The Fighter Father


She was 6 years old. She stood frozen with her mother on the streets of Kanyakumari at 4 o clock in the morning, hoping the dawn to break, and the noise to fade away.Her Father was trying to fight it out with a rogue taxi driver, who thought to extract the maximum from clueless tourists…
“You can grab my collar Sir. No insults traded. I am a Taxi Driver. My work is to make money. Earn it . Sweat it. Cheat. or Snatch it.
What if I do the same to you? Look at your wife and daughter!”
But wrong was wrong. Who will see the right, if everybody was blinded by choice to the might of the wrong?
My mother warned, ” Someday you will not be in a state to fight any more. We will sit beside you and moan. You are a fighter- F.I.N.E!  But You are a husband and father too…”

That day came soon. Two decades later.

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22nd June, 2014. I watched the news flash blood soaked images of Daddy frantically. The scrolls reading-“A Thief had attacked a  Scientist, in a communally charged area…The DRDO Regional Director, while trying to nab a pickpocket in Charminar, stabbed...”
He walked valiantly into the Police Station, grabbing onto his cuts . Blood oozing out like water from a fountain.He told the Police who he was and called up Mother to say he was fine and fainted.

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48 Stitches. 46 cms long cut,4.5 cms deep, nearly missing the spleen and vitals.
Had it hit? I don’t even want to imagine that!
Lying on the hospital sofa for 10 days and more, I wondered…
My Father was stabbed while trying to get back the stolen cell phone of a colleague.They had been there in Hyderabad to attend a Director’s Annual Conference. That was the last day of the 3 day meet.
He was to catch a flight back home that evening.
23rd June was their Marriage Anniversary.

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Here sat my Mom receiving flowers from an ocean of visitors. Yes. Get well soon.
Doctors cluttered to ‘personally‘ talk to the man who was all over the Newspapers. Political parties queued up to offer their ‘apologies’. Colleagues across the country from almost the entire DRDO spectrum, were a pillar of strength that even family couldn’t provide. Unknown people walked in to get a glimpse of The Man
Here lay a HERO. My Fighter Father.

20140630_150332

What was so unusual about this?! Each day,each moment,in each corner of India, somebody burgled somebody else. So many other somebodys watched over passively,”it happens!!“. Many somebodys lost their lives- stabbed, wounded, bleeding till death… So W.H.A.T?!

Yes there was something unusual for sure.
Here lay a man, who bled for one, who wasn’t related to him by blood.  People didn’t do that every day, not even for themselves.
What did he gain?
An indefinite vacation in the hospital-thronged by well wishers. A tonne of apples, oranges and pomegranates. A much needed company of his children. Lights-Camera-Action! from the media, who savoured each bit of such ‘nearly extinct human species‘.  And the idea that he was so liked by so many, so much regarded, so very connected to so many unconnected people.
What did he lose?
Buckets of blood, that would take months to replenish. Some really important tasks that had to be done for the family. His own very expensive glasses.The clothes, that were a gift from his children.Lots of money on buying overpriced flight tickets,   & on uncountable phone calls. Flak of cynics who thought he was foolishly quixotic.

Oh! That meant there was more to be lost than gained.

I listened to him narrate to the visitors. Couple of Muslim representatives from a political party visited to apologize. They had met the convict, a “17” year old Muslim boy , in the juvenile home. He had asked them to convey his Sorry to my father- or so did they say.
Why was it being viewed from a communal angle I really couldn’t comprehend. The thief was Muslim, but so were most of the Nurses who took care of Daddy, just like his daughters. And so were many empathetic sympathizers.

It struck me then that we had completely forgotten about the boy. He was a Muslim so what? We didn’t have any anger against him, neither against a religion that was being made a casualty like truth. He was a victim as well- of poverty, of ignorance and of society’s indifference to humanity and compassion.

