Every day is Father’s Day

Published: June 17, 2012

Don't let the small moments that you can choose to make special every day with your loved ones be tainted or powered by distorted ideas of social convention.

Sunday is Father’s Day and yet again flowers, colognes, ties, shirts, cigars, books and general goodwill shall be shared mutually. Since ours is a populist society and we relate to and live vicariously through the characters of this expendable culture, Gone with the Wind is a visual treat most of us are familiar with.

A timeless classic of cotton plantations and genteel society, propped up by dark skinned armies of either sex, brings to mind Rhett Butler in the movie. His daughter, Bonnie, is the pride and joy of his rather soiled life. In a heated confrontation with Scarlett O’ Hara (a protagonist in the movie), he says that he will do whatever needs to be done to get acceptance in the society because he now has to think of his daughter.

What stands out are his aspirations towards an honourable life and profession because he is now a father.

Life  is not easy for anyone – least of all for the lesser humans living in Pakistan. The man who works in my house has three daughters and the eldest is now going to school. He toils day and night without a frown or a wrinkle on his forehead showing fatigue or displeasure for his lot in life. After working a 12 hour shift he goes home and makes sure his daughter has all the stationary and loose papers for her exam the next day.

Every day should be Father’s Day.

A father can be a white collar professional, a mid level office employee or a day labourer. But he will do whatever he must do to provide his children with food, shelter, love and security every hour of every day. His concern and compassion for his children drives him to go to the job he hates, endure the master who humiliates him without any reason and happily receive the meager pay that barely helps him keep his body and soul together.

Like all other aspects of our society we have assimilated this largely western concept of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day into our lives. Little does the public know that the moving force behind these assorted days is not unadulterated love but commercialism; play on the emotions of a weak populace and make money. These relationships are biological not social.

Yes, small gestures of kindness will go a long way in strengthening them but they can be exhibited throughout the 365 days of the year. No designated day can cement a bond that can never be broken regardless of what the circumstances be. Maybe in the west it may make more sense to have dedicated days considering the rate in which old homes are being filled altering the need to show appreciation for parents to rise.

 It can have its highs and lows but the bond remains unconditional and irrevocable, forever. Small gestures of kindness will be cherished, however, incorporating commercialism to them trivialises a bond that does not require worldly validation.

You may realise the need to keep reassuring your spouse that you love him or her but how many times do we say it to our parents? Pick up the phone and call them, give them a surprise visit,  hug them as many times as you can.

Love for parents doesn’t have to be show boated in a certain way through buying them expensive gifts or sending them flowers everyday. For instance, Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has two grown sons. When asked how frequently they meet each other, she answered,

“We talk a lot on the phone”.

It does not require a labeled day for you to be able to sit down with your father and enjoy a cup of tea while he shares his experiences with you. To tell him that you know how much he loves you and you love him. You don’t need a special day to take your mother out to the spa or to bake her a cake, showing your appreciation for all the love she has showered you with. These relationships are free of worldly demands and materialism. Our parents adore us and we adore them without expectations. By assorting our gratitude for these bonds to certain days, we are only stripping them of their true essence.

So please, celebrate every day as Father’s Day, Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day. Don’t let the small moments that you can choose to make special every day with your loved ones be tainted or powered by distorted ideas of social convention. Love needs no label.

Read more by Mariam here.


Mariam Ashraf

A doctor who works in a postgraduate medical institute where doctors come for postgraduate training. Mariam is a teacher, a housewife and a mother who desires the Pakistan that Jinnah dreamed of.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Awais

    “flowers, colognes, ties, shirts, cigars, books” Dude I hardly know what my dad likes, he doesn’t mention his musical tastes, i’ve never seen him read a book besides a construction manual, never seen him wear a suit (so no tie), he doesn’t smoke and he isn’t a big fan of flowers either and i’ve bought him colognes in the past and they go unused and to mention that watch I saved up my lunch money for in high school. Right now i’m hoping this classic shaving kit goes used instead of getting a “Hmm” then awkward silence each time I hand him a gift.Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Awais: I’m a father and trust me whatever you give him he’ll appreciate because your giving it to him but if you gave him nothing and simply looked at him and said ‘ I love ma but I also love you’ that would be more than enough to carry him through to the next year.Recommend

  • H

    Enough with the hypocrisy! Thank you for this :)Recommend

  • Rafay

    Agreed. However the only thing we do is hitch on to the currrent fad and not think too much about how relevant it is in our lives. Exposure without education?Recommend

  • Saad

    We should try to educate our new generation that society, culture and every religion being followed in this part of world is full of colors and feelings for others even for the passer by. So look after your loved ones especially the old ones 24/7 rather than once in 365 days Recommend

