I met today’s guest poster through music.
Christy on Running on Sober used to run a series called Life in Six Songs. I had the honor of compiling one of the final posts, one I was quite proud of. Anyway, it was through that series that I met Archita, and her blog, A Journey Called Life. Archita (cool name, right?) mixes brilliant words and beautiful photography on her site, with poetry, challenges and stories from her journey interspersed.
Today, she’s here to talk about her dad.
Dads – any parents, really – hope they’ll have the type of impact Archita’s did on her. In fatherhood – parenthood, really – it’s not like you get to perform your routine, then sit and wait for the judges’ scores to post, like in figure skating.
No, our influence plays out every day in ways we can’t often detect, and becomes part of the fabric our children become as they get older. Archita’s dad, like Tarana’s in a guest post here before, sets a high bar for the rest of us dads.
Please give Archita a warm CD welcome, and check out her blog, too.
(Eli is one proud father. There are times when I read his stories, I remember my childhood. When he asked me to guest-post, I really wanted to write about my father. Thank you, Eli, for giving me a space to share my story here.)
As we grow old, we start looking like our parents. We also behave like them, eat healthy food, drink more water and count our blessings. As uncanny as it looks, it’s a phase that we cannot avoid. Live long enough, you can notice faces repeating again, your friends resembling their parents, smiling at you, waving from the lawn the way their parents did.
I am like my father nowadays. I see the pattern in my behavior, eating and reading habit. Society proudly says: like father, like son. Like father like daughter is one unheard phrase. As if there’s no pride in being the shadow of your most favorite person.
My father is a wise man. It’s an honor to be the daughter of the father who knows the names and geography of all one hundred ninety six countries of the world without visiting many of them.
My father is passionate about all his hobbies, especially general knowledge and football ( Oh! I know you call it soccer. But we always called it football.) He feels sorry if Brazil loses a game, even though he has no connection with the country. It feels like he has known each of those players since their childhood. Such is his love for football. He is also very passionate about women’s empowerment. He envisions a world where men and women co-exist happily without stereotypes, where a man cooks a meal without getting frowns from lovely neighbor ladies, where a lady wears a blazer and solves complex maths.
But what do I love the most about my father? 1. I look like him. He’s one of the most handsome people in the whole family. 2. He discusses football with me. 3. He does not advise me if he has no knowledge on the subject. “Every life is different. Who am I to offer advices?” He points out with a mild philosophical note.
But there are many great lessons I learned by observing him for all these years. I noted them silently and followed without making much noise. Those lessons became the pillar of my strength after a certain point. I am sharing only six lessons here.
1. Be self-sufficient
In a world where everyone teaches you to be independent, my father calls himself self-sufficient. ” As humans we all need each other. Living an independent happy life is nearly impossible.” But living happily with what you have, without expecting much from others- is what my father calls a self-sufficient life. I love it.
2. Girls can, too
Even though it’s twenty first century, we hear too many stories that loudly judge girls. Girls cannot drive. Girls cannot do maths. Girls cannot be good leaders. But my dad always said, “Girls can, too.” He said it when I won many maths competitions, or lost Sudoku challenge to another girl. He said it proudly. I cannot tell you how I confident I feel each time I hear him saying it.
3. You have all the time to do what you want to do
I am one over-dreamer. I want to finish so many half-done things. Painting. Running. Biking. Photography. Management. Each time I meet him, I complain, “I don’t have enough time to achieve all my dreams.” He answers, “We all have enough time. It just needs proper planning and hard work. Time is nobody’s enemy.” I agree.
4. Listen to crap, but don’t collect
My father is a good listener. He sits patiently during quiet and loud discussions. He shares, “People love telling stories. There are good stories. And there are gossips. Both I cannot avoid. While good stories make me feel great, bad ones leave some influences too. I listen to them, but don’t collect.” One of the best lessons for me.
5.There are enough bad people, but there’s only one life
My father never asks me to find good in people, if that’s completely invisible. He simply says, “There are enough bad people. But your one life is precious. Don’t waste it in wrong company.” I remember that statement when I come across people I cannot like.
6. Break your comfort zone
“Home is where your family is,” I heard him saying it with a smile. For his job, he traveled a lot. He never wanted to be that frog in the well. “Travel is the best book,” he says, “Travel as much as you can, now that you’re young.” Through travel, he tasted different food, tried different clothes, met different people, made the most wonderful memory and cultivated wonderful philosophy. When I started travelling the world, he was the most proud father sitting on the couch, asking me about the weather, local vegetables and seafood. “One life is not enough. It’s such a big world,” his voice was happy and optimistic about a future, out wide open.