To celebrate Father’s Day on the third Sunday of June each year is, as we all know, a western tradition. As far as I’m concerned, every day is a father’s day. Having said that there’s no harm in keeping a day aside where the kids can get an opportunity to wish their fathers and after he’s accepted their wishes with gratitude and given them a smile, ask him to take them out to their favourite restaurant. And there’s that shopping mall on the way where they need to stop. The fathers have to know it and let the children buy what they want. Such an American thing, didn’t I say.

Becoming a father teaches you another thing: mothers are irreplaceable. For one father’s day every year, we should celebrate at least twelve mother’s day, one for each month.

Frankly, I realized what it meant to be a father only when my daughter was born. I was posted in Goa at that time. The first time I saw her, it was magical: I felt proud and as I held her, I said to myself: “Nothing can ever replace or fade the love I feel for her right now.” I also remember calling my dad later that day and saying, “Dad, now, only now, I really understand how much you love me.”

I also remember calling my dad later that day and saying, “Dad, now, only now, I really understand how much you love me.”

 But the frustrating part was, I had very little role in bringing her up. Even though I did try to help my wife with baby cleaning, I have to admit, it was a tough job. Becoming a father teaches you another thing: mothers are irreplaceable. For one father’s day every year, we should celebrate at least twelve mother’s day, one for each month.

Six years later, my second daughter was born, this time in Delhi Army hospital as I was posted there. The experience was exactly the same. Over the years, as they have grown, I’ve grown as a father too. I experience total happiness every single day, and a love that’s filled with the sweet pain of worry as I see both my daughters grow and take on the big world. I try to warn them of dangers, of the need to eat well, of the need to spread love and tolerance, and so many things that I consider important. You will be surprised to know that I rarely ask my daughters to study, because both I and my wife know it as a family that if we give them all our love, they will do well and make us proud.

 This father’s day, let your children soar with all the love your family can give. And yes, don’t forget the restaurant and the shopping.

Kulpreet Yadav voluntarily retired from the armed forces in 2014 to write, speak and travel. A well-known motivational speaker now, he lives in Delhi with his wife Seema, and daughters, Leah and Jeanie. Kulpreet’s latest novel is a spy thriller called Murder in Paharganj. Views expressed are author’s own.

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