My hero… my Dad…

A man is moulded in his childhood days, his character his virtues are defined right in the formative years of his life.  Blessed is the man who gets good parents, good teachers and good companions in his childhood days. For the person that evolves in the company of such good people only bounds to be a good person. I consider myself lucky to have good parents, especially, my dad who being in armed forces (navy) was a disciplined person and a very principled one. Not to belittle the efforts of my mother back home though.

My dad practiced what he preached, he believed in truthfulness and had suffered all kind of hardships in life but never left the right side of the law. He was a god fearing person equally in tunes with modern times and so he did not believed in orthodoxy a single bit.  Every child’s first hero is obviously his dad, today my kid looks at me as his hero, same did i do when i was of my kid’s age.  Two incidents defined what i am today. If only dad had supported me in those two temptations, i might not have been what i am today…

One was when i was in third standard, the school was a convent school and had very ruthless discipline. Science and Social Studies were new topics included in the syllabi then. I for the first time, failed in science in the first unit test. Now showing the paper with red lines was not the most ideal thing i could have done.  I was terrified to tell back home that i had failed, i still remember, i attempted only four questions and  scored 8 marks, that full academic year, i was called by the name 8 marks. I feared that my parents who held high expectations from me, would be broken to hear that i failed, so what, even if it was a small unit test. I hid the science paper inside book cover and came back home pretending to be as normal as possible.  I showed all the papers but did not show the science paper, my parents started inquiring about the science paper and i bluffed that the teacher was absent and so on. Back in the school the teacher was inquiring why i did not bring the paper back with parents signature. I was in a fix, i had to return the paper with dad’s signature!!!

Every person has an angel and a devil hidden in him i do believe, the extent to which the one dominate over the other determines your character. At that moment the devil in me prevailed and i did the unthinkable, i signed on the marksheet, the signature i attempted was that of my dad though!!! The signature was perfect, the only small technical error i did was that the signature was parellel to the horizontal line. Signatures normally are not like sentences they are upward slanting. The teacher caught the bluff and asked me to bring my dad to meet her on the open day. Oh heavens, it was never expected.  I was an eight years old worried kid!!!  One lie leads to hundred lies it is told,  now, i told my mom on the open day not to come to pick me up in the evening as i was going to friends place. I still wonder, how i could invent all such reasoning at such tender age then.   Somehow my parents came to know that there was an open day that day, and guess what, in the recess i saw my dad climbing the stairscase towards my classroom. I was nearly vomiting my heart out in fear then.  I had no option but to resign to fate then. My dad entered the classroom and got himself seated on the very last bench as he doubted that i had done something wrong.  I was in the middle and the teacher came with the answer sheet and got seated next to me. She showed the paper and pointing towards the signature asked my father whether he signed it. My dad did not waste a second and said no, it was not his signature.  He stood by what was correct and the teacher beat me in front of my dad. The second installment was to be received back home.

The second incident is also similar and occured about one or two years after the above. We went to market for evening stroll and on the way we found a pencil seller selling pencils on handcart, pencils of all colors, designs and shades, enough to tempt me.  My dad gave me ten pencils which costed around ten rupees and the shopkeeper was not having change, so he turned to other shopkeeper for change, now there was nobody to vend the pencil and nobody was watching, i was feeling tempted and i picked a couple of pencils and kept in my pocket. My dad saw thing and again slapped me there itself and made me return the pencil. I felt sad, let down and humiliated, i felt that my dad was not a good man then..

Looking back, i realized the magnamity of my dad’s behaviour, if he had defended my wrongful act of signing, i could have received wrong signals and i could have repeated the cheat and become a cheater. That was the last time i attempted somebody’s signature…

If he wanted he could have looked otherway and defended my theft of pencils, which could have motivated me to do so in future, but by stopping me then and there,  he shaped my character by that act. He seemed to be a villian then. I nearly cursed him for not being a caring dad, but now as i look back, i realize that he was right by what he did…

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