One of my earliest memories of my father giving me the talk was is when I was 9 and I had broken some school rules and had this been found out by the teachers, it would have been a major embarrassment. Looking back, I consider myself lucky that my parents found out what was happening and infact my mom made my father speak to me. I was so sorry with remorse and when I realised that my dad had found out, well then I started trembling. What happened next is beautifully captured in the lyrics of the song by George Strait (Love Without End, Amen):
“Let me tell you a secret about a father’s love,
A secret that my daddy said was just between us.”
He said, “Daddies don’t just love their children every now and then.
It’s a love without end, Amen, it’s a love without end, Amen.”
Unlike my mom, my father is not the one who is always overflowing with words and emotions but he’s instilled me in this solid confidence that he is and will always have my back. There have been other situations in my life as well, where I didn’t break any rules ?, but I know that I have made through many a testing times only cause of his love which was without any end!
The amazing relationship that I have shared with my father has shaped the person that I am today. Dad, a decorated Army Officer, was every bit a disciplinarian, hard worker & a man of character! Incidentally, he literally ran away from home to join the Army at the age of 16. He comes from a business family and his parents would have been happy had he stayed on and helped them in family Business.
My father, a loving family man and the one thing that makes him stands out in my mind is his discipline for health, his and ours. He’s always been into sports… he represented Punjab in Junior Badminton Tournaments and played National level squash from 1964-70 too, when he was a Lieutenant in the Indian Army. My earliest memories with my dad are the ones where he’s taking me cycling and ones where I accompanied him to Badminton & Golf Tournaments. In fact, one of his Sunday rituals was doing Yoga including a 15 minutes head stand! From my father I have understood the importance of holistic health and the fact that good health helps you give your best to your family and work. Well, that’s the environment I have grown up in.
I became a father in the August of 2008. Fatherhood is exactly as they all say it is, very special and enjoyable indeed. It also brings about a surge of love, understanding and emotions of our parents. Both my wife and I realise that all we can do is make a conscious effort to help our son pick up healthy habits. Today, it’s very easy for our children to fall prey to unhealthy eating habits cause they have a lot of unhealthy choices available than we did a kids. And even more fragile than a child’s physical health is his or her mental health, and the unspoken anxiety, stress, and depression is on the rise amongst our children. As parents it naturally becomes our responsibility to bring up emotionally healthy children as symptoms of childhood emotional neglect can manifest itself into more complex problems as adults.
Kiyan, my 8 year old, runs, does yoga and tries to have an active a day and still enjoy some unhealthy eats once in a way too. He shares my love of the outdoors and sport, and we all as a family had a fabulously unique vacation when we participated in Atmantan’s Family Wellness Camp, a retreat for the whole family. I wish I can positively influence my son the way my father did and… one of these days I am going to share with my son that my love for him is without end.