Just like the Alpha male, there must be Alpha, Beta and Gamma Dads too! Rich and poor dads. Doting and strict dads. Present and Absent Dads. Tricks or Treat Dads…. A variety of them leaving an indelible impression on young minds which become memories once they are no longer there for some reason. A dad is a dad is a dad!
Here are a few recollections of real Dad stories i have heard people share with me!
- A South Indian, doting dad from Chennai used to catch the early morning flight to Delhi-taxi to Bits Pilani- get back to Delhi airport to catch the same-day evening return flight to Chennai – just so that his daughter could enjoy a home cooked lunch of her favorite dishes on some days. ( 1. cooked rice; 2. ladies’finger stir fried and cooked in tamarind gravy with special seasonings – called Vendekka-Vathakozhambu in Tamil; 3. curd rice with mor molaga – another Tamil special item of green chillies cured in seasoned sour curds and sun dried until there’s no moisture left and later stored in airtight containers as a preserve. It’s deep fried in oil making it one of the most sought after accompaniments to curd rice; and 4. Vadu Manga – baby mangoes pickled in a brine mixed with paste of red chillies, mustard seeds and asoefotida. All of which are top favorites of Tamilians all over the world). Crazy?! No. This Indulgent Dad seems proud he used to spend precious time with his daughter and feel happy to see her enjoy the hand delivered-home cooked food, so what if this dad had to travel a distance of 1770 x 2 in one day! No probs.
- A young boy of 8, scared of his strict dad, asks permission to watch the TV for ‘just’ 30 minutes which the dad grants on special occasions (which is unfortunately when dad is home)! But during those 30 minutes the boy watches the clock more than the TV show he’s so fond of! This Strict Dad is happy that he’s instilling discipline in his kid early on. Otherwise both are pals having fun times when they go out to eat at fancy restaurants! Shall we call him the Incentive Dad instead! Mmmmm..
- Dad who made it big from humble beginnings. This tired dad would come home from work and his dutiful school-going, teen son would rush to remove his dad’s shoes and socks off his tired feet. In the absence of the son, it would be his dutiful wife doing this. I have seen both the wife and the son do this. Man, what a dad. This dad said he used to do the same to his dad. Out of respect! This must certainly be the Respecting Dad, nay Respect-Expecting Dad. But he was a caring and good provider dad, otherwise.
- There was this dad who used to come once in a blue moon to be with family. But what a blue moon it was. That was Dad’s Day for his young children as he would come loaded with Cadbury’s chocolates, veg puffs and hot samosas and spend time with them. Every rare visit was party time and every party was Dad’s day and there were at least 7 or 8 Dad’s day in a year not just on the 3rd Sunday of every June. This must surely be a Treat Dad who Tricks his kids with goodies to make up for his long absences!
- And then there are these innumerable autorickshaw and taxi driver dads who toil and work extra hard just so that their children can go to good ‘English’ schools and don’t end up as illiterate drivers for life! Sacrificing Dads? Most dads are sacrificing some things in their own lives just so that they can give their children a decent future.