Fathers – Another endangered Species!

9 July 2014 11:30 am 1 By Christopher Edirisinghe

Hope my caption did not upset anyone. We had tremendous respect for our fathers and of course we also had a fear. They were our primary disciplinarians and their word was law.

My Father passed away couple of years back after an illness that confined him to his bed for almost a year. It was difficult to see him in that state, a very active man,who was fond of walking and using a bicycle to go on small trips. He was our sole bread winner and enjoyed working,earning a livelihood for the family. Most of us who have lost fathers will have fond memories. Though this article is coming in a magazine meant for the ladies, I am told that it is widely read by men also. Thank God! So men know what women are reading! Don’t feel offended, it’s only a joke. Some of us, who are fathers ourselves, must sometimes wonder what our status in life is. In the family when our children are born, we automatically become fathers and with this role, of responsibilities follow. Remember the vows of marriage…’…in sickness and in good health…till death do us part’. It is always good to keep these in mind and be always focused. As bachelors we have time for ourselves. We decide lot of things on our own. What to wear, where to go, who our friends should be, and even what jobs we should get involved etc etc. After marriage we cannot decide lot of things ourselves. Wife has to be consulted and lot of things is being done in consultation and in agreement. When we become fathers more responsibilities are added up. When children start growing their needs have to be met. Each child is different, their moods vary and their tastes and interests…! God help you. When one wants to go and see Spiderman the other will want to stay at home and watch Chennai Express on TV and the third one will want to watch the T20 Final! How many fathers have to visit more than one Supermarket or Fashion House each day? I am not sure whether you have more chores to attend to when you have a bigger mix of sons and daughters. As long as they are in school, it’s OK. But when it’s over, your direct responsibility starts. I think a father’s time is never entirely his. It comes with his package as father. Some fathers are lucky, no one in the family bothers about them as long as they are around. I feel fathers should take an active part in running the house to some extent, not just being the bread winner sort of. I know of a gentleman, a friend of mine with whom I worked, who has the ‘luxury’ of being chased out of his wife’s kitchen. He is not to enter the kitchen, help in cooking or worry about what is happening in the kitchen. His wife cooks and all three meals at that, all by herself. It always reminded me of my father who had that luxury. He was a very good cook as far as I know, but never helped in the kitchen. I do not know whether some of you had seen what is written at the rear of some three wheelers, i.e., ‘Amma Raththaran Thaththa Piththalada ?’. It’s humour alright but conveys a good message. The role of the father is somewhat forgotten in certain quarters, unfortunately. It is important to realize that all men are not the same. Just because we have come across a few gentlemen who are not doing their duty by the family, we must not forget that the vast majority of fathers are very fond of the family and go to the very extreme to protect, upkeep and help in all matters related to family life. A father’s job is not merely the job of the breadwinner. Some are full time family drivers, not to mention dishwashers, kitchen helpers, errand boys, gardeners and jacks of all trades! Most of them do all this without much fuss or fanfare. With the hectic life that we lead today we are called up to help in all spheres of activity at home. Especially when the children are small a father’s helping hand is a must to run the day to day chores. With time the role of the father can be taken for granted and his importance may lose that shine with the children growing up. It’s good to remember all fathers on the Fathers’ Day, so that despite their human weaknesses, we can show them our appreciation for all the good work done by them, before they are forgotten.

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