic and supportive father...

I don’t remember him stopping me from something I wished. He always stood by me in my bad times. He still has arms and shoulders open for me when I wish to cry. I would consider myself to be a successful father even if I am able to do even 70% of what my dad did for me.

Dad, I apologize if I have given you any trouble intentionally or unintentionally. I know I have been a good son so far and you are proud of me which really makes me feel good about myself. You are someone who is more than god for me and promise that I will always try to be a good son.. Always..

Love you dad!!

P.S.: Please do give your suggestions and comments. Kindly describe in details what you liked and how can I improve. Your feedback is really important to me. Thank you all.
Written by:
Manish Lunja.