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Recently we celebrated “Fathers’ Day”. Father is the first man in every child’s life. Father is the image of strength; he is the pillar who stands tall in any circumstance. The one who is always ready to fight your battles for you and the one who would want to shield you from the big bad world. My dad is not just this (even now), but he has always been much more than this.
There is a saying, “be a man that you would want your daughter to marry.” It is so true. I grew up watching my dad share the responsibilities around the house. He would help my mother with most of the house work. At the end of the day, from when I remember, he has made it his duty to clean up the kitchen. Putting the used dishes for wash, cleaning the counter and the stove has mostly been done by him. And he volunteered to do all this and was happy to do it. So gender equality was never an issue in my household. In fact, till I grew up I never realized that there was anything called gender inequality. Thanks to my Dad. We had clear rules. We were never allowed to sit down and wait for my mother to serve. Self service was the rule in our house and my dad set an example for it. Even while having dosas too, we had to either sit in the kitchen so that its easy for my mother to serve or if we sat away, we had to get up and go to the kitchen for each dosa. He always encouraged my mother to rest, to indulge in her hobbies. We, as a family, were taught to respect each other’s time and to never take anyone for granted.
Of course, our bringing up also was never biased. My brother and I were given the same opportunities, same ethics. I never had it in my mind that I was a girl and I had to behave or do things differently. We both were taught same skills. While my brother was taught basic cooking so that he could fend for himself, I was taught to change a punctured tyre, minor repairs around the house. He always encouraged us to be independent and self sufficient.
Fast forward to after my marriage. When I had my twins, again my dad just got into the whole post delivery duties of sterilizing bottles, going out to shop for all babies , my mother’s and my requirements. While mom, my husband and I would be busy with baby care, he would take care of everything around the house, arranging food, arranging maid, keeping hot water in flasks, taking colicky baby for a drive in the middle of the night etc. He worked throughout the day to make it as comfortable as possible for us.
I can go on and on about the first man in my life. He was always the right blend of strict, friendly and indulging dad. I am thankful that I grew up with a dad who showed me what a good husband, father and most of all what a good man should be like.