It is true that nothing can compensate for the absence of a father in our lives. Even those who are cursed with an orphan identity are at times lucky enough to have a father figure in their lives. If we look at success stories like that of Sachin Tendulkar’s or Amitabh Bachchan’s, the influence of their fathers is more than apparent in their lives. It would be no exaggeration to state that in the Indian culture where family ties are held to be supremely significant, a father never really dies.
He lives on through his ideas and values in his sons and grandsons. Of course, this should not be interpreted in the sense that the west has not learnt to respect the father-child relationship. We merely need to have a glimpse at these lines by TS Eliot to understand what a father or a grandfather can mean to a human being in any culture:
A man’s destination is his own village,
His own fire and his wife’s cooking;
To sit in front of his own door at sunset
And see his grandson and his neighbour’s grandson
Playing in the dust together.
‘To the Indian Who Died in Africa’
—by TS Eliot
Just like the earth and the sea lose their meaning without the sun, the child and the future lose their meaning without a father. And just like the sunrise and the sunset shall continue forever, this sacred bond shall continue eternally through generations. The aspect is that of human touch. The touch of faith, love and total self surrender on the part of the child to his father. Dependability, support, assurance, faith, love are some of the attributes that radiate from this fantastic bond between a parent and a child.