There’s this bank’s ad being aired on TV. The son is leaving home early morning the next day, and his dad is going over the check list over dinner the night before. He’s worried when his son says the flight is at 5 am the next morning. He’s worried that his son won’t make it to the airport in time. His son assures him that everything is gonna be fine and the dad reluctantly drops the case. Early next morning the son is standing on the street with not a soul awake around him, save his mom with a worried face. He sees a taxi and desperately waves at it. The taxi stops and his dad gets out. He just explains in broken words that he thought it’d be hard to find a taxi so early in the morning. The son is just grateful he has his dad by his side and thanks him.
I love that ad. Because it brings out fully the one person that lives in the shadows but is as important to us as the air we breathe. DAD. He’s the one person who’s supposed to be practical, tough, the one person children are expected to obey, no questions asked. Every time his voice becomes stern, his children find the solace of their mom’s hug. And yet all that man is thinking of is the welfare of his child. Dads are expected to teach the children to survive in the world, to be ready for the challenges that it throws at them, to be steel. But then steel has to survive a furnace before anything else. We don’t expect a dad to cry (even though dads are sometimes the most emotional person in the family), because when the chips are down and the world is falling apart, there is just one face in the world that is calm and focused on making things better. Looking at that face has a tremendous calming effect that even God cannot produce with his infinite miracles. But then again, a dad is nothing but God’s disguised miracle.
Literature has praised heaps on the virtues and the godliness of mothers ( and believe me, it’s still way off from describing what a mother means to us). But with my limited exposure and knowledge of literature, I fail to find substance that honours a father with the soft glow of a limelight, or just 15 seconds of centre stage and fame. People are scared of shadows, and hence to try to find out what lies in them. So a dad just keeps content doing what he does best.
In the movie ‘Men of Honour’, Cuba Gooding Jr.’s dad makes a wooden radio for him, when he’s leaving for the diving school. He scratches the acronym ‘ASNF’ on it. Later in the film, Cuba Gooding Jr.’s instructor, Robert De Niro, who’s very trying and discriminate, reads that acronym and scribbles its full meaning, ‘A Son Never Forgets.’
A son never forgets what his dad does for him, without ever being asked, or told. A son never forgets that his dad doesn’t expect anything in return, neither a dime, nor a hand to support him when finally his knees cannot. A son never forgets that there is a Superman in every home, and he’s called ‘dad’. A son never forgets that behind the stern mask of practicality, behind the deliberate stupid jokes that don’t make him laugh, behind the harsh stare and the unmoving eyes, is a heart and a mind devoted to just one cause – caring and protecting his family, even if that means taking on the whole world and massacring it.
A son never forgets that if a mom is the hand that rocks the cradle, then a dad is its hinge that creaks and sways, but never breaks.