Papa Kehte Hain, Bada Naam Karega…

  • How important is a father’s presence in a child’s life? Very Much.
  • How much can a father influence the upbringing of his child? A Lot.
  • Can a father’s role ever be substituted in a child’s life? Never.

Son Growing Up - Father Son Relationship - Papa Kehte Hain, Bada Naam Karega

For many children the father invariably becomes the role model very early in life. At least for me, my father definitely was my role model. It took me many years to understand and acknowledge how much of a role model my mother too became for me later in life but more of that in another piece.

While my mother protected me with her warmth and rapping, my father was the one I looked up to whether it was for his extrovert nature that made him the cynosure of many friends or the benevolent nature that made him unhesitant in helping people whenever necessary. I admired the respect he got from people for being the self-made man that he truly was. I loved the adventurous streak in him that made him permit me to handle the family Ambassador when I was very young or the time when he taught me how to ride the cycle and then also ride it all the way to school despite my mother’s protests.

In many ways, I have inherited my father’s guts and also his obstinacy to do things the way I want to, in the manner I want to. In fact, this led to many a family conflict when I grew up into a teenager with neither of us realising that I was only expressing my emotions the way I saw it in my father!

Till some time back, my son identified with me despite our gender difference. But today, with tiny hair waging little wars to sprout on his yet to be transformed stiff upper lip, he sees in his father what he would like to become. Casual, carefree like his father in many ways, he is still to retrospect on his father’s ideals and principles in life. Shooting up like a bamboo tree, he is yet to chew on the thought that body structure is not everything.

His father-inherited sense of humour sometimes tends to clash with his mother-inherited wit and sarcasm. But yes, today he realises that whatever his Mamma might say (in anger), he is better off with her nagging which he dislikes instead of his father’s rarely expressed volcanic anger! Still to form, follow and delve on spiritual beliefs, I hope and pray that he picks up his father’s introspective and unconditional faith.

There was a time when I glowed proud when my son would come straight to me to share his school stories. Today, I feel proud to see my son sit down to chat with his father – man to man. A day will arrive when my son will sire his own children and teach them, share with them all that he has been influenced or touched by. And, I am sure that his father will definitely figure up there. Until then, I can only wonder:

Papa kehtei hain bada naam karega.

Beta hamara aisa kaam karega.

Magar ye to koi na jaane

Ki mere bête ki manzil hai kahaan…”

For my father, my husband and my son: wishing you a Happy Father’s Day. Every Day!

Shail Raghuvanshi is a freelance journalist, content writer, editor, book reviewer and poet. She has 15 years of writing experience in newspaper, magazine, radio and television. She has worked as a Spoken English Teacher too. She runs a blog for writers called Write Space  and blogs at her personal blog Muse N’ Motivation. A daughter, wife, mother and friend, she believes that there is no situation that can’t be made better. Faith, Friendship and Family are what makes her life complete.

  • Prerna Kumar

    Hi Shail,

    Sorry for the disappearing act…but it feels really great to read your blogs again…it brings back life into my monotonous-crazily-busy-life…
    Thanks for continuing to share your thoughts…
    Definitely fathers always leave an imprint on their kids, but i guess in our culture we are still a long way from accepting it and stop putting the onus on mothers…very eloquent as always 🙂

    • Hi Prerna,

      So good to see you here. Nice that you still enjoy reading what I write….

      Yes, some restrictions still exist especially when the child is a daughter…Fathers have a way of influencing children….care must be taken to see that the influence is more positive than critical…
      Even in upper middle classes I have seen mothers being extremely possessive, not allowing the fathers to indulge their children…..

  • Great piece. I think this should be mandatory reading especially for divorced or single mothers who, out of their personal challenges, choose to exclude the father from the life of their children.

    • Hi Subhorup,

      Glad you liked the piece. Thanks.
      Something written from the heart.

      Yes, when it comes down to single mothers, the feeling can be slightly biased although I have seen single mothers communicating well with their ex husbands so that their children do not have to undergo another trauma of an ‘indifferent father.’

  • Varalekshmy Raghavan

    Shail, this is really a good piece. My son is not so close to his father as much as I would like him to be, since his father is always critical of him. Nowadays only they sit and watch cricket matches, sharing and talking about that. I feel happy about it.. I hope his father mellows down so that son will open up to him like he does with me.

    • Thanks Varalekshmy. It happens. Not all fathers are very communicative with their children although the feeling of love and care is deep within. Maybe, the constraints of society or the family upbringing can be responsible for this. But, things are changing today. Fathers are beginning to express their emotions more openly than before. It is a good thing. I wish the same for your husband and son….
      Thanks for sharing…

  • Wonderful post. Of course, the role of fathers in children’s lives is irreplaceable. When they are little, they seek love and warmth from their mothers which gives them an anchor in life but as they grow up, they start looking upto their fathers as their first role models. More true for sons.

  • Hi Reema.

    Thanks. Nice that you liked the post. Yes, it is more true for the sons than the daughters. But, this role model bit is essential as it is the connecting link between father and child. I still remember my first lessons learnt from my father… Nothing can ever replace that feeling, that emotion, that memory. A treasure….

  • Hi Shail… Thanks for recognizing the fathers role…. I remember one of my colleagues from US, she was a single mom. But always encouraged her son to meet his father with the simple logic.. “Just because my Boyfriend was not a good boyfriend does not mean he can not be a good father”.

    • Hi Prasad,

      Exactly. It is important that a child gets to connect and bond with both the parents irrespective of whether either of the parents live with the child or not. It is very essential for the all round development of the child. I know , for a single parent it is not easy but sometimes it is worth the effort and ignoring of the ego.