He was the elder of two sons of a poor widow. He grew up by hard work and sincerity, but all the time remembering the humbleness of his childhood. Through constant efforts and self-discipline, he cultivated his own methods of life and maintained to the end. He attained proficiency in English, the written and spoken versions. That’s my dad who served his entire career in the Indian Air Force and played his part in the Second World War. His stay at home lasted for short periods as he worked in distant places of the military base that required his service round the year. Though the lengths of my experiences and interactions with him were not much, I found a set of standards in his approach to the life. In fact, followed the advice of Mahatma Gandhi in many respects. I present the significant principles of him here below.

Humility: As he did not care much for his appearance, never used talc, perfume, creams and lotions. However, he was particular about cleanliness and orderliness in whatever he did. Never saw him going to a hotel, temple and cinema. He resided in a house with a burial ground behind. He used to walk and ride an old bicycle to any place in the home town, not even once hired a car for the self.

Self-reliance: He trusted his head and limbs for all practical purposes and disliked depending on others. After retirement, he ran a milk parlor and then functioned as Manager of a Finance company. Every day, he woke up early and continued through the day with a siesta after lunch.

Integrity: He never boasted of his credentials and clean service record. Moreover, he did not use his power to seek any favor for personal gains. Whatever earned came in the honest way only. With his savings made over years, he built a small terraced house replacing a tiled building.

Austerity: Frugality meant so much to him that he wore simple, and even torn clothes mended frequently. Being an ex-serviceman, he was very meticulous in maintaining accounts for every penny spent. He was a responsible man indeed to marry off his two daughters and three sons with his lifetime savings. Still, left a legacy to the family by way of a house, a piece of land, meager bank balance, and pension.

Distance: He Never exhibited his love and affection, but carried them in his actions for others. He would bear a stiff face always. And sparingly smiled, but never laughed. This attitude infused an atmosphere of fear distancing him from others, including his children. However, he did not mind what others felt about this strange habit. He had few friends and relatives, and the relationship with them was limited to the necessities and formalities. He pursued the same policy with his family members excepting certain special occasions such as festivals and presence of guests. Likewise, he kept his own paraphernalia like beds, chairs, etc. in the front room.

Each person has distinct tastes and style of life shaped by the circumstances in which he grows and lives. Salute my father for his courage and principled life. I owe my existence to him.


Source by Mohan Thulasingam