2011 Personal Statements – In Pursuit of My Father’s HappinessFebruary 28, 2011
In Pursuit of My Father’s Happiness
I heard a loud shriek, and ran out to see my father bringing his hand down in big swings at my mother. She was screaming even louder as she covered my sister. My father was drunk and persisted in beating my mother. There seemed no stopping his anger.
I stood watching as each blow filled me with more anger toward my father. What had my mother done? Why was my father beating her? Why did he drink so much?
Almost by impulse, I seized a log and ran toward my father. I brought it down at him as if that one blow carried all the hate I was feeling toward him. He screamed before he fell backwards, unconscious.
This incident happened just a few years ago, when I still thought of my father as a bad person. That day, I had hated him for everything he had done to my mother, as well as to my sister and me. I cursed him like he was my enemy. I thought of him as a stranger and wished I had never been born to him.
I see him now somewhat differently, and I understand why he acts the way he does. What he did that day had not come from his heart, but was rather a result of his failure in life. It is “me” that I am afraid of.
Today, I see myself vulnerable. I mirror his desires. Like me, my father has always wanted to live a happy life, but unlike me he has faced many obstacles all through his life. Each of those struggles impressed on him harder his failures.
I see life through his eyes, so I am determined to resist the temptation to drink. I also know that I carry the power to fulfill the dream we share for a happy life. Ever since I can remember, I have worked towards those dreams. In fact, I was into this quest much before I knew the possibilities.
My first step was coming to Shanti Bhavan at the age of four. To this day, I vividly remember what I felt when my mother brought me to the school. A warden led us to a room full of toys. Immediately, I lost the sense of my mother’s presence; the soft toys transferred me to a world full of fantasy. There were bears as large as I was. I jumped on them and held on tight. As they sank under my weight, I felt elevated in joy. But suddenly I felt lonely as the last image of my mother faded away. I looked around and my mother was gone.
I tried to scream, but no sound came out. I had lost my voice, and with it my sense of security. But today, I carry a voice that speaks the purpose of my existence. The voice I lost that day has now been reignited by Shanti Bhavan – not only my school, but my home for the last fifteen years. Here, I have had many people guide me and help shape my character. My life is a reflection of the world I know at Shanti Bhavan. Every day brings me a step closer to my dreams. I am ready for the new fight of my life.
As I write these words, each of them reminds me how much closer I am of getting to my destination. Finishing my last year in school, I see my goals clearly.
At the age of four, one of the first things I learned to say was, “When I grow big, I will be an engineer.” When I first said this successfully, without any mistakes, my nursery teacher clapped loudly. It felt great, as if I was already an engineer. Now, I study physics, chemistry, and math as elective subjects. Through hard work and discipline, I have done well in these classes. While they are a challenge, each success has brought me closer to the dream my father and I share for a happy life.
A happy life to my father is not just about money; there is more. His dreams funnel down to one car: a Mahindra SCORPIO. Somehow, this car has always enlivened him. Like money, this car is the tangible form of his happiness. I have often said to myself: “When I get older, I will buy my father a SCORPIO.” I have been fighting to get to where I want to be to fulfill my father’s dream.
But his hope has died out as he turned heavily to drinking. But to me, his diminishing hope only strengthens my desire to succeed. I know that I will get him his car. Funnily enough, it is this car that made me want to be a mechanical engineer. Someday, I hope to start a company to maintain custom cars and service aircrafts.
Every one of my years at Shanti Bhavan has prepared me for my flight. Now, Shanti Bhavan has taken me high enough and I am able to fly all alone. I pilot my own dreams. My heart pushes me forward like roaring engines. My desires fuel those engines, and my mind guards the wings. And my father keeps me in his radar. As I get closer to my destination, I am at the center of his focus. My father is always with me. I have begun to see the smile on his face.
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Meet the rest of the Shanti Bhavan Class of 2011.