Priyanka Rawat   |   February 16, 2015 


If I pull together all the strings of my childhood memories, it can become a thick rope, which almost strangles me if I get caught in it for too long.

My childhood was full of uncertainty and dread. Self-pity and over-confidence composed my bipolar personality. Anger, hatred and jealousy were close friends of mine. A desire to kill threatened me more than the desire to commit suicide. A surge of Hollywood movies labelled me “a disturbed child”!

I think of the nights when I tried to touch my parents’ feet while they were asleep, and prayed that they would love each other and that all their fights would stop. I remember how my brother would either be indifferent to the whole scene or fight with my dad to protect my mum.

My heart often leapt from my chest into my mouth. I lived with that frightening experience all my childhood. I always dreaded the evening because I knew that dad would come home drunk and another gruesome fight would follow.

I remember, once my mum came running to the building where I was taking tuitions. She stood on the road and started calling out for me. When I heard her, I looked outside and she was in her night gown. She was overwhelmed by stress and I ran down to find out what happened. I ended up going back home to deal with my drunk father.

When I reached home, I saw my dad’s eyes rolling. He was sitting on our old, brown sofa. He was drunk and the strong stench of alcohol filled the room. He was accusing my mum of her character, her pride and what not.

“Dad, I am here. Let’s take off your shoes and let’s sleep,” I said. He spat on me. I was in “disaster management” mode, so I just wiped his saliva off my face with my hands and continued to insist that he should get some sleep. Eventually, I was able to calm him down and put him to sleep.

In the morning, while cleaning the house, my mum told me that it was all my fault. I still fail to comprehend what I did to deserve that remark.

After many years, one early morning I had to get dressed in a hurry to rush my dad to the hospital because he was choking on his own saliva. It’s called epiglottis and it happens because of excessive smoking. My mum panicked and refused to go with us.  All along the way, I wiped my dad’s saliva. Even when we got to the O.P.D., I let his saliva sit in my hand until he was admitted to a room and given sedatives to calm down.

These memories left a scar on my thoughts about my father which were only challenged when I met my Heavenly Father. He was not disillusioned, scared, overwhelmed, insulting or drunk. It took me a long time to believe that this is the actual image of a father. This Father was not ashamed of me, did not spit on my face, lie to me, or cheat on the family, but He provided and cared for me, and He respected me.

As I grew to know and love this Father, surprisingly, it did not create a hatred towards the inadequacies of my earthly father but rather it compelled me to forgive him and respect him. This was radical for me because the world taught me to hate those who harm you. Even if I had tried out of moral conviction, I would not have been able to forgive him.

The whole equation was brought in balance as God, the Holy Spirit, convicted me through God’s word. His love appealed to me like no other love. To give and forgive rather than ask and sulk. This makes me believe that God redeems completely and in miraculous ways.

"I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty" (2 Corinthians 6:18).



Photo Credit: R Halfpaap via Flickr cc

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Priyanka Rawat

Priyanka Rawat is a communication consultant at Hindustan Unilever Foundation, highlighting the many narratives that surround water in our country. She lives in Delhi with her husband and son and is part of the loving community of New City Delhi church. Priyanka has worked in the social sector for 13 years, supporting governments, civil society, communities, media, and various other key stakeholders. She has helped stakeholders build a better response to issues such as sex trafficking, labour issues, migration, child nutrition, livelihood for women, health, and gender.

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8 comments on “Fathers”

  1. Heart wrenching article! I am personally blessed by this! Indeed, He is our Father whose love is without any boundaries..
    God bless you abundantly Di 🙂

  2. Heartfelt and so true! No matter how imperfect our fathers on earth are, our eternal Father is perfect! Thank you for your honesty Priyanka! Blessed.

  3. It takes real courage to come out in open with your scars. Not everybody is capable of doing it. I am proud of you Priyanka. You are a true inspiration. Your smile actully scares away hardships!
    God bless you abundently.

  4. Priyanka, Kudos man! Moved me to tears. This article is such an inspiration for people who think they have nowhere to go.
    Worth sharing. Proud of you.
    Ankaaaa...u rock! :-*

  5. Thank you for being brave. Thank you for writing words that make souls stronger. Glory to our loving, faithful, heavenly Abba! Blessings.

  6. .............."This makes me believe that God redeems completely and in miraculous ways". Powerful article. Have meet a few who say God as Father is difficult to accept because of their earthly fathers. You have portrayed a life that has been totally redeemed. Thanks for that.

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