The boy had stabbed while my father held onto his hand, trying to reason with him, “you are my son’s age. Please give back whatever you have stolen“. But in a bid to escape, he had nervously stabbed and run away.

This was his 4th such crime. He had been caught by the Police earlier as well and put in the juvenile home.
Did it reform him in any miniscule manner?
He was fed and clothed and sheltered there and sent back with a license- to steal, rape, kill, whatever? Oh! He was a juvenile after all.
And in a country like India where birth records were as cautiously maintained as its Family Planning efforts, 17 years 11 months and 17 years 12 months definitely could be differentiated with pin-drop precision?!?

A thought to be spared also was- had not Daddy been in such privileged position, would  justice still have been delivered? Would he still have received the medical aid and attention with urgency?

He narrated, how he incessantly kept on insisting who he was, before he could get the Police help and bring in a sense of urgency. Had he been a somebody, he could have simply bled to death in a Police station while trying to file an FIR.

Then there were many who were good economists. They aptly calculated how he wasted more resources than he could save.
Well, Ethics and Economics never got on well!

But there were many many others who were proud of him and considered him unconditionally brave. Had they not stood with us in such trying times, it was hard to say, if Daddy could have recovered the trauma.

Such times in life are a watershed. They are revelations of who we thought are friends but turn out to be strangers by choice- bystanders in our life’s battles. And of who we thought were strangers but get strangely enmeshed with our lives.

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35  then, his blood boiled against the unjust, unfair, corrupt.
53 now, but the Specific heat capacity of his blood has still not gone up with age. And so he let his blood flow for the right, 20 years back, and still can- 20 years from now.

Papers would get new sensational news, the ‘ reformed juvenile‘ would be back again, people would forget most of this story soon.
But some of it would certainly be remembered, that there are still such foolish, impractical and unnecessarily brave people left in this big bad world who make most of us pause and introspect what we are and what should we be!

Hyderabad gave us the blood that flowed down from his body, and as tears down our eyes. Hyderabad gave us the Love, that bound our hearts and our lives. Hyderabad thus gave us the people we can so truly call- Blood relations. 20140628_212134

Yet a line from the news flash haunts my mind constantly, “This incident has nothing to do with DRDO affairs”.
True. But how promptly we close our eyes, ears, mouths, minds and hearts, at the slightest thought of “unnecessarily involving” ourselves in “unrelated” events that do not concern us.
Every truth is seen as an alleged lie. Every lie is treated as a proven truth. So much so that, we never step out from our comfort zones in seeking the right, in fighting the wrong.
Until the accident has happened to us, we think ‘it happens!!’, but we never ask, ‘why?’,  ‘How can we fight it out?‘ We just promptly declare, “this alleged incident has nothing to do with our affairs.”

Nothing has changed and nothing was supposed to- to be practical. But what has changed is, the thought that Heroes do exist and most of them donot make it to the TV. They are Anonymous. They are among us. They are within us, waiting to be woken up from slumber, called up to say, ” yes, it has something to do with me, although it has nothing to do with me.

PS: Rajiv Gupta Uncle and Laxmi Aunty. I have no words to thank you. And perhaps family is never thanked. All I can say is your affection makes me miss even the hospital days. 🙂
Vikas Uncle and Poonam Aunty, Paritosh Uncle and Sandhya Aunty and Venkat Uncle- for all that you have done for us, ‘Thank you’ would be a very small word. You made Hyderabad a home away from home.

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64 responses to “The Fighter Father

  1. Pravash .C Mishra

    “Every truth is seen as an alleged lie. Every lie is treated as a proven truth. So much so that, we never step out from our comfort zones in seeking the right, in fighting the wrong.”

    These words just stole my heart….just as the whole narration ..

