Speaking Out

The one lesson I learnt from my dad

. 6 min read . Written by Vanshika Goenka
The one lesson I learnt from my dad

Australian poetess Pam Brown was not wrong when she said, ‘Dads are the most ordinary men turned by love into heroes, adventurers, story-tellers, and singers of songs’. While we are in no way calling dads perfect (that is a toxic tag as we pointed out on Mother’s Day), what pretty much made them so awesome was the sense of comfort and security they brought to our lives. We could set our minds to, and pretty much do anything because we knew if we ever fell or failed we’d have a strong set of arms waiting to pick us up again.

As we celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, we at Kool Kanya decided to take a walk down memory lane and list the one lesson that our dads taught us. Lessons that shaped who we are today.

Here are our teachings, and… thank you, dad.

“If I would have to describe my father I would compare him to a bamboo tree. Although slender, bamboo trees are strong. Similarly, my father is resilient. During his tumultuous journey as a businessman, he has always stood tall. I remember calling him up one day when his company was going through a crisis; newspapers were writing him off, people were bad-mouthing him and the stock prices were tanking. My father sounded pretty optimistic for someone going through, what most would characterise as a catastrophe. He said something which has stuck with me since: “We have survived storms in the past, this too we shall survive.” This taught me that no matter what is happening, no matter what people are saying if you focus on what you are doing and work hard you will be unstoppable. There will be ups and downs but if your roots are strong you can withstand anything.

Like a bamboo tree, my father bends but does not break. Like the foundation of a bamboo tree, he sways with the times but still, his value system is strong. His mind is malleable and he is always ready to move with the times. My father always stresses the importance of being innovative and thinking ahead, if we do not evolve with the times we will not last. I can always find him reading up one of the latest technology or attending trade shows. My father is rooted but still flexible.”

- Vanshika Goenka, Founder, Kool Kanya

“The biggest lesson I learned from my father is his planning and punctuality towards every task – going on his daily morning walk at sharp 5 A.M. without fail, taking us to school well before time, even reaching home on time almost every day at sharp 6 P.M. This extended to even planning yearly family trips months in advance. This particular quality has taught me proper time management which has enhanced my daily as well as long term productivity at work and even in personal life.”

- Sugandha Saigal, Kool Kanya

“My dad invested in Mutual Funds even before these became the buzz word. I am not sure that, on the salary of a college professor how did he manage to marry off my three elder sisters and pay for their education and mine too. After the death of my dad when I finally got a chance to look at his accounts, I found him saving small and making it big. I found his withdrawals done before my sister’s marriage, I found him increasing his SIP with every increase in his salary or bonus. It was an emotional moment for me to see a person so financially educated that he created a generation of educated self-sustaining individuals.

He was also one of the first engineers who worked on computers when it arrived in India and this fascinated me to the core. Slowly I learned from him and obviously got better than him.”

- Kumar Ravi, CTO, Kool Kanya

“I have known my father to be a politician ever since my understanding of the world. His idea of politics ran along with the unselfish principle of putting others before oneself, and that is what I learned from him. He also believed that his career aspirations would undeniably reflect on the family and therefore always stuck to his commitment to be morally sound. Persistence is a key trait that my father upheld throughout his career, thus contributing to my understanding of its need in life.”

- Dimum Pertin, Management Trainee, Kool Kanya

“Growing up, I used to find it tough to match pace with my father’s steps. I thought there would come a time when I would be as tall as him, take longer strides and not pant and huff behind him like I did, as a child. Little did I know that I could never match pace. At 65, his strides are still longer than mine and I have resigned to the fact that perhaps I could emulate a lot of what he taught me but never be able to become him. Something as simple as greeting every single person he meets on his walks from the cleaner on the street to the richest businessman in his bungalow, my dad’s affability knows no barriers – a quality I have imbibed from him. Once, a stranger asked him for a loan. He had been rejected by many but when he came to my father, he said, ‘I’ll help you if you promise to return this because if you don’t, then I will never be able to trust anyone else.’ The man never returned it although that didn’t stop my dad from helping others in the future. That quite sums him up. His jovial personality that produces a laugh-a-minute is infectious. Always larger than life for me, I thought he looked like the young Amitabh Bachchan borrowing not just his simmering anger but also his oft-used screen name -Vijay. It’s from him that I have learned to write from the heart, to perform to the gallery and to love everyone with my heart on my sleeve.

His favourite song is Sahir Ludhianvi’s ‘Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata
Chala Gaya…’ (I followed the path that life showed to me) and he follows
it to a T. ‘Har fikra ko dhuyen mein udaata chala gaya….’(I blew the
worries in a mist of smoke) – that’s something I am still trying to match
pace with”

- Roopal Kewalya, Content Head, Kool Kanya

“My younger brother was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. When he displayed a liking towards playing in the water, my father enrolled him in swimming classes. At the age of six, a time when my brother didn’t understand instructions properly and would merely splash around in the swimming pool, my father said he would become an international swimmer one day. He alone believes in this dream. Unaffected by the dismissal he received from many, my father trained my brother every single day for the last 7 years. My brother went on to win 3 bronze medals for India last year at an international competitive event for the intellectually disabled. My father’s patience and persistence in the face of all odds, serve as an inspiration for me.

- Shivani Kowadkar, Kool Kanya

“I remember as a child I used to be terrified of needles and each time I had to take an injection or get my blood tested meant hell for my family. On each of these visits, I vividly remember my father holding my hand, trying to show me things around the clinic and distract me while I let the nurses do their job. He always reasoned with me. That’s one thing I have learnt from him. You can face almost anything in life if you are willing to be patient, logical and kind. He’s taught me to look at things empathetically, and almost never respond in anger. While I fail miserably on both counts, him standing next to like a solid rock, always helping me figure out my problems with kindness and patience is something that I try to imitate the most.”

- Ainee Nizami, Content Strategist, Kool Kanya