- My father was a great man and father who imbibed values in my sister and I that will always remain with me and I will make sure to pass those on to the next generation in my family.
- Ever since he passed on, I have felt that having these values written down, would help me remember what he believed in and what he wanted his daughter to be.
- I am grateful to have had such a father who was a role model for me and this article is a love letter and guide to my family inspired by my father’s life.
As a Great Father
Akash Roychowdhury was a man who loved his family. He always felt proud of his daughters; he would praise and celebrate them for their smallest achievements. I remember this one time I left my school after a grueling Math exam which I felt was marked with a giant FAIL. The first thing I did after the exam was to call my dad and tell him while crying my eyes out, that it didn’t go well at all and that I was bound to fail. That afternoon, he left work early and picked me up from school, got me ice cream, told me it was okay, and took me home. He told me to work harder on the next exam and not to worry about this one. My exam results arrived a few days later, and lo and behold, I had passed the exam. With just a few marks above passing, I took my result to my dad and he hugged me with sheer exuberance. He acted as though my result was the best result in the entire world and celebrated this small victory with food and desert galore.
Unfortunately, my dad just passed away on 17th October 2022—an event that has marked the biggest heartbreak of my life. He had been admitted to the hospital for a week. He complained about the food even though he was barely able to talk. He wanted to go back home so badly but he couldn’t due to his condition. He died after seven grueling days of eating miserable hospital food and sleeping on a bed that was not his own. I will always remember how my mom held on to my sister and I after he died. She kept repeating, “What will we do now?”. My father was an integral part of our family of four, and he had left us too soon. We had nothing to say to our mother in return. We knew they wanted to grow old together and at that moment we realized they no longer could. We only muttered “It’s okay” to our mother, hoping to get through the night.
Death is a difficult topic to talk about and, therefore, it’s often avoided. But I believe that my father was a remarkable man and I hope that his best qualities live on in me. I am the person I am today because he has left indelible life lessons for me to instill in my life and to celebrate that, I want to share eight life lessons he taught me.
Introduction to Life Lessons
- Always be ambitious
My father was ambitious about many things in his life, and he always pursued them with hard work and dedication. A quote by Joan of Arc reads, “A life without belief is a fate worse than death.” Through his life, I’ve come to learn that I must have ambitions to be able to achieve my dreams. Ambition drives people and, without it, one will lack purpose. He’s left me with this lesson for a reason, and I know that ambition is what is propelling me to do well in life even though my greatest source of inspiration has passed away.
- Work hard
While ambition is a requirement to achieve your goals, working hard is what truly brings your plans to fruition. My father was always ready to get his hands dirty and work to get what he wanted. He has been a model, a counselor, a television show host, and more, before finally becoming a school vice principal— a position he loved and wanted but never expected, just because he worked hard.
- Be respectful
Growing up, both of my parents imbued a lot of lessons into my sister and I. One of those vital lessons was to be respectful. Respect is often lost for various reasons but my father taught me to be respectful, not only to elders, but to everyone. And I have always observed that when I am respectful, I am respected back as well. I will always remember this lesson explained on a day when I wasn’t feeling my best. I had a tough time at school and refused to talk to my grandparents on the phone. My father told me to be respectful towards them by just greeting them, since they made the effort to call their grandchild. I hope to continue being respectful as my father taught me to be.
- Be determined
My father was a headstrong man. Ten years ago, he suffered two heart attacks. His four arteries were blocked and he survived. He knew he wanted to get back home. My father stuck to what he wanted and got it. And he taught me to do the same. At the hospital this time around, my father stayed with us for as long as he could and only decided to leave after he saw his mother. He was determined and he taught me to be the same.
- Be generous
My parents have always taught my sister and I to be generous. Once while we were returning from a family get-together during a cold winter night, we saw a boy wearing a thin vest with no shoes. When we got home, my sister had lost one layer of clothing out of three and another child, who spent his nights out in the cold streets, gained a layer. I can only hope to be as generous as my parents were and be giving whenever I can be.
- Be empathetic
My father was a great counsellor because he was an empathetic man. He tried to understand people’s lives and put himself in their shoes whenever possible. I don’t think this has ever been easy but he taught me to do the same. He taught me to always try and understand someone else’s actions and emotions. Being empathetic is a quality that is hard to come by these days, but he was empathetic, and I hope that I can follow in his footsteps.
- Be brave
I don’t know how my father held on for seven days at the hospital, where he was extremely uncomfortable and hated the food. I don’t know how he faced his sickness and his problems in life and continued to power through. Bravery comes out during fights very rarely. When we decide to face our daily struggles and continue despite them, that is where our true bravery lies and I’m grateful that my father taught me that. I hope I can be brave during my tough times like my father was.
- Have fun
My father enjoyed his life. He loved going out on long drives, biking, eating, and just having fun. He would laugh and crack jokes during almost every occasion. He was a cheerful man and would tell me to smile often. This is my most memorable characteristic of his. During almost every moment, my father tried to laugh and make light of situations. I can only hope to have as much fun as he did.
A day before my dad passed away, things were looking better. My mother had packed his clothes and was convinced that he was coming back home. I went back to college a week after he was admitted. But when I got the call right after class telling me that he was no more, I remember feeling absolutely broken. However, the feeling only got worse after I saw my mother, who had lost the person she hoped to grow old with. I will always remember the way my mother hugged me as soon as she saw me entering the hospital. She held onto her daughters tightly. So, this article, containing my father’s best, is my tight hug to my mother. We can never replace him, but I can implement the lessons he taught me whenever possible and pass them on to my own children. This is how my father lives on. My sister and I are his legacy and his lessons are engraved on my mind, my heart and in my soul.
– Penned by Yasha Roychowdhury