Very hard to describe what I saw in the subway today. She looked like any other 35 year old mom with her 3 year old son. Yet, something was very different about them. The two were lost in deep conversations with each other, totally oblivious to the world around them. She was very mom-like, yet spoke to her son like a 3 year old kid. The child was very happy, very cheerful, asked lots of questions and seemed to be enjoying his mom’s company thoroughly. Not just me, but everyone else in the compartment were looking at the two!
That reminded me of a story.
When you are 13 or 14 years old, you think that ‘nagging you’ is the sole purpose of your parents, isn’t it?
On one such day, years ago, I was getting ready for school and it was already late. I was wearing my socks carelessly (as usual):
Dad (exclaimed): अरे जरा लक्ष दे! Hey, pay some attention!
Me (irritated): काय झालं? What’s wrong? – (To myself: ‘He is so annoying.’)
Dad: मोजे उल्टे घालतोएस You are wearing your socks inside out. – (I looked. Indeed the stitches were on the outside.)
Me (dismissively): जाऊ दे ना, कोण बघतय! Oh forget it, no one’s gonna notice anyway!
Dad: कुणी कशाला बघितलं पाहिजे, तु स्वतः नाही बघणार का? Why bother about anyone else noticing, won’t YOU notice it yourself?
Translation obviously not strong enough.
At that time I must have dismissed it as yet another ‘dad-talk.’ But in no time I learnt the immense value of this statement. I learnt the importance of setting high self standards regardless of other people’s low expectations. Doing things not to impress others, but to impress myself. I can write a long essay on this, but hey that’s not the intent of this post. So, picking up the cue ‘focus on other people, not on yourself’ from Randy Pausch’s ‘Last Lecture’, I simply wanted to say:
“Happy Birthday Dad!”
wait, that’s not all,
“Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad :)”
Just in case you wondered who the awesomemost parents in the world were.