Today is the Father’s day . I have crossed the age of 74 and my mind went back to my father. My father whose name was P.R.Rama Iyer was poor hotelier in Hyderabad and had only completed his education up to third standard . But he was an extremely wise and intellectual person. Of his own he had attained mastery in Malayalam, Tamil, Sanskrit , Telugu, Kannada as well as Marathi and could easily read all English newspapers. He was the first book worm that I saw as he was a compulsive reader who read anything published in any of those above languages. As a result he was an extremely wise person , who could give guidance to large number of people who approached him., He was madly involved in the independence struggle of India. Due to his extreme poverty and the need to look after his dependents , he only read volumes of literature relating to our country .He was a subscriber to a paper called “Harijan” which was being published by the great Mahathma .He was an expert in astrology which was our family tradition. Though all his children were special to him , fate made me live along with him for a very long time without my mother and siblings . He used to talk to me about what he knew as well as his ambitions. He was forced to sell his hotel due to labour problem and retire to the village. He told me that his ambition was to make us all great and he knew that without education this was not possible. He told me that he would educate me by tightening his wants and by taking loan. He wanted me to study well and then do all that was needed to realize his dreams. For the next eight years I studied in various colleges and universities staying in various hostels . I could manage to get some scholarship to finance part of my education. By the time I came back and got a job my family was in dire financial straits . Then my penance started to fulfill my father’s dream along with my little darling younger brother . Years of struggle along with my father and mother lead me to the realization of my father’s dream.
Today I remember him as the guiding spirit and the thirst of knowledge of my life, If I say to him,
“Happy father’s day “, he would perhaps laugh and say to me , “Konthe , what is this nonsense?’
So I want to tell him who is in heaven , “Appa , I would have been nothing without you and all that things which other people consider as my achievement are all yours . Appa, I miss you even at this ripe old age.”