Skip to main content

Happy Birthday, Dad! Love you Lots!

Today is my Dad's birthday and he is spending it just like any other day - working nearly 12 hours without rest. So today, I am going to get a bit emotional about Dad - who is always my hero, my best friend, my spiritual guide and mentor. 


It's not been easy growing up as Dr. C.R.Raghunandanan's daughter because people have expectations that you will be a chip off the block - which turns out to be not the case when it comes to me. 

No, Dad isn't a celebrity. He loves to travel and has a penchant for poetry, philosophy and adventure. But I think he is more of a doctor-turned-saint because he is well-known and highly respected for the service that he does. 

If he isn't working 24x7 in hospital, you will find him going early to pitch in for medical aid camps to islands where villagers have no easy access to doctors or medicines. 

On a Sunday when he can take rest, he sets out early morning to distribute the medicines and to serve those who are ill. He will skip marriages, social outings and functions and find greater joy in doing this.

People from all walks of life come to him, unburden all their troubles on him and he has this amazing, heart warming way of consoling people. 

I can give you lots of examples of how he transforms lives and empowers people but I won't. He won't like it and also, that is his nature - to love all, to serve all. It's not up to me to judge that.

But I'd like to share some core values that my father has taught me and I believe that has helped me grow as a human being:

1. NEVER EVER treat a person with scorn or disrespect or as though the person is beneath you in social rank or status. 

2.  If some one has disclosed something personal/confidential to you, do not EVER betray or exploit that person's trust. Do not reveal it to another person.

3. Work hard and honestly. Don't take short cuts or dishonest routes to earn name, fame or money.

4.  Listen to your inner voice always. Follow your heart. Pray to God.

5. Always be grateful to those who have helped you in your time of need. Find a way to repay the debt in little ways and do it with a feeling of love, not compulsion. 

6. Time is God. Don't waste it. Do something useful or creative but don't allow yourself to be complacent or idle.  

7.  Never choose a profession because you believe it will bring you name, fame or social status.  Do what you love and do it with passion. 

8. If you can do something to help one person a day without expecting anything in return, you will make the world a happier place. 

9. The good that you do will always protect you in time of need.

Happy Birthday, Dad! Love you lots and I am constantly inspired by you!

Comments

Anonymous said…
Wishing him a very happy birthday :-)
Mélange said…
Touched ! Don't have much to say,but I believe people like him make world we live in a better place.Praying here for his good health..

Happy B'Day !
Asha said…
Awwww! such an endearing post, Swapna. You are raised by him no w onder you have such a fine upbringing. And his service to the poor and the needy reflects so much like my dad. My dad always gives more and shares with the needy. Wish him many more healthy and happy years on my behalf.
@Anonymous: Thanks so much for the birthday wish. Will tell Dad. Wish I knew your name but heartfelt gratitude for the wishes :-)

@Melange: Thanks so much. Your love and prayers are all that we need and will convey to Dad:)

@Asha Thanks so much for the loving words, will convey to Dad for sure.

Most Popular Posts

The Ugly Truth about Caste in Kerala

Many years ago, when I wrote this post on Kerala's caste system, I had not considered that I would receive such online abuse for writing this or that I would be seen as some one who was trying to insult other castes. The intention of writing is always to share an experience or a perspective, not to insult others.  My experience of motherhood and marriage would be different from yours. When I write about my experience, it is illogical to abuse me because our journeys are entirely different narratives. My life and yours are not the same at any given point of time.

My question is - why do you ABUSE any caste or person here? You are free to disagree but why do you ABUSE? How does that reflect on YOU?

