“When my grandfather passed away, my dad dropped out of engineering college to become the sarpanch of our village. When I was 5, he moved us out of our ancestral home and we shifted to Pune so that me and my brother could get a better education. He even stood in an admission line at 4 in the morning! When he found that his school of choice had exorbitant fees, he decided to sacrifice some of our other comforts to give us the best.
At the time he was still a sarpanch, so he couldn’t leave his work to come live with us. So, he’d travel back and forth every weekend even though it was a 6-hour commute. My mom was worried that he wasn’t eating well because he couldn’t cook, so whenever he came to Pune, she’d prepare a lavish feast for him!
He also ran a small bank for farmers back home. When I was in the 4th grade there was a problem and they couldn’t repay the loans. It all got pretty crazy and we went through a huge financial crisis. That’s the first time I saw my dad struggle. But even then, he never let us make any compromises. He was good with people. They trusted him because he helped them when they were in a financial bind. So, that’s how he could get out of the crisis – with the help of others.
After 15 years of being a sarpanch, he retired from his post and continued to be a part of the panchayat. But this way, he had more time for us. We went through a lot of ups and downs when his businesses failed. But I’ve seen him pick himself up every time life knocked him down. He’s the typical dad, who tries to act all tough and doesn’t share his problems to protect us. But I can always sense his mood and know when he’s in need of my cuddles.
All my life I’ve seen him make sacrifices for us and I just hope that one day I’ll be able to make it all worthwhile. I’ve grown up watching him be strong and determined in all that he did, whether it was in his personal life or his career. He’s always been my role model – he never told me how to live my life, but just always led by example. I hope that one day I can at least be half the person he is. And if I live for others even for a fraction of the time that he did, I can proudly say that I am my father’s daughter.”
“When my grandfather passed away, my dad dropped out of engineering college to become the sarpanch of our village. When…
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