Every day is Father’s Day

It does not require a labeled day for you to be able to sit down with your father and enjoy a cup of tea.

Mariam Ashraf June 17, 2012

Sunday is Father’s Day and yet again flowers, colognes, ties, shirts, cigars, books and general goodwill shall be shared mutually. Since ours is a populist society and we relate to and live vicariously through the characters of this expendable culture, Gone with the Wind is a visual treat most of us are familiar with.

A timeless classic of cotton plantations and genteel society, propped up by dark skinned armies of either sex, brings to mind Rhett Butler in the movie. His daughter, Bonnie, is the pride and joy of his rather soiled life. In a heated confrontation with Scarlett O’ Hara (a protagonist in the movie), he says that he will do whatever needs to be done to get acceptance in the society because he now has to think of his daughter.

What stands out are his aspirations towards an honourable life and profession because he is now a father.

Life  is not easy for anyone - least of all for the lesser humans living in Pakistan. The man who works in my house has three daughters and the eldest is now going to school. He toils day and night without a frown or a wrinkle on his forehead showing fatigue or displeasure for his lot in life. After working a 12 hour shift he goes home and makes sure his daughter has all the stationary and loose papers for her exam the next day.

Every day should be Father’s Day.

A father can be a white collar professional, a mid level office employee or a day labourer. But he will do whatever he must do to provide his children with food, shelter, love and security every hour of every day. His concern and compassion for his children drives him to go to the job he hates, endure the master who humiliates him without any reason and happily receive the meager pay that barely helps him keep his body and soul together.

Like all other aspects of our society we have assimilated this largely western concept of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day into our lives. Little does the public know that the moving force behind these assorted days is not unadulterated love but commercialism; play on the emotions of a weak populace and make money. These relationships are biological not social.

Yes, small gestures of kindness will go a long way in strengthening them but they can be exhibited throughout the 365 days of the year. No designated day can cement a bond that can never be broken regardless of what the circumstances be. Maybe in the west it may make more sense to have dedicated days considering the rate in which old homes are being filled altering the need to show appreciation for parents to rise.

 It can have its highs and lows but the bond remains unconditional and irrevocable, forever. Small gestures of kindness will be cherished, however, incorporating commercialism to them trivialises a bond that does not require worldly validation.

You may realise the need to keep reassuring your spouse that you love him or her but how many times do we say it to our parents? Pick up the phone and call them, give them a surprise visit,  hug them as many times as you can.

Love for parents doesn't have to be show boated in a certain way through buying them expensive gifts or sending them flowers everyday. For instance, Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has two grown sons. When asked how frequently they meet each other, she answered,

“We talk a lot on the phone”.

It does not require a labeled day for you to be able to sit down with your father and enjoy a cup of tea while he shares his experiences with you. To tell him that you know how much he loves you and you love him. You don't need a special day to take your mother out to the spa or to bake her a cake, showing your appreciation for all the love she has showered you with. These relationships are free of worldly demands and materialism. Our parents adore us and we adore them without expectations. By assorting our gratitude for these bonds to certain days, we are only stripping them of their true essence.

So please, celebrate every day as Father’s Day, Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day. Don't let the small moments that you can choose to make special every day with your loved ones be tainted or powered by distorted ideas of social convention. Love needs no label.

Read more by Mariam here.

Mariam Ashraf A doctor who works in a postgraduate medical institute where doctors come for postgraduate training. Mariam is a teacher, a housewife and a mother who desires the Pakistan that Jinnah dreamed of.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


mariam ashraf | 11 years ago | Reply Tolerance my dear Stan. Who are you to decide what can or cannot be allowed?
stan | 11 years ago | Reply Every day cannot be father's or mother's day according to Americans. That's Pakistani culture and should not be allowed.
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