daddy's day out
The first and only time I was at the Eiffel Tower, I was around five years old and out of my wits with fear at being so far away from the ground. And the fact that my father, in a loving attempt to ease my nerves, picked me up and put me on his shoulder did nothing to soothe me either. My father being the tall man that he is, the few extra feet added to the entire situation was all too much for me to take in, and I apparently retaliated by screaming with all the might my five year old body could muster, and pulling out fistfuls of my poor dad's hair. Of course over the years, he did give me the guilt trip about me being the reason why he eventually lost most of his hair, but during that moment he was my knight in shining armour.
And that's what fathers do, always providing support; a strong, reassuring shoulder to lean on even in the direst of situations. Whether it is sound advice you seek, or encouragement, or simply someone who will gladly volunteer to take all yours problems away from you, fathers are what portrays a real life hero. And while we idolize our fathers as children, in most cases, we tend not to be so appreciative of all their efforts as we grow older. It's a job without appreciation, most of the time, but a job they give their all to, nonetheless.
When it comes to showing your appreciation to dad, something simple, yet meaningful can go a long way, as long as it comes from the heart. Of course there's nothing that beats a heart-warming bear hug, but for little ones who want to go the extra-mile, there's always options like a hand-made card. Or, since there's nothing more special to dad then yourself, then ask mom to rent out a fun family movie, and prepare some popcorn and when dad's home after a hard days work, offer to take his shoes, dispose of the dirty socks, make things as comfortable as possible and snuggle up to him for a relaxing family evening.
To daughters especially, at times a father can be more of a best friend than the mother. While constant bickering with mothers may be at its heights at some period or other, it's the fathers who always seem to have time and patience for their 'little girl'. You see a big, strong dad shedding silent tears on his daughter's wedding day, and you know he's saying goodbye to a piece of his heart.
So how do we show appreciation to that special person, for always being the unwavering pillar of strength and support that he is? Because that's exactly when the concept of Father's Day comes in handy. While we may not make a point of showing it everyday, come Father's Day, this June 21st, one might just get a chance to do it. And here are some ideas on how and what to do:
If you enjoy cooking and are also good at it, a simple way of showing dad you care can be to prepare a meal comprising of all his favourite dishes. Take time out of your busy schedule to do a bit of grocery shopping. Or you could even prepare some of the dishes a day ahead. And don't worry too much about the rich food taking a toll on your old man's health because for one, don't make anything too health-unfriendly and second, Father's Day doesn't come all that often and it won't hurt to indulge him a little (after all, he indulges you all year round!). You can also schedule the surprise for the weekend just prior to Father's Day, if you feel you can't make time for the preparations on a working day.
If your dad is the social kind of man who loves to spend time with friends here's an idea that's sure to work. Send him and a few of his closest buddies to a 'Guy's night out'; an all expenses paid dinner at his favourite restaurant. You could even go one step ahead by doing a bit of research on where he and his group of friends loved to hang out back in their college days and send them there to add a bit of nostalgia to the entire experience. It could definitely turn out to be a night he'll never forget!
Another idea is to arrange a 'Poker Night' with his close friends if he's a lover of card games. Set up the living room or drawing room in a relaxing fashion, turn on the AC beforehand to set it to a comfortable temperature, and create a snug ambience with the lighting- Poker doesn't require glaring lights, but at the same time make sure to keep your old man and his friends from squinting! Also, if you happen to have little kids in the family, try and keep them away. Next step is to prepare some great snacks to munch on. You can keep the cholesterol and blood sugar meter on check by providing healthy treats like butter-free popcorn, and chilled, sugar free mocktails. Here's a recipe for a snack that dad and his friends are bound to enjoy: line plain crackers on a big plate and top them up with a sliver of cheese, a slice of salami and half an olive. You can use our own 'deshi paneer', preferably mildly salted, because it makes for a much healthier option than parmesan or cheddar.
If dad is one who enjoys the pleasures of the great outdoors, and revels in activities such as driving and fishing, arrange an all expense paid trip for him and his pals. If it's going to be a day trip, then pack a nice, healthy picnic basket for them to enjoy while they are on the road, and also remember to fill the car tank with fuel (remember, its supposed to be an all-expense-paid trip!). However, if you want to go an extra mile and arrange a 'fishing weekend', then make some calls, check out a nice resort which accommodates fishing and make reservations.
Finally, this year, Father's Day is coinciding with the T20 Finals, and if your dad just happens to be a cricket fan, then you can use this to your advantage. Arrange a big screen, where watching the game will be more exciting, invite some fun, cricket-loving people over and of course prepare some goodies to munch on and have a great night of cricket, food and fun. And, just in case your team happens to win, arrange for a karaoke machine, which will come in mighty handy with loud celebrations later. And even if you don't win, it's still okay, because karaoke is a guaranteed mood-lifter!
It isn't all that hard when you really get down to it. All you have to do is figure out a few of his favourite things. You might even consider including yourself as part of the surprise because you are, after all, one of them, not to mention he'll love spending time with you. And of course, after all is said and done, the most crucial ingredient to any surprise is to give your old man a big, warm hug and say, “Baba, I love you.”
By Farina Noireet
Model: Simon Mansoor and Irhan Mansoor
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed