My Dad is a romantic. Or he was one. Or so I thought. Now a days he is a wee bit disgruntled with the state of affairs in India.
Dad was a cop at a time when it was very corrupt. I say this in the past tense because I think it is getting better. The lesson that I hold dearest to my heart is when he took me into the home of a Muslim man in Khadia (the heart of the city in Ahmedabad, where riots got fuelled). He went to the heart of the matter. Got to know his constituents. And he was known for being able to stop communal violence.
He was also outspoken. And arrogant. Born to a rich family, his father who was a judge in Kapurthala sired him when he was 64 and died when Dad was very young. He became a cop because his mum wanted him to. I suppose he felt that he could choose. Though he never did!! He continued in the force and found creative outlets for his energy when he got sidelined for promotions.
In the Reserve Police in Godhra and in Saijpur (Ahmedabad), he rallied the troops and got them involved in creative activities…. I remember the “mobile” fountain and police band that started getting commissioned for weddings. Outdoor theatre for the jawans, a co-operative society that would have people cooking delicious snacks for sale in the community.
He has touched many lives. He is retired now and has stopped coming to visit me in Australia because he claims he cannot travel anymore. Injuries from his days controlling violence …. that is the stuff that matters. But I still want my Dad 🙂
Today, he dispenses medicine to the women who come to our home to clean and cook. The woman who cleans the home for my parent’s neighbour is married to an abusive alcoholic. She came running up to mum to enlist her help. My mum was down in an instance chasing the hubby away.
I wonder why people in the neighbourhood reach out to my parents for help with tackling the difficult issues. I am grateful to them. And I am grateful to be part of this family that has defined who I am, how I view life and what I make of it. Most importantly, I have learnt to chase my dreams, however impossible. It is the cost of being arrogant. And also hungry and foolish 🙂