Now, as I see the past, I must have been a pathetic son to my father. Now, that I have a son, I feel I, myself, could have done a better job as a son. Every time I look at my son and my chest is filled with warmth, love, pride and fondness, I realise that this is how my father must have felt every time he looked at me. Now when I see my son grow, I realise that my father, too, must have been faced with the dilemma of the better son.
I want my son to have the best things in life. I don’t mean material things. I mean I want him to have the best physical, mental and spiritual equipment to face life and deal with it. For achieving this, I am willing to stretch myself to any extent. I see to it that he goes to the best of schools, has an environment conducive to his growth and has the love of his parents behind him at all times.
But that is not enough; I want my son to be better than me. Better in all respects! It’s strange; I never wanted that about anybody else. I am not a bad soul. I have never wished ill of anybody. But never have I so explicitly felt that somebody should be better than me. I feel this, and very strongly, for my son. ? I never learnt swimming and I want him to learn it; I never took care of my physique and I want him to be physically fit at all times. I want him to start learning music at an earlier age and be more sincere than I ever was.
So, I dream about my son being better than me… and lo! The picture scares me! If he’s a better student than I was – would he lose respect for me? So if he has to be the better son, I have to be the better Father! And so, somewhat of a late start, but I am trying to be a better person than I have been.
Now, I look at my son and realise how much his mere presence has taught me. For one, he taught me the proverb that I had never understood as a child. The Child is Father of the Man.
© Kaushal S. Inamdar, 2005