Today - I remember my Dad, because today is his birthday. Had he been amongst us, he would have been 86 years old.
My father was a man with a very humble background, but who lived his life with dignity, performing his worldly duties in a way many others perhaps couldn't. He took good care of his family - his own needs and wants were always secondary. He brought up his children by ensuring that they got good education and by inculcating the right values among them.
My Father enjoyed reading, writing, and was passionate about Indian classical music. If there's one mental image that will be forever etched in my mind, it is that of my father lying awake in bed till the wee hours, with a transistor radio and earphones, listening to the late night Indian classical music recital on Delhi 'A' of All India Radio. Once when there was a classical music concert of Hair Prasad Chaurasia and Ustaad Zakir Husain, in my own College - St. Stephen's he travelled all the way from RK Puram to the University by a DTC Bus, because he wouldn't like to drive at night, and stayed on till midnight, only to return home the same way - by bus !
He was a deeply religious person - the last few years of his life were devoted to the worship of God. He read about God, wrote about God, and thought about God pretty much all the time. But even before he focused on religion, he was and extremely calm and cool, at peace with everything and everyone in this World. Even in the last few moments of his life, he suffered pain through a quiet dignity, till he left his World to be with his Maker...
My Father's life was and continues to be a source of inspiration for me. That's not unique. But what is remarkable, is that he managed to touch the lives of so many people that came to know him. For many of them, knowing my Dad was both an honor and a privilege.
It certainly was an honor and a matter of great privilege for me, to have known him that way only I did, as my Father.