Hope all of you enjoyed your holidays and had a wonderful New Year. Now that we are finally in 2012, I am back with my writing after my short break with my wonderful dad, just as I had mentioned in my last post about my wish list and resolutions!
It was indeed a pleasure to have my father visit us for New Years as it always is, and today’s post is all about my father, who really is my pride- and everything that I have learnt from him. In fact, it would be apt if I call this post as “Lessons from my father.”
I have often noticed that people write about their loved ones or parents after their demise or after having lost them. But I wanted my dad to know how I felt about him and what he means to me, not after he is gone- instead right now- in the present.
“Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad.” ~Author Unknown
My father’s name is Maj. Gen. (Dr.) Kulwant. Singh, UYSM (Uttam Yudh Sewa Medal) and he retired from the Indian Army after having won many accolades. Not to mention having fought the two Indo-Pak wars in 1965 and 1971, and having led the IPKF in Sri Lanka.
He tackled terrorism and insurgency in and out of the country, by playing a major part in planning and execution at higher levels, and received one of the highest gallantry awards of India for his services.
Having our father in the army at such a high ranking post was always a privilege my sister and I enjoyed when we were kids, and it was always an honor to be known as his daughter. We cherished living in lavish houses, travelling in the best of vehicles, having the best of facilities, and lots of working staff at home.
My father was born on 10th September 1939 in Khomari that is now a part of Pakistan, but after India’s partition in 1947, my grandfather, who was also in the army, decided to shift to India. Theirs was a large family of many brothers and sisters, so I was indeed blessed to have many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
It was after my father’s retirement that my mother passed away fighting cancer, which was indeed heart-breaking for my father- as they were a much-in-love couple and truly made for each other.
After his retirement from the army and the loss of my mother, my father was destined to join the Maharishi University as their Vice Chancellor. His global appointments with the Maharishi World Organization include being the Defense Minister of Global Country of World Peace, and the Director General of Invincible Defense.
In brief, for me a dad is someone who
- is a daughter’s first love
- will be there for you no matter how bad a mistake you’ve made
- will stand up for you when you need him
- will give you their hugs and shoulders to cry on
- promises you that you will always be his little girl
- walks you down the aisle and tells you everything is gonna be Ok!
- loves you so much and will sacrifice whatever it is to make you happy again
I hope you won’t mind the length of today’s post, as there is a lot that I have learnt from my father that I want to share with everyone!
This comes naturally to us as being born and brought up in an army background; everything has to be on time! Self-discipline is so important for everyone and something that my dad truly believes in.
He has always been a disciplined man where his daily routine is concerned. I remember when he was in the army; there was never a single day I had seen him stay at home or leave late for work. Even now when he is nearly 75, he never misses his timely schedule of walking, exercising, playing golf, meditating, praying, reading, being with all of us, and going out for other work.
I am indeed proud to follow in his footsteps where discipline is concerned, and try my best to instill this important value in my kids as well.
2- Sharing and caring
I have a younger sister who is also an accomplished author, having just finished her first novel. So, being just two sisters- we did have our share of fights, ups-and-downs, the good and bad times. But our parents always taught us to share things and care for each other- no matter what.
For us, charity always began from home and the joy of giving was something that I picked up from my parents. My father is very liberal and donates so much to various institutions, to the under privileged, and gives without hesitation or second thoughts to the poor.
My father always taught me to learn to give, care for people and share a part of what you have with others. This is a very important lesson passed on to my kids, as I also have two daughters- and it all comes back to what I had learnt from my father long back.
3- Far sighted and wise
My father has always been very wise and thought well ahead of time, catered for things, and been well prepared for any kind of emergencies in life. Though we keep telling him to refrain from thinking much, or getting tensed, but old habits die hard!
Of course, there are times when everything we want and plan cannot be accomplished, but he has that wisdom and far-sightedness which is something I learnt from him as well.
To think wisely and in advance, plan things out, think ahead of time, cater for rough times, and be prepared at all times are some of the things I learnt from him.
4- Positive attitude
My father has gone through a lot in his career, where there were ups and downs, good times and rough patches as well. But he always overcame all of them with a smiling face, and accepting things as His grace.
The loss of my mother was the worst thing that could have hit him, yet he stood his stand and put up a brave front for us. No matter what he may have been undergoing, he never let us know, nor expressed it openly – instead always had a positive attitude towards life.
The lesson learned was to fight all odds bravely and fearlessly. Learning to smile despite the consequences, learning to accept, adapt, and adjust to situations, and overcoming your sorrows are major things I learnt from him.
5- Alert and responsible
I marvel at his memory, alertness, and responsibility even at this age! My father has always been a very alert, aware, responsible father and person. I remember the time when we were kids and if there was anything that needed attention, there was immediate action taken with no further delay.
He has been a doting and adorable father. Whenever there have been low moments in our lives, we have always turned to him for guidance and help. And he has always been there for us like our pillar of strength, without knowing how much he motivates, inspires, and gives us.
I have learnt from my father to be more aware, alert, responsible, and a good parent. Of course my mother played a great role, but I speak of my dad who has been with us much longer than my mother.
