Personal Development Mentor, Parenting Coach, Career Counselor, Ethical Guide

Father's Love Is Tough

Father's Love Is Tough

The other day I was teasing my wife about my 85 years old mother-in-law and asked her, “how did you cope with your mom in your younger days before marriage?” She answered back in the same light hearted banter ” the same way you coped with your father “

Now, I, the youngest of eight children had had generational gap with my police officer father. He had been disapproving of my teenage tantrums and college time shenanigans and was always a rigid, tough and no nonsense disciplinarian. It is a well known fact within family that I resented his strict control because he did not let me follow some of my choices of study, play and career path. I always fantasised about that someday, some other family will come and claim me as their long lost son. That was the easiest way in which I will be rid of the stiffling constraints of discipline and long list of things/action considered taboo.
Time changed my feelings for my father somewhat when my first son was born and by then my father was already 72 years old ! However, I only became affectionate and caring towards him, without condoning him of the harsh control I faced all along. We had more conducive 30 years together (I am thankful to God for that!) till he passed away at the age of 102 years in 2016. God Bless his soul!

Coming back to parental banter with my wife. To counter her barb from a position of strength, I casually said,
“No, no my father was very caring, protective and deeply concerned about me” And this spontaneous and casual reply, naturally coming from my sub-concious mind, stopped me in my tracks!

You know I never thought of my father as a loving parent; I considered him a harsh critic of all my actions with his “My Way or the High Way ” kind of attitude. But at this particular moment suddenly it became clear to me that whatever he tried to do to channelise my life in a particular direction, it was with a view to make me a better human being and a successful professional which he knew would ensure a happy, healthy and prosperous life for me and subsequently for my wife and children.
As for himself he was equally, if not more, hard on himself. Never went beyond law, never did any kind of corruption, availed no short cuts and displayed only righteous conduct which threw him from place to place on short postings. So he moulded us in his own way, always caring for us and longing to give us a bright future.

Today the last shade of my misunderstanding of my no-nonsense father fell from my eyes! With a sincere heart I prayed and thanked God that I was born a son of Sh. Jivraj Mehta. I am glad I could make him really really proud of me by achieving for him the glory he always wanted for me. This realisation dawned on me like a thunderbolt from above and involved some tears as well. There was definitely a little feeling of sadness but much more of gratitude!

I do not think it as coincidence that my father breathed his last in 6th June 2016 after having pipped me as a Major General barely 48 hours earlier! I am ever grateful for this opportunity to make him feel at the very end of his life that his approach was correct and that it was so worth it!

And when he would have gone to God, I am sure, he would have reported that he did his BEST within the given resources!
And I am sure the God, the loving God that He is, would have told him, “My dear son Jivraj, your best in good enough! You have done very well in your earthly duties. Now rest permanently at my feet.”

Now I realise why they say that a father’s love in tough!

My sincere advise to my friends and followers will be to please make efforts to see through the tough exterior and notice the tender love which beats for you in the heart of your father. Love your father back and let him know that you love and respect him and value him! Do that today and do it every living moment of rest of his life because your father will not be there with you forever! Hurry up and make amends if you have faltered. Your good example will itself automatically be set for your children to follow in life!

About the Author : Major General Balraj Mehta

Maj Gen Balraj Mehta believes there are no problems – only opportunities!
He is a veteran of Indian Army with 35 years of dealing with men – ranging from young recruits to grizzly old soldiers. Father of two handsome boys and a loving husband and married for over three decades. He has extensive knowledge of human nature, relationship and camaraderie . He has been conditioned by formal training and observation to deliver tangible, targeted and top line solutions to all kinds of parenting and career opportunities.