We race with our dad. Me and S. Be it professional achievement or a brisk walk at the race course. He beats us in both. I love my dad. For the man he has been and still is. He hasn't received any great medals or been in the papers. But to him there is no joy greater than the love of his daughters. Nothing. He has taught me everything about dealing with the world outside. S and I have taught him how to be gentle. He is a man of discipline. Somebody I've grown up seeing wake up at five every morning day after day after day. He offers namaz five times. And yet he never imposed any religious practice on us. We were free to follow or not. We didn't. He did not and does not still ask us to follow him. Initially I didn't want to do it. Now I realise that one of the reasons behind his tremendous positive energy and compassion is the five times praying ritual.
Dad works very hard. He is fair. He won't keep a poor man's money. He treats his customers and employees with equal respect. I have seen him demonstrate that.
At 55+ he has managed to start a new professional career and is mashallah doing well. S and I are still dazed at the sheer speed and energy with which he runs his ship. At 55!!!!
Dad is amazing. In the years when he could not indulge himself in luxuries of expensive clothes or travel, We didn't hear him complain even once. Although he has seen such success is his previous career that it would have been difficult for any man. But dad has never been ungrateful to god. He truly is a creature that Allah himself must be fond of. The sheer spirit of the man who bows his head and accepts everything that comes along. A man who doesn't let money control him. A man who can be strong and soft at the same time. A man who brought up his daughters and taught them the skills they need in the real world outside.
To me he is the man who gave me his scooter and car to wreck. Who told me that you must travel by public transport and at one point of time I used to believe that I can't. He told me that never say no to the man who comes to you for help. I don't ever recall anybody ever going back without being helped. ever! He taught us unintelligible words that might as well have come out from a baby's mouth. All of them are expressions of love. He is the guy who send smiley faces in smses to his girls. He sends cute two word messages while we slave away at our offices and that one sms brightens up the entire day. He has come up with innumerable nick names for each of us in the family.
My dad loves to pamper himself. He actually loves himself almost as much as he loves us. And he treats himself very well. My dad knows how to stay happy. He doesn't drive the finest of cars but when he wears his smart new clothes and sits behind the steering of his old faithful Fiat, the way he beams, he could be sitting behind the wheel of a Merc!
What can you take away from a man who has given himself every joy.
He can laugh at the fact that he doesn't have to worry too much about a haircut (for obvious reasons!). He almost manages to listen without interrupting his daughters who sometimes lose their cool particularly in a disagreement.
He taught us that money isn't everything but being happy is. He taught us not to judge people by their bank accounts or the cars that they drive. He and mom have never ever been stingy when it comes to cooking for other people. They both like to cook !
He is uncomfortable around showoffs. But sometimes he Bragg's about the food that he cooks and when we tell him that or make of him, he laughs with us.
Sometimes he worries a bit too much but then he says you aren't in my shoes so you wouldn't know.
Dad - he can roar like a lion and coo like baby. Its unbelievable. We sometimes call him sharekhan and sometimes he is just papu ;)
And and S has got him wrapped around her little finger for the last 24 years. Although there are times when I think its the other way round.