WHY I BROUGHT MY FATHER IN THE MIDDLE OF MY NAME
In response to my last post on ‘Women’s Day’, Pooja, one of my dear friends, shared her story with me. “Sir, I strongly felt that I must share it with you,” she wrote, “If you think it is worth sharing with your readers, please feel free to do so.”
Yes, I immediately felt that the story deserved to be shared.
Just this Sunday, I had been to my friend Sundar’s place. “I want you to approach fear and confidence from a different perspective,” Sundar said in the course of our discussion. Being spiritually anchored, he described to me a simple ‘Sadhana’ – a spiritual exercise… which involved sitting quietly and remembering and showing deep, sincere reverence to our parents mentally before we evoke the name the deity we worshiped. Sundar had told me, in several occasions, the importance of making peace with our parents… and, how central that peace was for the flow of abundance in our lives… including that of wealth, health, and love through all other relationships… He had shared with me his own story… how resentful he was, for years, after his father’s untimely death… How everything had changed once he made peace with that reality.
So, the moment I read Pooja’s story, I spoke to Sundar. I said, “Sundar, please read this story, and add your own bit to it.”
In less than 15 minutes or so, I had the ‘bit’ from Sundar…
Hope, it will inspire peace in our hearts…
Today is ‘International Women’s Day’… What it means to me?
Since yesterday, the wishes have been pouring in; and then came the office mail to all the women on ‘Pink’ as the dress-code for 8th of March. Finally, the HR walked in to inform me, that I had been selected in office to inspire other women of my journey as an achiever!
I pondered over the hoopla and asked myself the question: What does this day mean to me? Have I really ever thought of my journey so far, or am I just an ‘ordinary girl’ (pun intended) that went with the flow?
My journey, actually, started just a couple of days ago when the first thing I did was to add my father’s name in the middle of my name. I lost my father when I was two. He died of cancer. My younger sister, Neetu, was barely a year old! So, close to four long decades, I didn’t know what my dad was like… Would he have been a loving and doting father or a strict disciplinarian or this or that?
It’s different (not difficult) to be raised as a single-parent child. Your attitude towards seeing at things changes. I, always, thought that my achievements were attributed to my strong, dedicated and supportive mother (sometimes a dictator!) and my sincerity of course. I thought, my father had no role to play in what I was. Today, I am a Chartered Accountant, with an MBA in Finance from Germany; professionally, I am doing very well as head of finance. My younger sister, Neetu, became India’s youngest commercial pilot at the age of 19, and, presently, well-settled in Australia. All this was possible because of my mom’s determination to make us strong, independent girls in life. We were never made to feel the absence of our dad… She tried to shield us from that pain. So much so, for me, people who used to put father’s name in the middle were either weak or living in the medieval period… while I belonged to the modern world!
But, lately, I began to feel something was amiss… I could sense the anxiety writ large on my mom’s face: “Pooja, you are forty… still single… what will happen to you after I go?” Yes, I could sense this mother’s helplessness, which suddenly made me feel weak… I needed strength... I began to feel the absence of my father acutely, now!
Then, some days ago, I happened to come across an article in a leading newspaper which summarized that those who wrote their father’s name along with theirs actually drew strength to face the hardships of day-to-day grind. I suddenly felt this urge in my heart to experience it – but, in the rush of this cosmopolitan living, I casually forgot to make this small change in my name! A few days later, while driving to my office in the morning, I heard this song of ‘Dostana’ movie on radio: “When you smile for me, the world seems alright.” Believe me, I was trying to build connect with my dad!
That very day, I brought my dad in the middle of my name… Pooja ASHOK Gupta!
Yes, I feel a new strength now… I can feel the flow of a fresh abundance… It is so peaceful there inside!
I am sure, seeing me strong and peaceful, here in this world, my dad must be smiling up there in heaven. I am truly my dad’s l’le woman. I, particularly, feel so today… on this ‘International Women’s Day’…
It took four long decades to do so… But, I have no regrets!
Taking this “Divinely” inspired happening further, there are schools of thought in Indian spirituality, which lay great emphasis on the relationship with one’s parents. Since we come through them, they are our links to the unseen universe. Irrespective of who they are or how they are we have no right to judge them for all judgment is subjective. In functional domains, relationship with one’s mother has a direct impact on career prospects whereas relationship with one’s father is linked to magnetizing wealth in one’s life.
One common observance is that given an equal set of skills, a person with a better relationship with his/her parents achieves greater success. Dr. Wayne Dyer talks of an episode in his life when he was a failure in all aspects of his life. His career was in doldrums, his first marriage had collapsed. It was at this stage of his life that he met a young spiritual master from India. This master is inferred to be Nisargadatta. Nisargadatta told him to go and set right his relationship with his father. It was just a random bit of advice.
The problem was Dyer’s father had deserted his mom during Dyer’s birth. Dyer had never seen him. He carried in him a load of hatred for his unseen father. But, something in the young master’s eyes told him to just do it. So, he went to his father’s town, only to learn that his father was long dead. But again, the master’s words prodded him. He found the grave where his father was buried and sat at his father’s grave the whole night, conversing with him. He told his father that he did not know why he deserted him and his mom at his birth, but there must be some reason. He forgave him whole heartedly and sought his unconditional forgiveness and blessings.
And when he came back, everything changed for him, he became the world-renowned Wayne Dyer of today. He remarried and had a happy family.
Most of us judge our parents. It blocks our life journey, be it material or spiritual. This relationship is the greatest resource of our lives. Another aspect of this relationship is that it is fundamental to other relationships in our lives. Our relationship with our mom is subtly reflected in patterns that occur with other women in our lives, including our spouses. The same is the case with our father and other men in our lives.
Nothing is more important in our life-journey than the relationship with our parents. Healing in this space opens the gateway to a lot of success and joy in our lives.
(Note: Dyer’s story is a very well-known episode. However, it has spread through word of mouth. For its most authentic version, Dyer is reported to have shared this experience in his 8 video series.)
Pic.: Chetna Shetty