A Tribute to my Dad and yours! Happy Father's Day!


Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful fathers out there!

Disclaimer - This is a long one!

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank my daddy and my uncle for being such wonderful father figures in my life. Ever since I can remember, I have been daddy's little girl. He has spoiled me and my little sister like no other. It is because of him that I am a shopaholic and a fashion lover. My favorite memory of us is when he used to come back from work every evening, when I was a kid, he'd take me to the mall and we would just walk around (and shop too). It was just Daddy/Shipra time, and it still is my favorite memory of my childhood. He has shown me what unconditional love is. I never realized it back when I was younger, but he has sacrificed everything for my sister, my mother and myself. I used to think he was the coolest dad because when my mom used to take us shopping to go get Father's day or birthday gifts for him, he would in return buy stuff for my sister and me. He would simply say, "Meri betiyon ki khushi main meri khushi hai. Bas yehi tohfa chahiye." In English, this translates to "My happiness lies solely in the happiness of my daughter. That is the only gift I need." I guess it's because I am not a parent yet; that is why I don't fully understand how someone can give up their everything just for the smile of someone else's.

There are three things that my daddy has done in his life that have made him my hero. Although there are so many things that he has done, these three things have stood out from them all. The first is that he gave my mom the education she wanted. In Indian culture, it is very common for a married couple into being pressured to have children right after marriage. My mom wanted to continue on studying after they got married, which was very uncommon in 1980s India. So, once my mom came here, my dad enrolled her into college and allowed for her to continue on her education. For her dreams and happiness, he shut down all the pressure that my mom faced to have a child. In the age where Indian couples had children 9 months after marriage, my dad fought all those societal pressures for the sake of my mom and allowed for six years to go by before they welcomed me into the world. Today (not to brag or anything) because of my dad, my mom works for one of the best pharmaceutical companies in the world. Her success is my dad's first victory. The love that my parents share is so precious, and I hope that one day I marry a man like my dad, who will treat his wife like a queen. 

The second thing that fills my heart up with respect for my dad is his endurance, strength, and optimism. Ever since I can remember until about 16 years of age, I lived a very privileged, spoiled life. (Don't worry I left my pretentious self in the past) I never had to ask twice for anything. Whatever daddy's little girl desired, she got. I very stupidly asked my dad to take us shopping to India for my sweet 16. He never said no. He threw in several thousands of dollars to make my sweet 16 everything I dreamed of. So, however pretentious this makes me seem, I really was blessed to get whatever I wanted. That did not last long. My family was betrayed by someone of our own kin, and we suffered a lot. I was young and very immature. I used to continue asking my parents for things, even when deep down I knew my parents couldn't afford it. But my dad worked so hard to give his family all the comforts they desired. When I used to curse the people who made my family suffer, my dad would simply tell me to never wish ill on others no matter how bad they are. He has always taught me that God watches everything and he will take care of those who have hurt us, and needless to say, God really did take care of my family. Through all the odds my family had to face, my dad remained forgiving, strong and resilient. 

The last thing that gives me so much honor to be my father's daughter is his respect for women and their dreams and aspirations. It was 2012, and the horrible, inhumane Dehli gang rape case occurred. It was a very heated topic not only among the Indian community but the whole world. Many people blamed that poor, sweet girl for being the cause of her own rape. It was absurd that people were saying that "she asked for it." To end  that absurdity and the claims of  how girls shouldn't have that much freedom because times are bad, my daddy simply just said that "my daughters are my princesses and deserve whatever they want. And instead of telling our daughters to not have freedom, why don't you teach your sons to be good people." It was so nice to have a dad that had such great views on women's rights. The day he said that I was overcome with pride to be his daughter. Everyone says they have the best dad in the world, and I will not argue that. But God has truly blessed me with a dad who I can say truly qualifies for being the best man in my life. 

(My uncle and I)

I also wanted to thank my wonderful Uncle for all that he has done for me and my family. His life has not been an easy one. He came to America when the Indian population was practically nonexistent and made a great life for himself and provided the opportunity for my family to do the same. If it was not for him, my dad would never be able to come to this wonderful country and give my family the wonderful life that we live today. Tauji (uncle in Hindi) you have taught me so much, and your support and blessings have guided me throughout my life. You have also taught me how we are the authors of our destiny, and that it is in our hands to create the life we want. Your hard work and accomplishments have truly inspired me to fight for the life I want. For everything you have done, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

Recently, my Tauji's best friend and a very close family friend of ours suddenly passed away in an unexpected, tragic accident. He was someone my family respected, admired, and loved very much. His sudden passing made me realize how short life really is. So, if you have a father or loved one that have brought even an ounce of happiness in your life, take the opportunity to thank them and tell them how much you love them. For those of you with great dads in your life, stop what you are doing and go tell them how much they mean to you. Not everyone is given the chance to experience the love of a father, so if you have, consider yourself lucky and blessed. Life is an oxymoron. It is a wonderful, short gift full of many great and not so great things. Hold on to those great memories and share all the love and happiness that you have with your loved ones. So, I hope on this Father's Day, you all took the opportunity to thank your dads for being your supporter, biggest fan, confidante, hero, protector, guide, teacher, friend, and for just being awesome. 

So, thank you Papa for giving me a life full of wonderful memories. Also, thank you for being so selfless, compassionate, resilient, supportive and my biggest fan. We may not have had everything, but you gave me all the happiness in the world. Tauji and Papa, I love you so much. You guys have made me who I am today. I hope that one day I am half the person you two are. It is such an honor and a blessing to be your daughter. And Mom, thank you for marrying such a wonderful man and letting him spoil your babies and shower them with unconditional love. 

To all the dads out there, thank you for all that you do. And to the dads who are not here anymore, your presence is missed. 

Much love to you all, 

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