By Neelam Pahal
My dad, Shingara, is a huge inspiration for me. He’s always been the one that lights up a room, the one that’s making other people laugh. He isn’t perfect by any means, but paying attention to him has really taught me a lot about myself. I’m like him in almost every way – we look identical, share similar perspectives on the world and about life. We have the same sense of humor, and the same bad habits. There are many things about him that I often find frustrating, and at times stressful, but accepting these parts of him has given me a deeper understanding of his heart.
Growing up, I’ve experienced his quirks and quandaries, so much so that they’re embedded into the lens I view life through. I thought it’d be fun to share them ☺ let’s start with just SOME of his worries:
- “My hands fall asleep.” -> “Am I gonna die?”
- “My side is paining me.” -> “Am I gonna die?”
- “If you keep your cell phone in your back pocket you’ll get constipated.”
- “You can find yourself a husband because I don’t want to be responsible if the relationship doesn’t end up working out.”
- “I hope they make it through elementary school.” “I hope they make it through high school.” “I hope they make it through college.” “I hope they make it through university.” “I hope they get their Master’s”. “I hope they find a good partner.” “I hope they’ll be financially secure.” “I hope they’ll have a family”. “I will teach their kids all the wrong things so they give them a hard time”.
- “I know I’m ugly”. “Dad, you tell me how beautiful I am all the time. I look just like you. If you’re ugly, that means you’re saying I’m ugly.” Dad: *stops calling himself ugly* ☺
My dad’s values can be a little mixed up at times, but all in all they’re adorable, peculiar, and wholesome. Here’s a little snapshot of some of the things that he’s taught me:
- Flying $100 motorized helicopter inside and then cutting a finger on the blade while grabbing it when it almost runs into the T.V.
- Driving 10+ km/h hour under the speed limit to limit the use of brakes.
- Not using Kleenex tissues 🡪 they’re for the guests. Use toilet paper instead
- “Always help those less fortunate.”
- “When possible wipe nose/mouth on sleeves to save toilet paper.”
- “Paper towel is only for emergencies.”
- “Do NOT under any circumstances bring the car up the driveway after it has snowed.”
- Me at 19: “I’m sorry I didn’t give you a talk after your period started. We should’ve thrown a party and celebrated that for you.”
- “Never betray or try to cheat someone.”
- “I refuse to waste money on buying underwear, it’s not a necessity.”
- “Always take care of your feets. I LOVE my feets! I rub oil on them every night, and I tell them how much I love them.”
- “Always check the oil in the engine. The oil is the blood of the car!”
- My dad: “Paying for extended medical/dental insurance is too expensive.” Also my dad: “I spent $683 on a root canal today.”
- “Every time you cry, you’re wasting the world’s most expensive water.”
- If I want to start an argument, bringing up tattoos is the way to do it. “Why would you ever get a tattoo? If you love something that much, it should be stamped on your heart. I will never get a tattoo. People who do that are crazy.”
- If I want to get out of an argument, I’ll say, “Dad wow, your biceps are looking so good.” This will prompt him to start flexing and checking himself out.
I am very thankful for my dad. He has this way about him, a way that’s very emotional and connected with people and life in all forms. He also knows how to make the light of situations, and despite sharing his views on crying, he’s an emotional person who wants to see people happy. It took a long road for him to grow into the version of himself that he is now, and I know my brother, my mom, and I have pushed him to get here. I accept him in all who, what, and how he is (though I do wish he wore underwear LOL).