Father's Day : 'Add Life to the Years, not Just Years to the Life'

June 21, 2009

For the thousands of students and faculty at Manipal University, he is a fatherly figure. His family swears by the immense affection he has for them. Dr HS Ballal, Pro Chancellor of the Manipal University and Chairman of the National Higher Education Committee of FICCI (the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) shares with Daijiworld Media Network his feelings on Father’s Day.

Q- What does ‘fatherhood’ mean to you?

A – Fatherhood is one of the most beautiful feelings to be experienced. It’s a very serious responsibility as well. Though I respect the divinity of motherhood, I must say that perhaps we men express ourselves rarely; Fatherhood is certainly one of the most important roles a Man plays.

Q- What has been your level of attachment to your children?

A – I am deeply attached to my children. I have strong bonds with them that have continued even after they have married and settled elsewhere. I closely interact with them, as a matter of fact, I speak to them daily and keep a track of their wellbeing. At times, deep inside I feel very proud of the fact that I could play a major role in successfully moulding their careers and life in general.

Q- What kind of relationship did you share with your father ?

A – My relationship with my father was actually great compared to the general atmosphere those days. He was more like a friend. We often use the adage Friend, Philosopher and Guide. It somehow fits extremely well into the role my father played. The relationship evolved to one with a deep sense of faith, gratitude and contentment – like nothing else in the world.

Q- Was it similar or very different from the relationship you share with your children?

A – Surprisingly and thankfully, it’s more or less similar. Times have changed drastically, but his friendly yet fatherly nature with us was the same that I have with my children. I have always felt that my father was much ahead of his times as those days it was uncommon to have freely understanding parents. Nothing wrong with the parents, it’s just that the times were very different then. Of course what has remained constant with time are the ups and downs one experiences in life. There have been times when I have failed to achieve what I set out to. At those times I used to be dead scared to even go in front of my father forget facing him. But surprisingly, he always gave me moral encouragement teaching me to treat failures as stepping stones to success. It’s perhaps from him that I believe in working hard and coming back with a vengeance. I have always shown the same understanding towards my children.
Q- Any interesting anecdotes from the time spent with your father?

A- There are several such incidents, but what comes to my mind today is the day I was to step into the big bold world of professional education. I had secured admission for the MBBS course at the prestigious Govt. Medical College at Mysore. My whole family was quite happy about it and my father decided he would drive us to Mysore in his brand new Fiat. The day we were supposed to go, it was pouring cats and dogs. Due to the heavy rains, all routes to Mysore were closed except one which was longer and quite rough. My dad drove all the way to Mysore inspite of the bad conditions of the weather and roads. The passion that he displayed kind of struck a chord within me. I also credit my father for teaching me the value of money. There are many homes where there is no shortage of money whatsoever. But there is always the right time to spend the right amount of money. His caution with money did strengthen my character.

Q- Your message to the fathers of today.

A - I believe fathers of today have to be young at heart and accommodating as they see their children grow into young adults. As the saying goes, add life to the years, not just years to the life.

by Divvy Kant Upadhyay, Manipal
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Comment on this article

  • Shiva Shetty, Kateel / AUH

    Mon, Jun 22 2009

    Nice caption ....

  • Maxim , mangalore

    Mon, Jun 22 2009

    It is a great pleasure to be a Dad. Thanks Divvy Kanth for your write up….You have rightly chosen the right Mr. Perfect Dad in Dr.H.S Ballal. He has been a wonderful Doctor, Great Administrator and academician .above all a perfect human being with a big heart …No wonder someone found him as a wonderful Dad to his children .

  • Nagaraj Shetty K, UDUPI/DUBAI

    Sun, Jun 21 2009

    Thanks to Daiji, for presenting Dr H S Ballal, a great personality and fatherly figure not only to his students but also for all of us. It has been always a rewarding experience to meet and interact with him.

  • A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.

    Sun, Jun 21 2009

    It is a great article strictly to be followed by the parents. When we see a great person, we can visualize mainly two people behind him or her. In the front, a noble and virtuous mother, behind her the gentle and loving father. When the parents are working too hard to earn money for the children''s future without giving them affection and attention the children are going to end up in drugs, liquor and all other evil influences of the society. Let us all give more emphasis to give love and affection to our children and give less material things, so that they will be great citizens of the society.

  • Balakrishna T.Shetty, Mangalore/Riyadh/Palladakody

    Sun, Jun 21 2009

    Thanks lot to Daijji and Divvy Kant Upadhyay.... Really i am big fan of Dr HS Ballal uncle''s, he is my great personality... I am too happy to see him in Daijji. May God will give you healthy and wealthy long life uncle...

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Title: Father's Day : 'Add Life to the Years, not Just Years to the Life'

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