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Sunday, October 11, 2015

My father, my hero

This is the eulogy I gave for Daddy today during his 13th day ceremony. Thank God we were blessed to be able to spend time closely with him in the last 11 months and that I was able to tell most of the below to him in person.
Thank you everyone for taking time to spend this Sunday afternoon with us as we honor our father. I feel extremely proud today to stand before you as my father’s daughter. Life completely changed for us 13 days ago,  but today we want to take the time to celebrate his life and remember the many life lessons he quietly passed on to us. Although Dad faced his share of ups and downs in life, he never let any of the hardships bog him down and never lost his positivity and optimism. He taught us the meaning of gratitude and loyalty by constantly reminding us of his humble beginnings from the small village of Godavarru and fondly remembering until his last breath every single person who helped him along the way.

My father was my first hero and role model. My interest in Cricket started with me trying to imitate him by listening to hours and hours of commentary on the small pocket radio that he carried. Dad was in many ways ahead of his times. He encouraged me to play cricket with my neighbourhood boys and eventually pushed me to even find a place as the only girl member of the All-Boys cricket team.  He gave us freedom to discover ourselves while setting boundaries and providing a safety net. He gifted me my first bicycle after my 10th and let me use it for all my classes during the following years but, only months later I realized that he used to quietly follow me behind in his car to make sure I was not speeding and was being safe.  Couple of years later, when I was trying to decide which Engineering college to go to, unlike many fathers of his time, he insisted that I go as far away from home as possible so I learn how to live by myself. Till the very end, my father had more confidence in me even when I was unsure and struggling to find my ground.

My father was a man of few words and never really lectured us about anything. His actions spoke louder than his words. Although he never really liked to listen to spiritual discourses like Bhagvad Gita, he lived by those principles day in and day out. He was probably the most focused and positive person I have seen. He only focused on his work and never gave much thought about the results. For him, the question was not if the glass was half full or half empty but, how best to use the glass and the water in that glass.

He treasured his family relations close to his heart and valued his friendships immensely keeping in touch with everyone and has now left behind for us a wide network of friends and well-wishers.
While my father was a sign of disciplined lifestyle and good health throughout, my sister and I feel blessed to have been able to spend the time closely with him during the last 11 months when his health took a downturn. Even during the final hardest weeks and months, he fiercely protected his dignity and privacy and his top priority was always to not inconvenience anyone.

Mom and dad taught us to appreciate and enjoy the small things in life and constantly reminded us reasons to be happy, grateful and positive but, it is going to be extremely hard to stay that way without both of them who were our support pillars and cheerleaders. But, I believe they will remain as our guardian angels to get us through this lifetime and we hope to not let them down.