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My dad, or Baba as I call him, has been and continues to be an inspiration. What he has taught me over 22 years, are the pillars of guidance and strength which I look upto both in rapture and despair.
The relationship I had with my dad, was not a very conventional one, at least I would think so. For starters I am very much like him, impatient and perennially in a hurry! So as you would imagine, we had our fair share of arguments, but the part I liked the best was, every argument could be settled with a ‘Sorry’ and a tight hug within the span of an hour if not sooner, and voila.. just like that we were friends again. This is one of the most important things I picked up from my dad very early on in life. If he, my dad, my hero, could apologise to me then I should never consider myself beyond an apology, and if I’m at fault I’m always ready to.

 Some of the other cherished memories are of going with him of Cubbon Park and Vidhana Saudha every Sunday, of going to kaka near National College for pineapple and bhelpuri. We sure did have a lot of fun.

The one passion my dad and I share is Sports. My dad was a very good sportsman; he dabbled in everything from tennis to hockey, football, table tennis etc. in his younger days, even going on to captain the Vijaya College crickets team (something he was very proud of)!  And so as I grew up, in a family of sports lovers, I too got drawn towards sports! So be it cricket or football or Formula 1 my dad and I would catch it, either live at the stadium or on the TV. If it was  a cricket match, our house would be packed with friends and relatives; shouting, screaming or praying, but having a great time nevertheless. And then there would be other times, we’d stay up through the night to catch a football match happening on the other side of the globe, and yeah, if I were supporting Manchester United he was sure to support the opponent, whoever be it! Even at school he encouraged me to take part in all the sports, and even though I never won as many medals at it as he did, he was definitely proud!

The last one and a half year, has been a very tough period for us as a family. With my dad’s health fluctuating, and with the numerous trips we’ve had to make to and from the hospital, it took a toll on all of us. We had our moments of disagreement, frustration and sheer disillusionment, yet his spirit, positivity and zest through it all was heartening. Each day, he would put in his best during physiotherapy, surround himself with people, and even on his last day, he promised my mother he would get back on his feet within ten days! And this coming from someone who endured  5+ surgeries and some incredibly bad luck during an 8 month period! And despite barely being able to walk, he was on top of his job, working from home for a significant part of this period!

Work and in particular TITAN, was the most important thing in my dad’s life, apart from family, and consequently TITANians have come to become an extension of our family. I wouldn’t call my dad a workaholic, because he was doing something he loved. Work was his passion, and so he always yearned to give more, or as is TITAN’s motto, ‘to be more’! And so the work he did, the relationships he built at work came to define him as a person. His commitment, integrity and genuine effort to put in his best for the company are a few of his traits I hope I can inculcate.

His energy and enthusiasm is perhaps something else people will remember him by, he was a ‘loud’ person with a booming voice, quite intimidating perhaps to people who didn’t know him that well. You never wanted to be the one to cross him ,yet I know him as a very gentle and kind human being. He genuinely loved and cared about people around him, and he loved having lots of people around. It would be fair to say, that he was the life of a party! And as for his friends, he always stayed close to his childhood friends in Shankarpuram, he cherished them and the memories and times he spent with them.
The bonds he formed through life teach me some of the more practical of life’s lessons.
My dad was never an overpowering figure in my life. He always stood there ready with guidance, yet he let me make my own mistakes; he would set down some ‘absolutes’, but the rest was for me to experiment and learn in life. He always gave me the freedom to choose for myself, but the earliest values my parents taught me are I suppose, the reigns that guide me. And so, I wouldn’t say he was my friend, but he most surely was a friendly parent.

Moreover, his words, that whatever you choose to do in life, if you do it whole heartedly, and put in your effort, nothing can ever stop you from reaching your goals. And this he taught me by example.

I am extremely proud of who my dad is, the way he lead his life, and I hope I can one day be both the daughter and the doctor he is very proud of!

Today, despite it being extremely sad without him, I do not mourn, for he always wanted the people he loved to be happy. I truly believe that he has moved onto a better place, yet I know he’s always holding us in a protective and loving embrace.
And as he sits there in his special place amongst the stars, watching us, all I want to say is “I love you Baba, and I always will, really really”.

To honestly put into words all that I feel about my dad, is next to impossible, and I’ll always feel that something is amiss, but for now, I ‘ve put in my best!


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