When a Dad is Always Right, by Sankar Chatterjee

Vice-Admiral Avi Maitra, son of an Indian father and a Jewish-American mother, enjoyed chicken tikka-masala at home, while attending Hebrew pre-school. Teased at school for his name, he would explain its Sanskrit-root of “fearlessness,” as in “someone who faced the fear but conquered it,” instead of “not afraid of fear”.

Once overseas, an e-message from his dad arrived, semi-quoting late Nelson Mandela: “Courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Then the follow-up line: “Wasn’t I always right? Dad.”


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