This is a crowded city. People come pouring out of everywhere – from nooks and crannies, one wouldn’t even imagine it was possible to navigate. There is a two way traffic everywhere you look. Both sides of all the streets are lined with shops – make shift type. People being driven in fancy cars and people driving on bicycles – both stop to make their purchases.
Amongst the milieu of people of all ages – there is a middle aged man. He is dressed immaculately, but nothing fancy – a crisp white shirt with black stripped trousers. That’s the official dress code of a lawyer in the apex court of the state capital. He looks like he is used to consistently working hard to get what he wants – harsh beating down sun, long queue and constant haggling doesn’t unfaze him. He wears rimless glasses and stares hard at the shopkeeper, without squinting or blinking. He doesn’t have to talk much to get a reasonable rate for the groceries he is picking. His face has very fine lines around his eyes, his hair shows signs of thinning and has a barely there paunch. A well maintained physical and cosmetic health for his age – his diet and well being has been looked after. He turns around when he is done and starts making his way back to where his vehicle is parked without wincing, shouting or elbowing anybody – polite and enduring.
The man is 52 and is father of two adult kids. His wife has been handling the marriage, home, finances as well as taking care of the in-laws and kids since the early age of 24. It was difficult at first but now things have settled down quite a bit. They have enough and just a bit more.
The man is my father. Even if I would have met him just today – I would have immense respect for him. He has a no-nonsense attitude but is courteous, straight forward but polite, tenacious – never shied away from struggle or hard work and is always thirsty for knowledge. His ability to strike conversations at random and make us all laugh is amazing. He became more a friend and a guide as my brother and I turned the corner to being adults.
He gets frustrated and impatient – oh yea, and we wouldn’t want to catch him on any of those days. But he is passionate, forgiving and understanding. He is my father.