After spending six weeks with my dad, I always thought I would have enough material to do an la Dreams of My Father memoir. But really, I find myself coming up with only one major bullet point repeatedly. That, there is a an entire generation of folk, my father being a proud constituent, who are more or less omniscient and will subconsciously strive to extent that trait in themselves at any cost. I talk not just about the knowledge of the generations past or just the ideas over the last few decades and their subsequent outcomes that have generally shaped our society, but the actual underpinnings of the all-important causal relationships between these ideas and actors. While it was sometimes annoying how he would make one or two assumptions, use one or two related references, and almost immediately come up with an explanation for how a certain thing works or why something is the way it is, there was an uncanny and sometimes scary accuracy in his conclusions every single instance. Again, the all important lesson there, was that while it is mostly useful to know a little about everything in our world, connecting the dots in-between and drawing conclusions from such seemingly useless facts and news artifacts is what matters.
I think I ended up learning way more about India, the its political and socio-economic landscape in the last two months than I have learned in ten years of history and civics classes. And in the process of applying similar derivations to life and machinations in the Americas, I thoroughly enjoyed having some interesting albeit sometimes heated debates on every possible topic under the sun – from morals, to crime, to futures markets, to women, to how the plumbing under the sink works, to diagnosing autism, to metro rail systems, to vegetarianism. And as I get ready to say good-bye and restart my blur of a life typically filled with careless exploits and incessant list of mostly useless activities, I get the feel that I will miss the good exchange of ideas with him. And though I will probably never be an omniscient as him, my curiosity in understanding the world has definitely perked, and I thank him for that. They say that a father shows you the path, and a mother holds your hand while you start walking on that path. True.