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My Father Expired

My Father, Brojendro Oinam, expired on Mar 22, 2005. He was born on Feb 13, 1953. His three sons and a daughter survive him.

About a week back, I received calls from home that he was taken to a hospital and was in bad shape. Later, I got further information that he was recuperating after a couple of intermittent comas that overtook him. While I was still preparing to go down there, somewhere late in the evening of Mar 22, 2005, his condition worsened suddenly, and he succumbed to his illness.

Though he was never a man who excelled in anything, he will be best remembered as somebody from whom we learn not to make mistakes in life. When he was alive, when we were with him (which were always rare occasions), he made sure that we did not follow in his footsteps but instead became better persons in life. I am sure we all learned from his mistakes, and he was proud that all his kids were more competitive and rebellious enough to survive on their own in this harsh world.

He was a man who would rather keep his sorrows to himself, be silent about his unhappiness, and be shunned away from the world than bring up his hardship to anybody near or dear. In times of happiness, he would eventually share with us. Though a concerned father, he was helpless enough not to be able to do much for his kids. But he was rather more of a practical man who would teach us to be realistic than to crave for things that are just fantasies.

One of his most commendable deeds, which I realized much later in life, was when our mother left us all for somebody else. We were all very young. I was still in third grade, and our youngest sister was in the earliest phase of her life. As agreed by elders and relatives, she was deported to our mother while the three of us remained home. Our Father, who was away at that time, came to know of the whole situation and took the drastic step of separating his very young daughter from her mother and uniting all the kids.

I still remember one of his best lines, which comes out only when he is drunk (it was relatively frequent anyway), “Your cleverness will never surpass my foolishness.” I converted that to my idiom and loved to follow the same; “Never underestimate your opponent; nobody is a fool.”

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