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The Rediff Special
June 23, 2004
My name is Aditi and I am four-and-half years old. I am asking Mummy to write this for me.
I call my father Papa Daddy. He is my best friend.
My Papa Daddy is my life.
Whenever I say I cannot do this thing, he comes to me and says, "Never say that again. You can do everything. Never give up, Aditi. You are a very smart and intelligent girl and you can do it."
He also says Bhagwanji came to his dream and told him Aditi is the best and most beautiful girl in the whole world and she is very strong and full of energy, so I should never say I cannot do this thing or that.
My Papa always plays with me and teaches me new, new things. I am his helper and he lets me do whatever I want and buys me so many gifts.
I am his angel and he is my Papa, only my Papa. I do not want him to get old. He will always be with me.
I love you so much, Papa Daddy.
Aditi Balachandran, 4 1/2 years, New Jersey
Please come back
Oh Papa, how are you and where are you?
I hope you are free from all the pain you faced in your last few years.
It is 28 long years since you left us. I was only nine, so I don't know what it feels like to be with you.
I missed you many times, especially when I saw other fathers returning home after work or other children walking or talking with their fathers.
But I couldn't express what I felt; if I said something, Mom would cry. I did not want to hurt her, especially when you were not around.
Now, your grandson, Omkar, enquires about you. He asks me why his Dada went to God so early. Why did he leave you? Did he not love you? What do I tell him?
Now, after so many years, even I want to ask you -- if you loved us so much, why did you leave us? Though Mummy never mentions it, her eyes are always searching for you. Why did you left Mamma alone and give her so much pain?
Wherever you are Papa, I just want to tell you we miss you and love you very much. If it is possible, please come back once so I can tell you how much we have missed you all these years.
Sunny, 37 years, Dubai
I won't have anyone else as my father
For my Dad, my mother and I are the world. He has always done everything with his family in mind.
People may question what my father did, but I know his every act is filled with the best of intentions.
He may have certain whims and fancies, but he is a God-fearing person and has always helped needy people. He has done many acts of charity and believes that, if we are to remain happy, we must help others to whatever extent we can and whenever we can.
He is his own individual in the real sense of the world.
Through the good times and the bad, my father never lost faith in God. His belief helped him and us through everything. I really admire him for that.
He has worked honestly and has carried out every task that was given to him.
When I went though a bad patch, he believed in me and stood by me. If it weren't for his belief in me, I probably wouldn't be where I am now. Whatever I am today is because of my parents, particularly my father.
I won't say my father is my ideal or idol. I won't say he is the best dad in the world. But I will say one thing -- I wouldn't have anyone else as my father.
I want to use this opportunity to tell my father I love him a lot. I am grateful he has always been there for me for he is my strength.
Tharun Viswanathan, 26 years, Trichur, Kerala
Like father, like son
My dad and I were always at crossheads. We did not agree, nor did we like to agree, with each other. I had to comment on everything he did and explain how he should have done it differently.
That was nine years ago, before I came to US.
Now, I regret the precious time I wasted; instead, I could have got close to him and been supportive of his endeavours.
Whatever path he took, he made sure his four children got the best this world could give them. We are blessed to be his children.
No matter what anyone else's opinion was, he thought his children were the best. His conviction and belief in us was so strong that we did not dare to become anything less that what he expected of us. I believe this is the best way to influence kids.
He nourished rich ambitions in us and wanted us to achieve what he could not. Though my dad and I never showered love or affection on each other, we know we like each other the most.
I used to be against his ways and choices, but I am amazed at how much more like him I am becoming with each passing day.
Raj Pakala, 30 years, Kentucky
Tell us what your Dad means to you in 200 words or less. Share with us anecdotes about the most important man in your life. Please don't forget to include your full name, age and where you are from.
Dad was always there
My father, my friend
'Papa, please come back'
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh