Father

On a rain-washed night,

Children laid down to sleep,

Pulling blankets over their heads;

Hoping to hide their fears behind

About the stories of rainy nights,

Thunder storms and scary dark elements;

That’s when lightning struck in its mighty power;

Killing the imagined silhouette of shadowy figure,

Oh! “father you are home.”

Copyright © 2017, Deeya Nayar-Nambiar

Father

fathers day

My name, ‘Deeya’, has always fascinated me. Etymologically, the word has its roots in various languages. But my father named me ‘Deeya’, inspired by the Hindi word ‘Diya’, which means ‘lamp’.

I grew up listening to my school teachers, fondly, referring to me as the ‘lamp of the family’; and I travelled with my family where ever my father’s transfers took us, changing schools and accommodating cultures and traditions.

Once on a long vacation, we happened to be in our family home in Kerala, and my father showed me his world of books and writings. There I came face to face with ‘Deeya’, my father’s pseudonym.

A surprise indeed! My father had never mentioned his joy of writing, except that he enjoyed reading my creative ventures. To help me improve my writing skills, he encouraged reading, bought books, gifted diaries, and advised me to make them my best friends.

Occasionally, he would enquire about my latest diary entry, and I used to read it out to him very reluctantly. Then it had mattered less to me. Gradually, I found myself sharing every single write up and poem I penned; and he was more than happy to view his opinions and mend.

In fact, my first book of poetry materialised due to his quiet work of passing on the poems to the publisher.

Years have passed by. Nothing seems to have changed. Even today we spend hours over the phone (distances hardly matter!), especially on holidays, discussing news, views, and his critical observation of my writings.

Need to mention, he hopes to see me read and understand the depths of Malayalam literature. To begin with, recently he gifted me an English translation of the great legends of Kerala.

Over a period of time, my relationship with my father has matured from a father-daughter one to a guru-shishya (teacher-student) level of understanding. A teacher, who understands, guides and accepts the student as she is.

I often wonder if I have idealised him. However, I am still learning from his philosophy of life. And I have realised that I am truly his “Deeya”. On this Father’s Day, I salute you, my dear acchan (Father in Malayalam).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Father, My Father

“I love my daddy. My dad is the best,” you say proudly and so is the story of dads, the world around. Dad, papa, father, no matter how you address him even in your mother tongue, he is the guiding force in a healthy family. The Father’s Day is far gone, but the cards and news stories keep the day alive, and the reasons for me to write.

Thanks to Sonora Smart-Dodd, we have an exclusive day – the third Sunday in June – to honour not only our fathers but also those who are our father figures.
Though legend says that a Babylonian youth named Elmesu carved the first known Father’s Day card in clay with a special message that wished his father good health and a long life, it was Sonora’s efforts that bore fruit.

Sonora’s father William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran and widower raised his six children single-handedly. For Sonora, it was hero worship. On Mother’s Day, in 1909, when she was listening to the sermons at the church, she got the idea to have a Father’s Day observation.

The following year Sonora convinced the local churches and celebrated Father’s Day honouring her father on his birthday. She also encouraged the concept of roses – a red rose was worn for fathers who were still living and a white rose to honour the dead.

With time, Father’s Day has been much commercialised and you have an option to choose from a variety of cards and gifts. Interestingly, a National survey (US) shows the evolution of the Father’s Day gift, from Old Spice and leisure suits to DVDs and plasma TVs.

Her interest and efforts paid off well, as the then US President proclaimed it a law; and President Richard Nixon in 1972 established a permanent national observance of Father’s Day on the third Sunday of June. Today Father’s Day is a universal concept and celebrated across countries.