They say girls end up falling in love with people who are just like their dads. I saw the truth of that today.
We were all gathered at Nupur’s house to usher in her birthday and Rahul snicked someone else’s car while parking. There wasn’t anyone around, but Rahul being Rahul, he left his number and card with the security people so the owner could contact him when he found out. A short while later, the owners did call and then started a ridiculous charade of mistrust and misunderstandings, in which someone in the owner’s family refused to trust Rahul’s offer of paying for the damage. Words flew back and forth, Rahul and other friends trooped in and out of a party that was already kind of pooped! Eventually, the couple that owned the car did resolve the issue amicably enough, managing to trust Rahul and take his offer in good spirit.
The discussion afterwards was about the pointlessness of doing the right thing, how people who are good always end up being suspected, how things have changed and good gestures aren’t appreciated any more, etc. And I sat there and thought about how my dad would have done exactly the same thing. Many times in his life, he was considered a tad naive, stupid even, to do things the proper way. But he stuck to his beliefs, even when he lost money or credibility for it. His unwavering principles earned him plenty of respect throughout his life and even today, a decade after he has left us, I meet people who talk to me about how he touched their lives.
He certainly touched mine, not just in the regular ways a father influences a daughter. He treated me like an adult from an early age, trusting me even in situations (like in my slightly crazy teen years) where other well wishers urged him to reign me in. Most of all, he taught me to enjoy appreciation, but not be solely motivated by the approval of others. I find that hard to follow even today and get discouraged by criticism, but he taught me to follow the path I truly believed it, regardless of whether others agreed or not.
It strikes me today how alike he and Rahul are, in always giving me space and respecting my decisions, encouraging me to do what I want, giving me completely unbiased advice even when they know I am dying for kind (but untrue) words! Now I know what daddy meant when, on his death bed, he told me that he wasn’t really worried for me….at the time, I felt slightly hurt but also proud of his trust in my ability to take his passing in my stride. Now I believe he also knew I was being left in very capable hands!