Father the unjudgmental

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 15 Aug 2017 09:30:40


By Vijay Phanshikar

I want a father
Always have.
God won’t do
He’s too judgemental.
And so I found you
Like my father, absent.
- I want a father,
A poem by Eunice D’Souza

THAT’S no simple poem! It has its complex thought, a deep-seated desire for father who would take the kid as she is. This longing for a father may be a universal emotion in
girls -- and also in boys. But when a little one loses her father before she gets a little older, then the sense of loss is beyond words. Eunice D’Souza expresses this sense of missing the father in so few words, in such a powerfully simple manner.
Of course, God is available as the eternal father -- of all, of everybody, of that little girl who lost her father early on -- before she realised what a father could be like. But then, there is the problem -- of having God as father. For, as the dogma tells everybody, God is the epitome of virtue, a signpost of
goodness, a totem pole of purity of spiritual and temporal climax. Naturally, such a father would never expect his little girl to be just a human. He would want often his little one to rise to greatness beyond human frame in temporal form or spiritual norm.
Realising this possibility, the little one who has now grown older, shudders. For, as she suspects, such a God would be too
judgemental, too much trapped by his own definitions of the good, the sublime. And if the girl falters for whatever reason -- or without reason -- he would get upset. How, then, can one want to have a father like that --
judgemental, quick to decide the right and the wrong of the girl’s conduct. No, no! Such a father wouldn’t do -- too judgemental, too quick of temper, too much given to despair when the kid errs.
Yet, the girl wants a father. Her search goes on. Faces -- possibly like those of her plausible father -- lurk into her view. Yet, she wants to look beyond them, behind them, even through them, in search of her father! The search is of a human and humane father. The search is for somebody incapable of making haste in judging his kid -- a daughter or a son.
In that human father, the kid looks for somebody like her, capable of making
mistakes, of slipping, of pilfering, of lying, of even telling truth and upholding it, of making friends as well as enemies, with ability to understand not just poetry but also prose, with an urge to love without attachments and hate with reason.
Fortunately, someone seems to have arrived in the kid’s life -- resembling the human father the little one is looking for. And he seems to remind her of her father who was never there. In his absence, the little one realises the
presence of someone who she can call her father.
The words of this poem are very simple. At one level, the meaning, too, is simple. Yet, at another,
deeper level, every written word emerges
with an unwritten meaning, an
unassumable metaphor, an unimplied
simile ...!
Father is the metaphor -- difficult to
decipher, easy to be in love. Father -- for this little one now having grown up -- is somebody whose presence matters. For, when he was not there, his absence mattered. Now, in the feel of the father’s persona in absentia, the little one nurses an image and dotes on it. And when someone with a similar persona appears in view, she tests the likeness from the
dimensions of the absent father.
Father, after all, is that tower -- of strength, that shower -- of love, that makes all the
That is why, I want a father ...!