My father is a fifty four-year-old man.
He is the 15th or 16th in line of 17 children. He married when he was twenty six. He had his first child at twenty seven. He has continued to work for thirty years.
He is a self-made man. Not his ancestors nor his parents left him a considerable sum. With my mother, he has managed to raise a family and find a standing for us in this contorted world.
He learned working on the computer including applications and software – AutoCAD, Photoshop – to name a few, on his own. He uses social media sites for professional & personal reasons. He has a English-Tamil dictionary application on his phone.
My father also comes from a family with a range of health-related issues. Heart disease, high blood sugar, high blood cholesterol, depression, male pattern baldness. He was a smoker when I was in my early teenage. He quit smoking without medical or over-the-counter aid.
My father started using a hair potion for his male pattern baldness recently. He applies the ayurvedic potion each night as the instructions ask him to. While the family will be busy with their chores, my father will stand in front of the dressing mirror. Each night, an effort towards an expectation of varying probability.
While the situation has drawn some humor among us, it has also got me looking at my father in a new light. I see a fifty four-year-old man bringing all the trust in his heart to attempt labour towards himself. I see it as an act of radical self-love. I also see how this has been in his character – to try.
Life hasn’t thrown my father lesser challenges. While all of that could have brought him towards cynicism, he has chosen to commit himself to hope.
So I learn that from my father. To be hopeful in all times and ages.