With Father’s Day approaching, I have been wondering what to buy for my dad. Would he like an all-purpose toolbox for the innumerable repair jobs he finds at home – an interest he picked up during the one year he was unemployed. Or, would he like a new golf mallet?
Perhaps I shouldn’t. Isn’t this what had kept him away from us during the time we needed him most?When we were growing up, we hardly saw our dad. He would come back late when we were in bed and would not be up when we left for school. And, most of his leisure time would be spent either at the tennis court or on the golf course.
Since he spent most of his time away from home, I always felt he did not understand me. We never saw eye to eye. Throughout my turbulent teenage years, I always tested his patience and made sure that we did not agree on anything. My mother constantly played referee, but it never seemed to make a difference.
My father also realised that we needed to spend time together to sort things out. So, on a weekend, off we went to Nainital without my mom and my brother.
We went trekking and boating. And, by the end of the weekend, I had changed my opinion of him. He was not a dictator after all. He was a quite a great guy to be with!
Years went by and I left home for higher studies at the university. I did not do well in the first semester at the university. And, by my parents’ standards, it was a failure. I had scored 53 per cent marks and just managed to scrape through to the next semester. I always told dad that everything was fine and I was doing quite well in my studies.
Obviously, since I had just managed to pass the exams, I dreaded going back home. I did not want to face my father, since I felt I had let him down.
I decided to stay with a friend during the vacations because I thought Dad would never understand. Nonetheless, after a few moments of hesitation, I went to a phone booth to call home. As I dialed the number, my eyes began leaking copious tears and I told my dad about what had happened. The first thing he said was: “You are my girl and I will be right there to get you.”
As relief overwhelmed me, I realised an obvious truth of life – that one can always go home, come what may…