There has never been any shortage of love in our family, as there was abundance of it right from the time I remember. I recollect the time when I was just a baby- right up to now- my parents have always showered us with unconditional love and blessings right through.
My father and mother were best of friends and well known as a made-for-each-other couple, and lived up to it right till the time my mother passed away. I have seen their love for each other always grow stronger each passing day.
I remember the time when my mother was ailing and how my father tried his very best to do all he could to fight the cancer. He even went to the extent of learning Reiki and trying out various other means, just with the hope that something would work for her. It never did, but that was a lesson in disguise for us.
It is a well known fact that when you have so much love within you, it shows in all forms. Similarly, I have seen my father’s love for other people, the poor and underprivileged, and even our pets (we had pigeons, rabbits, fishes, and dogs when we were young!)
I learnt to love by seeing my parents love for each other, learnt to care for the poor and underprivileged, and of course my pet dog is a bundle of joy for our family.
7- Health and fitness
As far as I can remember I have always seen my dad participating in various sports, like golf that he plays daily without fail, and he has been a National level champion swimmer during his younger days. He is very regular with his walks, exercises, yoga, meditation, and other activities.
He is very concerned where his health and fitness is concerned, which is the reason he remains so active and fit even at this age!
My father always eats the right kind of food, something he keeps telling us to follow as well. I have always seen a bowl of fresh fruits and salads around him, and he is extra cautious when it comes to eating fried, sugary, or starchy food.
Lesson I have learnt is to eat at the right time, the right kind of food, accompanied with the right amount of exercise. Though I started late in life, but this is surely something I am going to follow and instill in my kids as well.
8- Prayers and faith
Keeping the faith and regular prayers has always been a vital part in our family. We have always had a special prayer room right from the day I remember, and I have seen my parents always praying regularly and never losing their faith in the Almighty.
There were some trying times in my dad’s career, and even when my mother was ailing- I have always seen my father praying and having the belief that everything will turn out well. He always believed that everything that occurs happens for a reason and we accept it as God’s grace.
I have often heard my father narrate how my grandmother prayed day and night when my dad was at war-front with bomb shells all around him. His tank was about to be blown off, but some force saved him. He truly believes it were his mother’s prayers that did the trick, as there was no way he would have survived otherwise.
I have learnt to pray daily in my small pray room, though as long as you pray the place doesn’t matter. And I try hard to not lose the faith and keep believing that everything will be well. Similarly, I try and pass on these values to my kids as well- though they have yet to start their regular prayers, as they have their own way of praying- so they say!
9- Enjoy life and live it to the fullest
The wonderful childhood memories spent with my parents is something I can never get back, nor forget. My father was a great planner of things, and always had a ready chalked out holiday schedule well before our vacations started!
He always believed to live each moment and life it to the fullest by enjoying your present. So, when we had our family holidays, we went visiting so many places that when I sit back and recollect, there is no place uncovered in our country!
There was always happiness in life, enjoyment, fun time, sight-seeing, shopping, partying, and lots of travelling when we went with dad. And all four of us were always ready to go anywhere, and anytime!
Lesson I learnt was to live life to the fullest and live each moment, as we can never say about tomorrow- whether it will be there or not. What exists is the present- the now, so enjoy it!
10- Family comes first
A very important lesson learnt early in life as I saw and lived with my parents was that family always comes first, no matter what the position, post, or work.
My parents have always been there for us kids and knew the importance of family time. Similarly, we are always there for my father now, and there are no ifs and buts about it.
Though my dad was very careful and cautious with his career and reputation, he never let it affect his family life. He always maintained a wonderful balance between work and his family. I guess he learnt the art of time-management very well!
I have learnt to balance work and family time to the best of my abilities, though I still need to work more on this aspect and lessen my work time so that I can spend more time with my family!
Well, I know my list is endless as I can’t really pen down everything my father has taught me within a few lines. But I hope this post will help you in some way to learn a few lessons, especially if you also have as loving a father as I do!
There are so many people I come across who have lost their loved ones and never had the chance to tell them how much they meant to them. So, reach out to your parents or loved ones and tell them how much they mean to you, and do it as soon as possible. Learn to forget and forgive by moving on and connecting.
I want to take this opportunity to express my love for my father by dedicating this post to him, and adding these few lines-
What Is A Dad?
A dad is someone who wants to catch you before you fall but instead picks you up, brushes you off, and lets you try again.
A dad is someone who wants to keep you from making mistakes but instead lets you find your own way, even though his heart breaks in silence when you get hurt.
A dad is someone who holds you when you cry, scolds you when you break the rules, shines with pride when you succeed, and has faith in you even when you fail… ~ Author Unknown
I also want to add that we value and treasure you a great deal dad, and you mean the world to us. Please take care of yourself for us by worrying less, and may God always bless you and give you a long- happy, and content life.
Thank you once again for taking out the time to read this post and, I apologize for the length of this post but I hope it was helpful for some, and that you would make an effort to reach out to your parents as well or remember them fondly if they are no longer with you.
Are there any unspoken words you would like to share about your parents? How do you connect with your father or mother? Share in the comments below.