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The Rediff Special
June 30, 2004
I was 20 years old when I returned home without writing my final year Bsc examination. I told my father I thought I would fail so I skipped the exam.
To my surprise, he was very calm. He told me it was okay with him if that was what I thought. He said I should be able to write the exams next year.
Nine years later, I stood before him with the woman I wanted to marry. She was from another state and belonged to another religion. Once again, he surprised me by accepting us with a happy smile. He even arranged for our marriage by bribing the registrar ;-).
Now, I work in New York as a consultant to a Fortune 100 company.
Whenever I talk to my father, I am amazed by the depth and breadth of his knowledge, and his different perspectives about the world. My father, who was only able to study until the fourth standard, brought up a family without ever letting us know how much he
Like most men, my father is my role model. I just hope I can bring up my son the way he brought up his.
Nazeer Hussain Kizhakkedathu, 32 years, New York
A man of vision
Today, I am writing this from Los Angeles because of my father's vision and commitment.
I was born and brought up in a small village in Tamil Nadu. We were one of the many below-average-income families in India. My parents ensured I got all the financial support I needed for my education.
During our childhood, he spent ample time with us. He told us stories. He played indoor games with us. He shielded us from all the hardships he was facing in life then.
He would repeatedly tell me he was not a rich man and had no legacy to bestow on me. But he promised he would do everything possible to give me the best possible education because that was the only way he could ensure a better future for me.
My son Rahul is nearly a month old and I know my father is blessing us from heaven.
I will always love and respect you, Daddy.
Mohan Ramalingam, 31 years, Los Angeles
A special person
My father is special, as I am sure all fathers are. But it is only when I became a mother that I realised the love, strength and support my parents have given -- and continue to give -- me.
My father has never focused on himself. Every penny he earned has either been spent on his family or been saved for his children. He gave up his needs to make our dreams come true.
He has instilled a strong sense of values -- honesty, compassion towards other people, generosity and so much more -- in us by staunchly following the same principles.
We have had our moments of disagreement but, come what may, I wouldn't like to have anyone else as my father.
Hemamalini P B, 30 years, Chennai
My father has been my guide.
He dreamt for me and knew what I had to do even before I did. He planned well, so he was able to provide us with the best things in life.
I have never disappointed him in my studies and my career and I know he is very proud about it.
He was upset when I chose my life partner myself, but Time is a great healer. He has now accepted us and I am sure he will be my pillar of support in future too.
I love you so much Appa.
Archana G Krishnan, 23 years, Bangalore
I could not say goodbye
Three years ago, I made for the US. Barely a month after I had joined my company, I got an e-mail asking me to call home. My father had passed away and I was not even able to return home for the funeral ceremonies.
When I returned after a year for my sister's marriage, I saw his photo hanging on the wall. It was heartbreaking.
My father, who was an English teacher, had taught me a lot from the Ramayana and the Gita. He gave me everything I wanted.
Sometimes, I still find myself looking for him. He was the greatest Papa in the world.
Aapki bahut yaad aati hai.
Nikhil Shukla, 26 years, California
The first man in my life
My Papa Daddy
Dad was always there
My father, my friend
'Papa, please come back'
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh
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