While he might hold a distinguished position as the Principal Secretary of the Industries and Commerce (I&C) and Information Technology (IT) Departments of the Telangana government, Jayesh Ranjan is also a very hands-on father who shares a unique bond with his daughter, Ishika. This week we had the pleasure of catching up Jayesh to learn about the special moments he shares with his daughter.
How would you define your bond with your daughter?
Keeping the conventional image of a father at a distance, I am very clear that Ishika shouldn’t think of me as an authoritarian figure. So I remain very jovial with her, behaving like a comic at times, playing pranks, making her laugh, and having fun at my expense (smiles).
What are some of the most special moments that you two have shared?
When she was younger, we would occasionally venture out to climb rocks. Since she was small, she would obviously require help to climb up. But once at the top, the sense of achievement that she would get was priceless!
Do you think it’s more important to have a friendly relationship with one’s kids, or stick to the old-fashioned way of parenting?
I guess the relationship I have with Ishika will change with time. When she was young, we were close and friendly. As she’s growing up and reaching her pre-teen years, she has other priorities and interests; so obviously I takie a back seat. At this stage, I’m trying to be completely supportive of her actions. But I am confident that as she becomes mature and values the worth of her father more, the strong foundation that we’ve built – in the form of a nurturing and friendly relationship – will come back even stronger.
What aspirations do you have for Ishika?
I believe that children ought to pursue their own dreams and aspirations. As a father, whatever I can do to facilitate Ishika reaching there will be my best contribution. But in general, I wish for Ishika a happy, healthy and conscious life – one that gets enriched by helping others.
Any words of wisdom for your daughter?
I regularly convey to Ishika not to worry about anything, and to just do things as per her capabilities. I have been a topper all my life – including in the IAS – but I often tell Ishika that even if she fails in her exams, it’s quite ok! The idea is to never feel stressed or challenged.
What is the mantra that you live by?
As a child and even as a youngster, I never ever imagined that I would be leading such a privileged life one day. So I treat everything that I have today as a blessing, as a bonus. As a result, I stay humble and try to be helpful to others.
What advice did your own father give you that has held you in good stead in life?
While my father didn’t specifically share any advice, there are plenty of lessons to imbibe from his life. One very important lesson is to show empathy and compassion to those from the working class, the poor and vulnerable.
Any parting thoughts?
I have only one child and I too am an only child. As the father of a girl and an only child, I would wish for us to evolve into a society which cherishes the girl-child, and encourages her in all walks of life without prejudice or discrimination. – as told to Suneela