    Having been out of sync, out of touch… and away from the roots for more than 25 years, I never knew about the incident earlier. An accidental visit to your blog and seeing this one was nothing less than a revelation…

    God bless you and your family …

    Rip Van Winkle uncle…

    • Thank You So much Uncle . Your visit was a total thrilling surprise. Though I have heard a lot about you and I still have a Christmas card that you had sent us 2 decades back…actually knowing you feels great. I am happy to have Taught Mummy the facebook thing 😉
      Feels great to reconnect. Best wishes too you , Vani Aunty and the young champ. I do really plan to meet you, if I have the fortune of visiting Delhi soon. Loving the name “Rip Van Winkle” 🙂

  2. Amazing post about an amazing father an amazing person. Salute! 😊

  3. well…there are already so many nice and kind wishes, prayers and love…since you are suffering from Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity-Disorder-Syndrome 🙂 I will surely add some thoughts, emotions through words which can never be sufficient and explanatory.

    First thing first, My wishes, prayers and hope are with the Family for bravely and courageously facing such a tragic incident. By God’s grace, hope your father recovers fully real soon.

    Now, I am emotionally overwhelmed. That para about that boy and how society has failed him is really touching and beaming with forgiveness, kindness and strength. As we know only the truly string can forgive such an act of violence, indifference and apathy. I, for sure know, you are truly strong and by this act of generosity, you have gone beyond ‘professing’ and acted in true faith and humanity.

    Your father as well as your family and relatives have really shown us the goodness of the species called Homo Sapiens, particularly in today’s world where kindness, sympathy, sensitivity are you people and make this world a better place. It unequivocally proves that our choice and action determine our future and make us who we want to be. At the same time your mother’s word’s to your father 20 years back was wise and prudent.

    At same time I am disturbed while reading how your father had to pull his rank to get medical and police attention. The way our politicians communalise such egregious incident,while being indifferent to the suffering family, is despicable.

    There is so much to learn from this single incident. In the end, we all can strive to become good human beings through our acts of sympathy, kindness, conscientiousness, and love. Going beyond the socially expected boundary and help someone is a true act of divinity, sincerity. It makes all of us and this world a better place to live in and leave behind for our future generations.

    Thank you for letting me read your blog. I find it encouraging, stimulating and inspiring.

    • Thank you a Gallon Suri! for writing such a lovely message. The length says it all 😉 that you had the patience to read 1200 odd words and reply with 500 + yourself ! I am blessed that I found a sincere and genuine reader in you, a man of action.
      To empathize, a man needs great sensitivity and sensibility- and you have it, for sure.
      Thank you so much! Stay blessed!

      • I have just started…i am going to read all…since the beginning … 🙂

        I love to read and write…and i just got another channel to do both

        • Yes Suri! but Well, most of my writings are junk, emotionally loaded and thought out with the heart rather than the brain- so proceed with caution and donot take them very seriously. 😉
          Also FOCUS on- you know what exams i mean 😛

  4. Great story! Thanks for sharing.

  5. A person not blinded by choices available but having the guts to stick his neck out and do what he believes in.
    A person who is genuine believer in the former and his course of action.
    Thank You for being the latter and bringing out such an EXEMPLARY act out in the open ,which is the only way to deeply transform our lives for better, and a bigger thanks to the GREAT MAN for bringing about attitudinal change in the lives of people who get access to this gem.

    • Thank you so much dear reader, for such unbounded appreciation. I am indebted, indeed.
      Yes, attitudinal change is what is what we always desire from others, but seldom remember that society expects the same from us, what we expect from the society. Warm regards to you, god bless!

  6. Hi Rocky, You know! what makes the hospital scene different? its the smile, even in trouble and that’s what make you, Apa and Mausa so special… The contributions he made to my (our) life are immense and myriad. For me, he was always encouraging and supportive, I always look up to him and Apa. I could have never said it, your emotional blog so lucidly written, encouraged me to say so. He is always a father figure to me. We are so blessed to have him and Apa in our life. Prayers. Lipi

    • Nani that was really sweet of you to come across this piece and share your love with us. Some relations are beyond the worlds comprehension, and our relation is one such marvel of unconditional love…
      I am reading this from you teary eyed and may be daddy will do the same.
      The sudden loss of mausa has been irrecoverable for us. Daddy and mummy especially looked up to them for all their problems…
      Now that, we are deprived of that love…any more shocks are really hard to endure.
      Lots of love and regards for you nani,
      Thank you..

