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When was the last time you thanked your father? Not for something material he bought you–for just being there as a silent but the strongest support you’ve had all your life. Now that we’re stepping in the world outside, we all know how difficult it is to go through the day and come back smiling, let alone being patient and charged enough to deal with kids! And let’s not even mention parting with our salary on the payday itself, being the last person to have any right on it. Being all grownup makes us value our dads that much more, and makes us realise just how much they did for us.

Surely only superheroes can have such energy and magnanimity. Only they can be a phone call away when you’re in trouble! And thankfully our superheroes don’t wear weird costumes. This Father’s Day we pay a tribute to them as our readers recall their fondest memories of dad.

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“My partner in crime”

Sneha Ahuja, 22, remembers the time she first tasted pork and buff at a friend’s birthday party in a Tibetan restaurant. Coming back home, when she broke this to her parents, her mom became really furious while her dad, who is pretty religious and orthodox, chose to stay quiet. “He sat smiling through the entire scene where my mom kept scolding me, asking me not to ever mention the blasphemy to anyone. And being the typical mother she is, she stretched it to the point of marriage!”

“When I asked dad why he didn’t have anything to say, he said that he doesn’t have the right to object because he had done the same thing as a kid! It was a great relief to know that even though he’s particular about following all the religious rituals and rules himself, he’s never going to impose them on us.”

“Because daddy knows best”

Anit Soni, 28, is grateful to have a father who gave them the right tools to hone their life skills, rather than dictating them through it. “My father has never been a disciplinarian. He never gave us a list of Dos and Don’ts or scolded us for our mistakes, rather he helped us focus on figuring out ways to rectify them. By doing something as basic as not forcing us to ever study or sleep at a particular time of the day, he let us figure out on our own when and how we’d like to do our work, so that it’s completed in time. He’d be awake with us till late night but would also wake us up in time for school. We could sleep the whole day before an exam, if we were confident enough of our preparation. The end result is that me and my brother turned out to be confident, strong individuals, who have the courage to follow their convictions and are never afraid of the odds because dad taught us that we can always figure our way out.”

“Always on my side”

Noma Nazish, 24, shares how her dad would come to her rescue every time there was a kitchen fiasco between her and her mom. “I used to hate cooking until a few years back. But mom always emphasised that cooking is a life skill and everyone should learn how to cook, no matter who you are..young or old, guy or girl. It became a bone of contention as I made zero efforts to learn anything in the kitchen. When forced to cook, I would simply end up with horrible ‘food’ that even I couldn’t recognise after making!”

“But just to save me, dad would not just eat everything from half cooked dal to overcooked, soggy rice and burnt rotis but also showered compliments on how great I was at everything I do. It still warms my heart whenever I think about all those years he ate that horrible food without flinching even once.”

“Dad’s got my back”

Ankit Karati, 25, recalls how he got into a mess that no one excepted his dad to get him out of. “It was when I was going through a breakup. I was hardly 21-22, so for me getting out of a relationship was no big deal. But unfortunately it wasn’t the same for the girl. While I wanted to move on and focus on studies, she was the only child from a rich conservative family, who were all ready to marry her off at 21! What followed was an ugly cycle of emotional blackmailing from her and even her parents.”

“I obviously freaked out and asked dad for help. What he did is something I didn’t imagine in my wildest dreams! He asked me to face the situation with maturity, took me to the girl’s place (which was one helluva drive), spoke to her parents and politely asked them to leave me alone and look after their daughter instead. And till date my mom has no clue this happened!”

“He gave me wings to fly”

For Deepika Jayara, 23, the best memories with her father have always been made during their travels together. “Both of us share a common love for traveling, exploring the exotic and lesser known places. He always encourages me to follow my own path and not to be influenced by the odds that come in my way. He is always there to hold me whenever I end up with a problematic situation. My father is the best travel buddy I can have. Looking forward to many more years of travelling together, I would like to wish him a Happy Father’s day.”

“Getting the tough going”

Smriti Sheth, 30-year-old writer shares, “My father has always been a believer of tough love. He was never strict to me as a child, he never ‘scolded’ my sister and I, but at the same time, he didn’t let us have it easy just because we’re girls. Whenever we travelled he asked us to carry our own luggage, always take the local transport even with heavy bags in our hands (no cabs, no special treatment), always stay at budget hotels even when we could afford luxury hotels. Last year, at 29, I set off on a solo trip to Quebec and Montreal and I must say, I was confident and unafraid because that’s what I was taught to be! I’m thankful for my dad.”

As the poet Pam Brown wrote, “Dads are most ordinary men turned by love into heroes, adventurers, story-tellers, and singers of song.”

This Father’s Day, make sure you let your dad know he’s your first and the favourite superhero. Share your favourite moments with your father in the comments below.

Image Credit: Nikhil Mudaliar

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