A bit about my Dad

A bit about my Dad

Surekha Garde

In life, I believe that everyone is affected by different individuals or situations that will forever hold significance in their lives. From my virtues to flaws, there is a specific person in my life that should be credited for the overall woman that I have become over time. Since birth, my father has had the greatest influence on my life decisions because I analyse the hardships and sacrifices that he has gone through in order for me to have a better life than him. The hard and valuable lessons he has taught me have given me the power to conquer anything standing in my way.

In school, every kid had a superhero. The superhero I had in my mind was worked long hours to provide shelter for our family – of my mother, three sisters and a brother. He had great determination, used his powers to good deed, and tutored me on the value of education, family, hard-work, and discipline. “A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength in his heart.” In any situation I have found myself in, using my father and his strengths as a blueprint has helped structure me into the person I am today.
Superheroes’ go through many obstacles when they’re trying to figure out who they truly are and how they’re going to affect their surroundings. In many situations they often have two different personalities

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When I was in Primary School, my school teacher would normally use coloured checks, along with additional comments to coordinate with our behaviour for the day. Green was superior, yellow was satisfactory, orange was poor, and red was atrocious.
“If you don’t come home with a green check, you’re going to get a whooping when you get out of class!”
When I was released from school one day, I knew that my life was coming to an end because of the orange check I received. I started to bethink on all of the stuff I had done previously.

My father asked to see my folder (where the discipline checks were kept).
“Hmm..Orange check – couldn’t pay attention in class today.”
“Mane (I was called by this pet name), how come you couldn’t pay attention today?”
I guess what they say about the eyes being windows to the soul is true. When he looked at me I could see flames being commenced inside his pupils. The look I gave him back was like a deer in front of headlights at night. Speechless, I couldn’t think of anything to say for my mischievous behaviour. After every whooping I always received a speech or lesson. Many of the times it was about what I did wrong, and why I shouldn’t do it for future occasions.

Discipline came to me very early from my father.

I was born in Thane, a Mumbai suburb

Later, my family moved to Wadala, closer to South Mumbai and settled in there. My father was working for Mumbai Port Trust (MPT), formally known as Bombay Port Trust (BPT). The school that I was enrolled in was close to our staff quarters in Wadala. But we had to always cross the railway tracks of harbour line as we used to stay at Wadala East and the school was on the West side. Many a times my mother used to come with me to drop me to school along with other friends of mine. When I began schooling there I was referred to as a very smart kid by my classmates. I was good at studies and I used to like drawing a lot.

If I wouldn’t have been a Teacher, I would definitely be a Fine Arts Graduate as I had already secured a place at J.J School of Arts. But I finally opted to pursue D.Ed and became a Teacher. My close relationship with my father helped me greatly in expanding my view of the world and myself. It was there I believe that my mind was first opened up to see things from a different perspective. I still cherish those times my father spent with me teaching me and helping me in my studies. He used to work in shifts as a Shift Supervisor at BPT. He was very disciplined and punctual. Many a times he had caught workers playing cards during duty hours at night. My father used to take action against them by either giving an absent mark or a half day mark. Due to his strict nature he was not so liked by the workers, I had overheard.

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He used to bring imported cheese and chocolates gifted to him by Ship Captains who were very good friends of him. Many a times, I still remember going for parties with him at Five Star Hotels in South Mumbai, after he became a Manager at BPT.

I was not the only child to my parents but still I was pampered a lot by my father. My every wish was happily fulfilled by him. But all this made me very cautious while spending my pocket money. Though sometimes I used to spent all my pocket money and ask for more which was happily given.

If someone asked me to use two words to describe the path I have lead in my life till now, I would have to say it has been one of hardship and perseverance. I have never been naïve; I realise that growing up in this day and age is difficult for anyone. But I have never shied away from any challenge that has been put before. Rather, I welcome it; I always strive to be better than what I am, to understand those around me and myself.

In many ways I have succeeded.

It’s all because of my father that I am here today.

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About The Author: Surekha Garde

With a Masters’ Degree in History along with Bachelors’ Degree in Commerce, Psychology and Education, I am a full time Teacher and Supervisor at a Private School in Mumbai.

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