  • R.A

    well written.I am looking forward to reading more pieces from this writer.Recommend

  • Maria

    “After working a 12 hour shift he goes home and makes sure his daughter has all the stationary and loose papers for her exam the next day.”

    this is beautifully written! Recommend

  • Sane

    I 100% agree with you. We do not need fathers day, mother day and many like these. Thanks GOD our every day is Father Day and Mother Day. We maintain eastern values where father and mother are the pivots of family. We scarify to each other and enjoy such sacrifices. Thanks GOD, we are far away from western culture where fathers and mothers are remembered and met once in 365 days.Recommend

  • iram

    I agree with you Mariam! Our relationships, biological or otherwise need to be given reassurance, appreciation and credit every single day! Having said that I know that we all tend to take our biological relations for granted and our parents even more so. We are so confident of this unconditional love that we forget to let them know that their presence is needed, wanted and is irreplaceable! It is important to communicate this sentiment and even if we do this in the garb of western sentiments it just a way of expressing how valuable they are!Recommend

  • mariam ashraf

    Iram I value your comment but let me clarify that my purpose is not to run down western values but to shake people out of this herd mentality where they feel compelled to do certain things just to fit in or appear ‘with it’.Follow your instinct and don’t get swayed by popular culture:))Recommend

  • T

    Living in America, i can totally vouch for the remarks put against father’s day in this article. General public is too naive over here. They celebrate father’s and mother’s day just like christmas. you go to a mall or any store and staff will wish you if its any of those days. And my goodness, how jam packed all restaurants, malls and supermarkets are on these days, its crazy. Its pure commercialism and nothing else. People, especially in America are so so naive or you can say ignorant that they do not realize a thing what’s happening with them. At the same time they are very nice people and thats what is exploited to make money by the big dogs! They run a month long advertisement campaign just to cash these days at their best. Recommend

  • A Father

    Yes ! we parents do not require expencive gifts, most precious gifts are our kids. We just need smiling faces, patience while conversing with us and frequent hugs. We have worked hard to make you our pride, showered ourselves to save you from the sun. We have done nothing extra, it was our duty and desire.
    And we can see you all doing the same rather better than us with your children.
    Our parents’ feelings were the same which we have now. But we were so ignorant and selfish that we did not have the time to read their mind.
    Or we can say its the time which teaches you that your parents love you more than you love your kidsRecommend

  • Ayesha

    The views of the writer are valid in today’s profit driven market economy. Breathe easy and make each day countRecommend

  • http://zaheerwaheed.blogspot.com Zaheer

    … we have our own culture and values where by it is deemed that Parents are to loved and taken care of and it hurts me as a Muslim when I hear about old age homes being created for elderly citizens since their children do no have time to pay attention to them…

    Like west we are trying to follow…. leaving kids at day care when they are young and they grow to leave their parents at day care for elderly ppl

    Very well written…. i am of the same opinion…. that i do not need a day to buy a card / or call my family to remind that i love and care for them… it should be implied and expressed by one daily routine.Recommend

  • Ammar Khan

    I find it amusing and downright stupid when people say EVERY DAY IS MOTHER’s/FATHER’s day.
    Yeah… everyday is a independence day, you don’t need a 14 august to celebrate your country’s independence.
    Everyday is an Eid day, you don’t need a specific day to be happy or slaughter to approve Abraham’s sunnat, you can do it everyday.
    Everyday is labor day… you don’t need a day to thank millions of labor workers for their contribution to the society.
    Everyday is your birthday , you don’t need one day to celebrate your sorry existence in this world, you can do this everyday !

    the point is as I always said is to made someone feel extra SPECIAL on a given day. Yes you can have a cup of tea with him everyday but on one specific day you particularly remembers him, thank him and make him feel special.Recommend

  • Zaheer

    Ya Ammar…..Habeebi… someday days have special significance / association and value attached

    14th aug hav a significance for the whole nation
    Eid has a significance as all the muslim ummah goes through similar patience / sacrifice

    while ones dad / mom …they are always with you and one should always care about them…. there should be a specific day where you tell him i love you or buy him a gift that he cannot buy on his own accord…

    ones daily love / respect to his parents keeps the respected relation alive

    i cannot recall if anyone in the 90’s was celebrating mothers’ / fathers’ or valentines day…. Recommend

  • stan

    Every day cannot be father’s or mother’s day according to Americans. That’s Pakistani culture and should not be allowed. Recommend

  • mariam ashraf

    Tolerance my dear Stan. Who are you to decide what can or cannot be allowed?Recommend