Melange

Being a Father

Nabajyoti Bhuyan

The day I became a father, my responsibilities increased manifold. Now I have to think about the well-being of my son, have to do things which I had never done before – buying diapers, baby foods and other baby stuffs, visit doctors for vaccination, etc. As he turned three years of age, we had to grapple with another challenge – and that was to send him to a pre-school, attend PTMs (Parent Teacher Meetings), annual functions, etc.
The beginning of this year was very crucial for us as our son turned six years old and our main agenda was to get him admitted into a good school. We, along with him, faced many interviews and finally he was selected in a reputed school of Guwahati.
My son sees a superhero in me, he thinks that I can drive my car at the speed of 180kms/hour, he feels I can fight like a superstar, and many other such extraordinary things. Sometimes I have to play with him like a six year-old boy, sing along with him and watch cartoons with him!
While thinking about the father-son relationship,a Hindi film called,Akele Hum Akele Tum,often comes to my mind. The film was inspired from the Hollywood movie, Kramer vs. Kramer, starring Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep. Here in the film, the male protagonist is separated from his wife andhas to look after his son alone. He was a struggling singer and was trying to make his mark in the field of music, but he had to sell his whole life’s musical treasures to another musician only to cater to his son’s growing-up demands.The dedication, commitment and sacrifice of the protagonist for his son was incomparableand eventually, despite his best efforts, he even lost the custody of his son.
It has been found in studies that if a father is affectionate, supportive and involved in his child’s daily welfare, then he can contribute a lot to his child’s academic career as well as his social development. It can boost his son’s self-esteem, his command over language, authenticity, and a strong inner core resource.A child’s relationship with his/her father influences their other relationships as well. Girls will always look for a partner who has herfather’s traits; she will always compare him with her father and wants him to be like her father.Boys normally try to imitate their father, their way of talking, behaviour, social life, etc.
If a father is abusive and dominating, this character will also reflect in his son’s character. Fathers are also as important as mothers as far as the role of protectors,care givers and for providing financial supportto their children goes. There are so many peoplewho left their lucrative careersonly to look after their child and which gave birth to an entirely new concept of “stay-at-home-dad”.
A father plays the role of a preacher, he teaches spiritual and philosophical knowledge to his child. From childhood itself, a child should start the practice of praying and having belief in the almighty. A father is also a provider to his child; he not only provides emotional and spiritual guidance but also provides materialistic needs. He is a teacher as well; he teaches academic activities along with general knowledge and current happenings. He is also a playmate and a companion for hischild; he plays with his kid,celebrates their birthdays like a grand event, attends school functions, and goes for movies with them. He also plays the role of a talent developer and trainer to his child.
A father’s responsibility does not stop here.During his whole life, he has to think about his child’s future prosperity and success. During higher studies, children live apart from their parents, they become somehow independent but still rely on their parents (normally the father) regarding financial assistance. After their marriage, the scenarios gradually begin to change.
To honour fathers and celebrating the essence of fatherhood and paternal bonds,Father’s day is celebrated every year all over the world. It was celebrated earlier on March 19 by catholic societies in Europe since the Middle Ages. March 19 was celebrated as the feast day of Saint Joseph who is believed to be the “Nourisher of the Lord” in Catholicism. This tradition was later brought to America by the Spanish and Portuguese.
United States of America President Lyndon B. Johnson, in the year 1966, proposed that the third Sunday of June should be celebrated as Father’s Day. Then in 1972, US President Richard Nixon declared Father’s Day as a national holiday in the US. Some other countries celebrate Father’s Day on different dates – the Taiwanese celebrate it on August 8, because it stands on the eight day of the eight month.And in Mandarin Chinese,the number eight sounds like the word “Papa”.
The concept of celebrating Father’s Day in India is not too old and had been imported from the US and other western countries. Like the US, it is celebrated on the third Sunday of June every year. People of Metropolitan Cities and urban areas are mostly aware of this celebration as they have greater exposure to Western culture, but it is a noble effort to pay tribute and respect to their father. Nowadays,this trend of celebration is reaching smaller cities and smaller towns across India.
On June 27th last year, my father left us for his heavenly abode,creating a void which cannot be filled in my life.Today as we celebrated Father’s Day recently, I would like to take this opportunity to pay homage to his departed soul and wishthat his soul may rest in eternal peace.
(Nabajyoti Bhuyan lives in Chachal, VIP Road and can be reached at 9401689545)