Today’s my father’s 10th death anniversary. And a lot has changed in the last decade. Strangely, I can see how it has made me a more positive and aware person. It has made me grateful and responsible.

His death was the biggest eye-opener for me. It happened as suddenly as it could be. He was preparing to go to his studio(he was a painter and commercial artist) and I was going to the movies. The film had barely begun and I got a call from mum saying that dad wasn’t feeling well and so I rushed back home to find that he was gone. He was there in the morning and then two hours later he wasn’t. I was 22 at that time. But by the next day itself I had become much much older. Wrapping up his studio was one of the most tedious tasks! Telling clients that he was dead, taking stock of his gazillion and half books, his instruments, drawing boards, giving away his staff’s salaries and asking them to find other jobs etc. I did all that. It’s sort of unbelievable when I look back upon it exactly a decade later.

My relationship with my father had always been strained ever since I became a teenager. My rebellious ways were too much for him to understand especially when I decided to be a full-time musician and not join an art school like he did. I grew increasingly distant from him through my growing years also because he perceived playing guitar as a waste of time. Till the time of his death, we only had a very functional relationship remaining. But his death still left a gaping hole in my life especially when I looked at my other friends with fathers and saw how protected they were. But that’s that.

What I learnt from it is more important.

  1. I understood once and for all the meaning of ‘not taking anyone’s presence for granted’. I don’t mean it in the negative sense but life is in fact quite unstable. I learned to cherish people and give them my best.
  2. My belief in the potential for change has been reinforced. My mum underwent a radical change after Dad went away. She has made herself into an absolutely amazing being who is now a pillar of support for many other people around her. She is open-minded, supportive, empathetic and far more evolved than ANYONE else I have ever met in my life.
  3. I became responsible. For everything. It used to get really tiring before! But now I understand the power behind taking responsibility for my own life. There’s no one to blame, make excuses for. I became my own best friend. I learned the ways of the world on my own. My father wasn’t around to teach me concepts of career, finances, wealth etc. All those concepts are my own today. And I am proud of it. So, I actually started earning very late in life. But I am enjoying experimenting with financial beliefs.
  4. I learned to figure out people’s intentions very early on. Right now at this stage in life, I believe that there’s no point expecting anything from anyone else but my own self. I say this with no bitterness! It’s a liberating thought. When things go awry, as they will, you have to stick by yourself. I have met a lot of people and interacted with them very closely and I have learned something invaluable that will help me to deal with life’s blows and tickles, effectively. I got exposed to disappointments so many in number and so fast that now the only person I truly depend on is me. It’s better to have this experiential understanding at my age than at 50!
  5. I became independent. I moved out of home couple of years back and I have been managing my life amazingly well! I would’ve never known if I could do that had I been sheltered from life by my parents. And I am independent and HOW! I do everything on my own. You know, the earning, spending, paying bills, buying stuff, repairing things, making music, traveling, cooking, looking after my health, visit a doctor if I fall sick, plan my career, plan my life, dream, go after the dream, invest money, secure my future…EVERYTHING. So in effect, I am my own father! Yeah sure. It gets tiring sometimes. But only sometimes. Otherwise I am busy enjoying knowing that I have balls of f*&#ing steel!! Yeaaaaahhhh!!

I decided to write this today because I wanted to know that there’s a lesson to learned and gratitude to be felt from everything. Even from death of a parent.

I would like to thank every person who stood by me throughout this amazing adventure over the last decade and made it possible to come through to this other side, wiser.