12 Jun 2017
We are living in a time when old age homes are sprouting up like weeds. We are living in a society where abandoning our aged parents and grandparents is becoming a common occurrence.
So to come across a book in which a son is trying to pay tribute to his father was unexpected.
Even before opening the book I could tell that the father must have been an exceptional man to have raised a son who can teach a thing or two to our young generation about humanity.
The story is about a poor Indian farmer who is plagued by his socio-economic conditions like numerous other farmers in India.
It has become so common among these farmers to commit suicide that his son feared that he would take the same route of escape.
But that did not happen.
The author’s father did not look for any escape routes, instead he looked for a way to survive.
And the answer he found was a simple sewing machine—a machine on which he worked for twenty odd hours daily to earn his livelihood and support his family.
The machine became such an extension of his identity that when he passed away his family thought it fit to give this machine a place of honour in the house.
This is just the outer covering of the man’s life.
The real story that I found intriguing is the father-son relationship that has been portrayed in the book.
The author tells us that as a young boy he detested his father’s penchant for hard work and discipline.
In his young age, he did all that he could to infuriate his father. It was his aim in life to make his father miserable with his indiscipline.
All his life, he never made any attempts to come close to his father or to understand him.
It was only later when his father was diagnosed with cancer that his attitude took a three-sixty-degree-turn.
It was this portion of the struggle that bridged the distance between the father and the son.
His father’s struggle with cancer changed the author as a person and for the first time in his life he started appreciating all the values and virtues that his father stood for.
It was only when the author was about to lose his father, did he truly find him
As the author rightly points out that a man may not be able to give rise to a revolution but that does not mean that he is not great.
One good deed leads to another and that’s how goodness spreads.
The goodness of one such simple and hardworking farmer and tailor has created one responsible son and now that son is trying to inspire others with his father’s stories.
Greatness indeed does lie in simplicity.
As readers, we prefer to read autobiographies of famous men and women, but it was a surprise to realize that reading about a simple and honorable man can sometimes be just as invigorating and inspiring.
(Reviewed by Priya Das)
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