  7. Paritosh Narayan

    Hi Pamela……this is Paritosh. Those were really the testing times. Kudos to the family. I, on the other hand, thankful to you for making us part of your mission “Recovery n Convalescence”. Your smiling faces under tough situation have won our hearts forever. There was so much to learn from all of you. Yeah…….Hyderabad is your home now n we a family. God bless. I loved your website too …… you are good at writing. God bless n do well always.

    • Thank you uncle, my heartfelt gratitide to you for such a warm response.
      We seriously didn’t know that the connections made in a Hyderabad hospital would last such long..there was so much to learn from everybody out there..
      Im glad that you liked my blog…
      I have brought the Ganesha that paridhi had gifted me…
      Thanks fr everything.

  8. After reading all that, I have no words but a feeling of respect and love for your father and a little jealousy for you, as you have got such a brave father 🙂 Your father is the true hero Pamela, you are really lucky to have him. I really hope he is doing fine now because the world needs people like him. Much much love to you. I am proud to be your friend 🙂 Love you !

    • Thank you so much lala, for reading and understanding me so much, so deeply..
      He is doing fine now..n I have conveyed your love to him. Love heals so much you know..
      N iam proud of myself too, that you have chosen me to be your friend.
      And I am so glad that you are back to this world again, so far away from our lives, yet so close…this world of shared connections. ..shall love you forever!
      Hope you are good n happy..
      Tc!

  9. Get well soon Sir. Heard abt u frm Mama…Pls let me knw if you are still at Hyderabad enabling me to meet you. Is it DRDO Apollo Hospital (MIDHANI Campus)?

  10. Hey i really have no clues about this incident. Hope Uncle is doing good. Really proud of Aunty and You. Let me know for any help!!!! God Bless all of you.

  11. I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection , such living man i know is your father . Never had the chance of meeting him , but then there were your vivid descriptions of him , and I may brag people I met him so many times .
    You are right , these are the testing times , but somehow I know after so many such tests..this was your last tough test 😉
    What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us , and this will be a mere testimony saying what you are made of , when you personify your father .
    Your ‘Fighter Father’ is a role model for me , and so many .
    Wishes Prayers and Love
    for your family
    God Bless

    • Humbled and touched, beyond what words can express on reading this. Hope you are right when you say, this is the last tough test.,.
      Role model he certainly is for me…but I haven’t been successful at all to emulate him..
      I wish I do that soon.
      Thank you for such a heartfelt thought…

  12. Hi Pamela!!!hope everything is fine now.Convey my wishes to uncle for speedy recovery.
    take care!!

  13. Renuka Ramachandran

    Shocked to read this Pamela. Totally unaware of this as I was away to Chennai on leave for 10 days since June 24 and did not have time to read newspapers/watch tv. Brave personalities will always have tested times as they will certainly come out of it easily. So no worries, God will take care of everything.
    Sometime back I read somewhere that “I made all of these out of nothing. Trust me, I can take care of you” as the version from God himself. And this is a standing example. He the Almighty knows who can manage the crisis and never misses the opportunity of making them experience the situation!
    God walks along with every one in their journey and at times of difficulty, he carries them on his shoulders.
    I appreciate your broad mindedness and concern for that teen aged boy.
    My prayers for the speedy recovery of your beloved father and happier moments ahead for the family,
    Love
    Renuka

    • Thank you so much Ma’am. Hope you are doing great.
      Feeling happy to see you here. And thanks again for such a powerful message.
      Regards,
      Pamela

  14. Debika Mohanty

    I am really shocked and saddened by this news!!! I wish for the speedy recovery of Uncle.My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Take care…

  15. Hey Pamela…hope every thing is under control…he is an inspiration and so are you…I pray god for his good health and speedy recovery…god bless

  16. Pamela……..I was greatly shocked to learn about the “NEWS” of “FIGHTER FATHER” When I recall to my mind first comes your gentle nature………… We are all are PROUD of ur father……….convey to him my heart-felt sympathies………I pray GOD for his speedy recovery………GOD bless you all………….. with regards…….ur loving ma’m.

