• Arpan Dey

A Small Thank You To My Parents

Updated: May 1



Today was the farewell day of my father's class 12 batch of economics. I know all the students personally, we read in the same school. Most of them ended up in tears and I couldn't help but feel sad myself inwardly. The amount of respect and trust they showed in my father really brought tears to my eyes. Many of them did not like the subject of economics when they started with my father, but most of them ended up loving the subject and this is where the success of a teacher lies. And they constantly spoke about how my father was more than a teacher, a guide, a mentor, a teacher of life. My father has always been a simple, but very deep man. I may not have learnt economics from him, being a science student, but I am proud to have him as my father, and my teacher of life. He has always guided me along the right path, and has been a great help when I'm stuck on some metaphysical/consciousness-related problem, and even physics.


My father has taught, mentored and even counselled many students. He has brought about drastic (and positive) changes in students, and he never fails to motivate me. "Don't chase success," he says, "chase satisfaction. Because life is too short to worry about mundane things like money and societal status." He also takes a personal interest in human psychology, and is always able to understand people deeply. But his greatest quality, in my opinion, is his honesty. This is something my grandfather used to be very proud about. And my father has learnt it from him. My father always reminds me of this particular Dumbledore quote: "...if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy..." He never approves of lies just because it eases the situation. The truth may be harsher, but he always stands by the truth. I can't say I agree with him always, but I still respect his attitude.


My mother is another person who makes my life worth living. She is extremely kind-hearted and supportive. My father and mother are extremely lucky to end up with each other, and I feel immensely happy about the family bonding we've got. I don't love and respect my parents just because they stand by my side when the world is against me and support every (sometimes unusual) decision I take, I love them for what they are. I used to have a very twisted view on life and love (somewhat Voldemort-ish, if you've read Harry Potter!), I used to feel awkward at social gatherings, was (and is) mostly an introvert and used to consider friends a nuisance rather than a necessity. Love, I used to say, is an illusion which makes us vulnerable. (I still treat love, love to mean a romantic relationship, as unnecessary, but my general outlook toward life has taken a definite positive upsurge because of my parents.) I was so overwhelmed by the love and respect my father received today at the hands of his students, I decided to write a blog about it. My father has made me realize the importance of teachers. Of course, not simply because he himself is one. My teachers have also played a pivotal role in my life, just like he plays a crucial role in the lives of his students.


Interestingly, I wrote the song Death after having a conversation with my father on life and death. My inspiration for the first verse ("Things were going fine enough/But then tragedy struck/Very soon we were hellbound/And running out of luck") came after I discussed with him whether life is an accident. I pointed out that life (to mean consciousness) likely didn't emerge accidentally, but is a fundamental phenomenon. He pointed out while that may be true, we still need a bit of luck to stay alive in a world where so many things can go wrong. I don't say this to induce a negativity in you, but we should be thankful that we're alive, at least. But life has its ups and downs. Tragedy strikes at some point of time, and when things start to go downhill, we feel we're running out of luck. The next verse ("A force that is perverting my mind/And my head feels sore/The choice is between dying now/Or suffering a little more") talks about ageing and our gradual acceptance of death as we age. In the next two verses ("Horror here, and terror there/They are dark, they lurk/But who'll say who are they/We don't have a single clue... This isn't fair, I don't care/I'll die sure, but I assure/If there's life after this life/I'll be there to destroy you") I speak of the uncertainty surrounding death. We feel like the life here is horrible (with constant warnings of impending death) and the life after death (if there is such a thing, but for the sake of the song, assume there is) is terrible as well, because we don't really know what it's like. To quote Dumbledore once more: "It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness..." We feel that this isn't fair, and we seek revenge. (But sometimes we feel so depressed that, as I mention in my song Escape, it is "too hard to take revenge.") In the verse after the first drop ("Thought I could never live with it/Yet months have passed/I wanted to die first now I'm not sure/I don't wanna die last"), I speak about the fact that we all grow somewhat selfish as time passes; although initially we want to be the first ones to leave, we gradually accept the death of our closed ones. In the next verse ("We are heading for I don't know what/Foreboding taking over me/Just wanted to try out a new path but/Couldn't afford the gift free"), I speak of the uncertainty in which we live. Just wanted to try out a new path but couldn't afford the gift free means, as my father says, we often get washed away by the crowd, and fail to enjoy life (which is a free gift) our own way. We should always boldly try out a new path, he says, and on this particular note, I have tried to follow his advice to the best of my abilities. Then I wind up the song on a negative, and then slightly positive note ("Chaos taking over, poor dying lovers/Got no plan, let's die man/There's no way out, just no doubt/And I don't believe in miracles... Just take off, turn the spotlight off/Close your eyes, forget the lies/Again relive, memories hard to believe/Life slowly ebbing away from us"), meaning although the world is filled with negativity and sorrow, we still have to find happiness in this world, for it's the best we can do. And as my father so rightly points out, there are still some great people left in the world, and some of my friends, teachers, mentors, relatives and of course my parents, are among them.


I don't know what type of person I have framed my father to be so far, but he is also extremely intelligent and logical. He rarely expresses his emotions (that is not to say he doesn't have emotions) and is extremely patient. What I also admire about him is his open-mindedness. He has firmly believed in the idea that matter (and so, energy, because they are the same thing really) is the most fundamental thing in this universe. And although he didn't accept my belief that consciousness is more fundamental than matter, he didn't reject it either. Instead he suggested some very ingenious thought experiments and argued both for and against my view, advising me in the end to not get too confined within a particular worldview, and keep exploring. I still stand by my view that consciousness is fundamental, and we've had our arguments, but there is no denying the fact that there is a strong bonding between us: me, my father and my mother. And this bond is what keeps me going in the toughest times. Believe me, we owe our parents, we all love our parents, we all are proud of our parents. May all sons/daughters and their parents continue living happily and enjoying life. My very best wishes to everyone in this world.

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