MY FATHER IS THE BEST MOTHER ON EARTH
He was watering the plants in the posh gardens of an international school. The heat and dust didn’t seem to affect him.
“Ganga Das, Principal Ma’am wants to see you – right now.”
The last two words of the peon had lots of emphasis on them, trying to make it sound like an emergency.
He quickly got up, washed and wiped his hands and headed towards the principal’s chamber. The walk from the garden to the office seemed never-ending. His heart was almost jumping out of his chest.
He was trying all the permutations and combinations in a futile attempt to figure out what had gone wrong that she wanted to see him urgently… He was a sincere and dedicated worker and never shirked from his duties…
“Madam, you called me?”
“Come inside…” an authoritative voice made him even more nervous.
Salt-n-pepper hair, tied neatly in a french knot, a designer sari-sober and very classic, glasses resting on the bridge of her nose… She pointed out towards a paper kept on the table.
“B…but Ma’am, I am an illiterate person. I cannot read English. Ma’am, please forgive me if I have done anything wrong. Give me another chance. I am forever indebted to you for allowing my daughter to study in this school, free of cost. I could have never ever dreamt of such a life for my child…”
And he broke down, almost trembling.
“Hold on, you assume a lot. We took your daughter in here because she is very bright and you have been our sincere worker. Let me call a teacher in; she will read it out and translate it to you… This is written by your daughter and I want you to read it.”
Soon enough the teacher was called and she started reading it, translating each line to Hindi…
“Today we are asked to write about Mother’s Day.
“I belong to a village in Bihar, a tiny village where medicals and education still seem like a farfetched dream. Many women die every now and then while giving birth. My mother was one of them. She could not even hold me in her arms. My father was the first person to hold me, or perhaps the only person.
Everyone was sad as I was a girl and I had ‘eaten up’ my own mother.
“My dad was instantly asked to remarry but he refused. My grandparents forced him by giving all logical, illogical and emotional reasons but he didn’t budge. My grandparents wanted a grandson. They threatened my poor dad to remarry or else he would be disowned.
“My dad didn’t think twice. He left everything – his acres of land, a good life, a comfortable house, cattle and everything that counts for a good lifestyle in a village.
“He came to this huge city with absolutely nothing – except me in his arms. Life was tough. He worked hard day and night, raised me with tender love and utmost care.
“Now I understand why suddenly he developed a dislike for things that I would love to eat when there was only one piece left in the platter. He would say that he hates eating it and I would finish it thinking that he does not like it. As I grew older I realized the reason he said that and what sacrifice is all about.
“My dad gave me the best possible comfort beyond his capacity.
“This school gave him shelter, respect and the biggest gift – admission to his daughter!
“If love and care define a mother… then my father fits in there.
If compassion defines a mother, my father fits in well in that category too.
If sacrifice defines a mother, my father dominates that category.
So in a nutshell, if a mother is made of love, care, sacrifice and compassion…
MY FATHER IS THE BEST MOTHER ON EARTH.
“On Mother’s Day, I would like to wish my father ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ for being the best parent on earth. I salute him and say it with pride that the hardworking gardener working in this school is my father.
“I know I may fail this test after my teacher reads this but that would be a very small price one would pay for an ode to the selfless love of my father.”
There was a deafening silence in the room. One could only hear the soft sobs of Ganga Das. The harsh sun could not wet his clothes with sweat but the soft words of his daughter had soaked his chest with tears.
Ganga was standing there with hands folded. He took the paper from the teacher’s hands, held it close to his heart and sobbed even more noticeably.
The principal got up, offered him a chair and a glass of water and said something but, strangely, the crispness of her voice was taken over by a surprising warmth and sweetness.
“Ganga Das, your daughter has scored 10/10 for this essay. This is the best essay ever written about Mother’s Day in the history of this school. We are having the Mother’s Day gala event tomorrow and the entire school management has decided to invite you as the Chief Guest for the event. That is to honor all the love and sacrifice a man can do to raise his children – to show that one does not have to be a woman to be the perfect parent.
“And, most importantly, it is to reinforce, appreciate and acknowledge the strong belief of your daughter in you, to make her feel proud – to make the entire school feel proud – that we have the best parent on earth as stated by your daughter.”
“You are a True Gardener who is not only looking after the gardens but also nurturing the most precious flower of your life in such a beautiful way.”