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'My Father Made Me What I Am'

Last updated on: June 17, 2024 11:51 IST
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'Dharti par jo Rab hota hai, woh hai pitaah (There's a God on earth, and it's a Father).'

IMAGE: Hari Govind Das Chauhan, Aruna Chakravarty's father. Photograph: Kind courtesy Aruna Chakravarty

"My Papa and I shared a common love -- our love for movies. We will reunite one day at the movies," says Aruna Chakravarty from Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, about her father, Hari Govind Das Chauhan.

Hari Govind Das Chauhan was my dad, my Papa and my first and only hero.

This is my ode to Papa.

It's 39 years since you left us, but not a single day has passed when you are not missed and loved.

Papa was everything that I am not! A multi-linguist he was; I struggle to be fluent in one language.

Not satisfied with speaking the language, he was even learning to write in Bengali; I am yet to be able to converse in the language and I am married to a Bengali for 20 years now.

A Master Chef who could whip up the most delicious Shrikhand and not to forget the four-layer parathas; the perfect round roti still eludes me.

Ambidexterity was his second nature; my right-handed scrawl will put most doctors to shame.

The paintings for which he was revered speak volumes of his talent; if flowers could speak, they would have lodged a defamation case against my drawings of phool.

A most-sought after person during Durga Puja for his unbelievably, intricate alpana designs and as a make-up artist; winged eyeliner is my biggest challenge.

Today's creative teams could have learnt a lesson from his effortless, self-taught ability to create and for his perfection and eye for details.

Atmanirbhar, today's buzz word existed in our small world many years ago; ludo and chess boards, pencil holders and even our cricket bats were so lovingly created by Papa.

The best teacher I ever had always lived in my own house. What I learnt from him was none of the above, but self-respect, compassion and kindness. These are teachings that have made me the proud daughter of my Papa who was God's own child.

I am not like Papa, yet we shared a common love (besides our love for Amma) -- our love for movies (apart from everything beautiful)! We will reunite one day at the movies.

What a superbly multi-talented dad you have, Aruna. Thank you for introducing him to us.

Eakanath Lote with Shri Ashok Dhende

IMAGE: Eakanath Lote with Shri Ashok Dhende. Photograph: Kind courtesy Eakanath Bandu Lote

"Shri Ashok Dhende is my second father. After my graduation, he supported me, nurtured me and guided me in my achievements," says Eakanath Bandu Lote.

I am sharing my journey of struggle which brought me from thousand years of darkness to the limelight.

Usually fathers nurture us, protect us and give us some inherited property, but I am sharing my journey wherein two fathers have played very important roles in my life.

The first is Bharat Ratna Dr B R Ambedkar, who has given us the right to education, the right to live, the right of basic amenities and various fundamental and Constitutional rights to all Indians through the Indian Constitution.

My second father is the late Shri Ashok Dhende and my mentor, who after my graduation supported me, nurtured me and guided me in my achievements.

I was living in 10 by 10 foot hut-like room up to 2003 but because of our Great Father Dr B R Ambedkar and my mentor Shri Dhende I could succeed in my life.

That's why I am paying tribute to my two real fathers on Father's Day.

Eakanath, your tribute to both your fathers is inspiring!

Photograph: Kind courtesy Vibha Pandey

"There is not a day that I don't realise how much thanks I owe him for teaching me to be self-dependent and strong at all times," says Vibha Pandey, who resides in Sydney, Australia.

My father is my pillar of strength.

'Dharti par jo Rab hota hai, woh hai pitaah (There's a God on earth, and it's a Father).'

Although he had lost his own father at a tender age, my Baba achieved success through his own determination.

Leaving his native village for education and higher education was very difficult during the Portuguese rule in Goa. My brave Baba achieved this by migrating to Bombay. As a student, he worked and studied tirelessly and sent home money to support his mum and two younger siblings.

He returned to Goa, after successfully completing a degree in civil engineering, to start a construction business, without a mentor or any financial support. Neither was any bank finance available at that time, when Goa was newly liberated and had become a Union Territory.

My Baba was very sincere, very loving and highly emotional. He was blessed with a gift of winning hearts easily. He was loved and highly respected in society by one and all.

Being very considerate, he offered help to his entire family, far and wide. He was kind and caring to all his staff. When he suffered heart attacks people flocked to meet him, from all over, to wish him a speedy recovery.

As a daughter, I fondly remember my sweet memories of my beloved Baba. I remember his true joy and laughter which my simple funny quotes and mimicking brought to him.

He was very protective, yet very strict with his three children -- I have an elder sister and a younger brother. This helped so much in life because one knew how to behave well and take the right decisions.

He was so modern even in that era, that he never discriminated between his daughters and his son. He was particularly proud of me when I chose civil engineering over modelling offers.

I got all the courage to live, from him. He encouraged me to speak my thoughts without hesitation, and to fear none. He made me what I am. There is not a day that I don't realise how much thanks I owe him for teaching me to be self-dependent and strong at all times.

And there is not a day that I don't miss you and your warm supportive look, Baba. I truly love you. I am never alone because I have your blessings with me always. I pray that you may be safe where you are. Much love from your doting daughter, Vibhu.

Thank you for a very sweet remembrance of your Baba, Vibha.

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