In my article, I shared what trials I went through, without any intention to insult any community.A new book 'Ants among Elephants' written by Sujatha Gidla, who writes about herself as being born 'an untouchable in India' teaches you everything you probably want to know abo…

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Meaning, Benefit of Chanting and Who can Chant the Mantra

Mahadmrityunjaya Mantra: Benefit of chanting this mantra nee

There are very few mantras that are as powerful as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. Do read my post: Does Mahamrityunajaya mantra really work?Of course, it does but you need to undertstand the meaning and significance of the mantra first.
This mantra is believed to have the power to remove all sufferings, diseases and bestow the one who chants it with good health and long life. It is also believed that constant contemplation of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra can help spiritual aspirants to overcome the cycle of birth and death.
What got me fascinated about this mantra is something personal.  I learned this mantra from my father but it is my maternal grandmother who chanted it all the time and repeatedly told me of its tremendous power to protect. However, I did not chant this mantra regularly. [ Do READ: THE POWER OF LOVE]
But at the age of two, my son was taught some mantras by my mother who explained what it means to him and he becam…

The Amazing Tale of Peddabottu: How she battled all odds, took leadership roles and defied conventional norms in a unique way

When we first come into the world, we mark our entry with a big cry.  The wise ones say that we loathe to leave the safety of the mother's womb. As we grow up, we learn to seek happiness in the things we do. We find different ways to be happy. The wise ones says, ''Pain makes you strong.'' [READ: Feeling depressed and low?]

The truth about happiness is that it teaches us nothing, whereas pain nudges out of our complacent comfort zones.  It teaches us to reflect, look within and find the answers from a zone that we are not usually familiar dealing with.





Pain and sorrow manifest in our lives differently and across different phases but how we react to it defines our the direction of our life. A newborn child undergoes pain when vaccinated but will a mother stop her child from being vaccinated simply because she doesn't want her child to undergo pain?
[Must Read: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He loves]

So, there is pain that both protects and gives strength though…

Why chant Ramayana during the month of Karkidakam

For Keralites across the world who follow the Malayalam calendar, today marks the beginning of the month of Karkidakam. This month, which, decades ago, was known and slightly feared for its torrential rains and negative impact on the health, wealth and well being of Kerala's rural community. 
Why chant Ramayana during Karkidakam To ward off the negative energy unleashed by Nature and its possible repercussions on one's family's overall well being, the wise elders introduced the timeless tradition of every family reading the Ramayana as an oral, spiritual tradition. Thus, it goes without saying that for Keralites who embrace these traditions, the act of reading the Ramayana is as much a spiritual cleansing as it is a kind of tradition they can pass on to bond with their loved family members, particularly children.
In the Ramayana, there is no 'preaching of principles' but you are taken through the Avatar's journey as a human being. Lord Rama depicts how a man shoul…

Book Review: Subrata Dasgupta's novel 'Voice of the Rain Season' a journey of four generations of Bengali women, extraordinarily told

Published by FingerPrint! Publishing, Subrata Dasgupta's novel 'Voice of the Rain Season' is not an easy book to describe for it involves a journey that takes you back into time, spanning four generations and catapulting you into the epicenter of a Bengali family's long kept secret that is tied to notions of identity, homecoming, language, love and loss. [DO READ: The Amazing Tale of Peddabottu

The telling of Subrata Dasgupta's novel opens in the US. The protagonist is Joya Bose, a twenty five year old Indian lecturer, who is living with Martin Shawncross, an American undergraduate student at the University where she teaches. Initially, Joya is surprised that Martin Shawncross is not only familiar with Rabindranath Tagore's poetry but is also passionate in his interpretation of it. She is delighted when he tells her that her paternal grandmother Manjula is a Bengali, who had married his grandfather, an American. Manjula's twin sister Nilima also becomes de…

Five ways to take charge of your anger

“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems -- not people; to focus your energies on answers -- not excuses.” ― William Arthur Ward
Every day, the newspaper headlines are full of scary stories of people killing each other over trivial things - mostly these incidents happen when individuals lose their temper and turn violent. In traffic jams across Noida in the evenings, people don't hesitate to walk out and hit each other.  At workplaces, colleagues lose their temper and say things that they regret later. During holidays with loved ones, small things set us off and we say things that damage relationships forever. No one stops anyone. Everyone likes a big, bad fight. It's great to vent. After all, what's the big deal about getting angry? After all, if you cannot express what pisses you off, how can you call yourself human? 


