the wonderful world of veena.

16 September 2011

ode to my father.

Today is my father's birthday.  Sixty-nine years ago, he was brought into this world.  He grew up without television, without computers or the Internet, without public transportation systems.  It is nearly impossible for me to fathom, because he has adapted so well to the changes that have occurred over those years.

My father and I are both polar opposites and twin souls.  Where he is quiet, reflective, and somber, I am loud, opinionated, and a bit in-your-face.  Where he prefers the quiet of a small town or the suburbs, I love living in the heart of a bustling, thriving city.  But at the end of the day, we both like to have a bit of peace and quiet to read and think about our days and relax over some steaming chicken tikka masala.  We are also two of the most stubborn people you'll ever meet, which is probably why we argue so much.

While we agree on certain things, we don't see eye-to-eye on most, but there has never been a time in my life where I have doubted my father's love or support.  I know that no matter what, he is proud of me and of the decisions I have made, whether it be deciding to move halfway around the world to serve the children of India or deciding to come back to grad school to work toward making the world a better place.

Much of my commitment to service I learned from my father.  As a pediatrician in a small, struggling town in the Delta, he saw children whose parents' could not afford health care, but he would never refuse care to a child because their parents' were unable to pay for a checkup or for shots.  There were often days he came home in December having seen over 100 patients only to turn around and head to the school for my brother's football or basketball games.

My father also taught me the importance of loyalty, both to family and friends.  He trusts unconditionally, which is something I strive each day to do.  He made it a point while my brother and I were children to take us to India every summer to visit his mother and family.  He speaks to his sisters in India at least once a week.  I sometimes go 4 days without seeing my own housemates.

So today, I am wishing my father the happiest, most amazing birthday in the history of birthdays.  There is no one I know who deserves it more than he does.
Woo pig.


  1. A beautiful Ode Veens..! Please wish Thambuanna a very happy birthday from all of us back home! He is definitely the most good looking 69 year old I have ever seen..! :)

  2. Happy (late) Birthday, Dr. Rangaswami!!!! your dad is one incredible guy (and the best darn pediatrician ever!)