“You were the brightest of all my three kids..”

“..and then you got your Masters in journalism.”

That’s usually what my father tells me when we start talking about my journalism career and when I’m feeling down in the dumps about my previous job choices. But in those instances, it’s a half compliment, half “I wasn’t there to guide you to tell you to do engineering.”

It’s really a statement he tells me all the time, minus the journalism part.

He continues,” You were the brightest of the kids and you always got such good grades and got all the scholarships and went and did your higher education, really, I admire your drive to keep doing all this journalism.”

I guess I got that drive from him. Growing up, us kids always knew how my father, a poor kid from Gujarat who was the first in his own family to even go past secondary school, never paid for his college or his grad school. He worked hard, got his scholarships and got a chance to study abroad. On one hand, I had him as a role model when it came to education and I had my mother to thank for my outlook in life and how I dealt with other people.

The thing is, I always knew I loved journalism after college and wanted to go back to school for it to learn more. That was my own choice. But it was also partially a nod to my father to show him that “look, I can do this too. I can make it easy for you and mama by not paying for anything and I can walk (two) years in your shoes and come out of it with a degree, just like you. Because …I want to be like you when it comes to having your drive, your ambitions and your achievements.”

It’s a sign of respect, that degree, for him and for me.



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