Does anger solve your problems? You know the answer!

If anger solved all the problems in the world, this world would have been a perfect place centur…

Amazing Signs You are an Earth Angel

Doreen Virtue’s book, “Assertiveness for Earth Angels” brings to life the reality of Earth Angels in very easy way. It’s an exciting must-read! 

[DO READ: The POWER OF LOVE]

Earth Angels have amazing superpowers in: MusicArtsWriting HealingManifesting miracles for others such as controlling weather conditions and  becoming invisible at will.
[MUST READ: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He loves]
DO READ: ASK MORE, FEAR LESS.

How to Identify Earth Angels by their Traits
To know whether you are an Earth Angel, take a look at their known traits that are explained in this book:


You have a graceful and compassionate aura that inspires people.Your presence “lifts” everyone to happier spirits – it is proof of who you really are.You don’t judge others but you overdo the “acceptance” bit. So, you tolerate even those who show no respect for boundaries.You cannot stand anyone suffering or being in pain. You are constantly “rescuing people” because it is in your nature to want to see everyone happy in …

Top 10 Skincare tips for Summer

Come summer, and we women worry a lot about how the sun lashes out on our skin. True, skincare tips for the summer are plenty but what about the hushed secrets - yes, those tried and tested family secrets that are passed on from mother to daughters? [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]

FOLLOW MY BOARDS ON PINTEREST

Here are some that are totally easy to do. Best of all, these are effective and bring on a feel-good factor in the peak of summer.

1. Replace water with rosewater. It keeps your skin luminous and fragrant throughout the day. It's a good toner too.

2. Cleanse your skin by combining these ingredients - honey, milk, rosewater/rosepetals and turmeric. Add a dash of olive oil and yes, it feels wonderful.

3. Almond oil body baths are a must-have! You will smell delicious all day. This summer, skip all those body lotions & moisturizers! You will love the way almond oil pampers your skin all day!

4. Use a mixture of almond oil and olive oil for your fe…

Happy Onam: Revisiting Memories of Onam Celebrations

Everyone’s watch is set to a different time and the earth revolves slowly or fast depending on the state of one’s heart. – Anjum Hassan (Difficult Pleasures)
The scent of Onam brings with it the secrecy of pain and the tumultuous, roller coaster sense of gradually heightening excitement. Looking back, memories flood back into my mind. Like firecrackers that light up the sky in a brilliant display and burn itself out into a shimmering incandescence, these memories stored safely in my mind turn alight. The memories push through the shadowy boundaries of nostalgia and make my heart flip over with a strange, inexplicable sliver of joy and pain.

So many Onams spring to life. Onam with my parents – where my mother would be busy in the kitchen preparing all the items for the sadhya without any one’s help in the kitchen. When she used to fry the banana chips, I would sneak in to steal some from the hot plate because I didn’t have the patience to wait till it cooled. I’d take some to my father w…

Balanced diet for ladies: Eat according to your body’s age

Experts say that as years roll by, your body’s ability to absorb nutrients decline, so it is even more important to formulate a balanced diet and eat according to one’s age.

The following age-specific information (excluding the details given under ‘Expectant Mothers’) is a summary from an article I read in the popular UK food magazine called Delicious and the article is titled “Eat your age: Wise up to your changing needs.” It is written by Anna Montague and published in  March 2011. 

[READ: Why Salad is Good for you ]


FOLLOW MY BOARDS ON PINTEREST

Balanced Diet during Teen Years Iron deficiency is seen as a predominant condition in most teenage girls and this trend is increasing. Teenage girls are not getting enough iron from their diet.

200gm of low fat yoghurt every dayLean meat, fish, pulses and eggsDried fruitsLeafy vegetablesFresh fruitsSay no to sugary drinksHaving a daily sufficient calcium intake is important for girls as it is like having ‘bone in the bank’ for the future.
Balanced…