My Father is a very emotional man. He's also a hard taskmaster, and tends to get very impatient when a task is not done the way he wants it done, and within his preferred time-frame. If he's pissed, everyone gets to know, because he makes his displeasure known very expressly. There is another aspect to his personality, he loves his family. However, like most 'Indian Dads', he is not very expressive when it comes to showing love and caring.
Since childhood, my dad has always made sure that we had a disciplined upbringing. As kids, me and my two siblings were always told to follow a disciplined lifestyle. A very important rule was that money had to be valued, and that wasteful expenditure would not be acceptable. We never got things easily as kids. If we ever had a an item on our wishlist, whether it was something we wanted for our birthday or otherwise - clothes, shoes, toys, books, go to a movie, etc. - it would always have to be something our parents approved of. Also, even after getting approvals, we always had to earn them through good conduct or by doing a good job - whether in terms of chores or tasks or in our studies.
I have never been someone who has too many expectations. I find it difficult to ask for things, and it is hard for me to say no. Even when asked if i wanted something, I would feel shy to ask. My dad's strict persona also made me hesitate to ask for things. As a result, I hardly had too many fancy belongings while growing up. There were many times that I would see my peers - classmates, friends...and even siblings - flaunt their stuff, while I would have nothing. I would sit quiet about it, but deep inside I would actually indulge in self-pity and disappointment on what I didn't have.
But as I grew up and started working, I slowly realized that I somehow had a trait that not many friends of mine could claim as their strong points. I realized that I had not picked up habits that were expensive and that would burn a hole in my pocket. I had somehow developed an ability to save a significant portion of my earnings, nevermind what my salary was, while my friends seemed to struggle like crazy while trying to finance their lifestyles. Initially I would wonder what I was doing differently. Eventually it dawned upon me that it was the value system that demanded that I be cautious with my spendings and save more that held me in good stead, and continues to keep me secure even today. The best part is that I don't even have to look stingy, because I have my share of fun and leisure, albeit in moderation.
I can only thank my parents for this, especially my dad. I am glad that he did not raise us to become spoilt irresponsible brats. I wish I can teach half the lessons he taught me to my son.
He truly has taught me to live life 'Apne Dam Par'.
Sometimes it takes a little motivation, a little inspiration and a little support to live life on your own terms.
Watch the video embedded below to see how HDFC Life supported a father in helping his daughter get to her feet, literally.
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