    • Maam, its such a respite to have your kind words now, at such trying times.
      And Im so moved that you remember me in such loving ways. Thank you so much for all the love, wishes and prayers.
      I am humbled Ma’m. Truly, deeply.

  17. hi Pamela just know came to know about uncle.How is he now?
    He is very brave for taking such step. Lots of wishes for him to get well soon.

  18. This makes us all proud! My heartfelt wishes to uncle and all of you for a speedy recovery.
    You connect only to a few stories. This sure isone of them!
    Stay blessed Pamela!

  19. AMMRITA MOHANTY

    pam i read your blog regularly though never post any comments..sorry for that as i should keep in mind that you do suffer from Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity-Disorder-Syndrome…haa haa…
    your words are amazing..it just fills my heart.in your lines at times i visualize myself so i love reading your lines.

    keep it up pamela.god bless u

  20. AMMRITA MOHANTY

    i came to know about uncle form times now news channel and was really surprised to hear everything..was hard to believe that it happened with uncle who always carries a sweet, fresh and innocent smile on his face.my heart was beating crazily..couldnt imagine it was really uncle..your and aunty’s face came to my mind…my heart was beating more faster now..puzzled up what to do..i simply closed my eyes and prayed god for his speedy recovery.

    now it came the day when he is almost fine.
    happy to hear that he fought with the wounds and cuts.

    its all due to a loving and caring family whose prayers worked wondered for him.

    uncle get well soon…-a wish from a daughter-ammrita.

    • Will convey your message to Daddy. Love such as this definitely helps heal.
      I was touched on reading this from you. Thanks a ton dear!
      lots of love.

  21. It’s easy to attack or want to hurt the one who attacks out of fear but it takes real courage to remain fully human in moments of insanity – your Dad is clearly a living example. Pamela, heartfelt wishes for a super-speedy recovery.
    ~Radhika

  22. I pray your father recovers well quickly and this incident shall be an inspiration for many of us…

  23. omg no words…Hmm.. the person who makes other smile who used to act as a child with the children who used to get fever with onion in his shoulders is the brave man fighting for life may be not for him but for family,friends,well wishers….or i can say to do more such brave acts..Proud of you THE HERO
    Proud of you dear Pamela…Lods of wishes for uncle to get well soon…

    • Suji! No words to tell u how I felt on reading this from you. You remember so much, so vividly. Love you for that.
      Thank you dear for such genuine wishes.
      God bless you too!

  24. Wow, I am touched by your comprehensive and detailed post. I have no words. May God Bless him and wish always the best!!

  25. This incident is really shocking
    How is uncle now?
    Uncle must be proud of having u as his daughter who is brave enough to put all these trauma into a few lines…It requires a lot of courage
    Brave Daddy’s Brave Daughter…
    My regards to uncle

    • He is recovering, with all the good will and wishes of people.
      Thank you for always seeing the good in me, no matter what.
      Proud of myself that you are my friend.

  26. Monalisa Guru

    Pamela…to no patha at my email id 2006.monalisa@gmail.com. How is Uncle. While reading your blog, I was dreading if its uncle..n yes it was uncle. Ebe kemiti acchanti Uncle?? Send me your no soon…waiting..loads of love 🙂

  27. such times are critical junctures of our life…proud of uncle!

  28. Really proud of uncle, the brave scientist and the fighter father.

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