BABA & I

It was an afternoon in spring when I met him for the first time in my life. The stork had just left me at his doorstep in the company of the most wonderful woman in the world. Nevertheless, I was apprehensive for I still had never had a glimpse of him. Sure enough I had heard his voice several times in the past nine months.  But I was nervous as I would be setting my eyes upon him for the very first time. Lost in thought, as I looked meekly around, I saw him approach. A tall man, almost six feet high, thin with gentle eyes; yes that’s what he looked like. And he had that beard which I still associate with him. Yes, he stood there; a tall, handsome and kind hearted man looking at me dotingly. At that very moment I realised that he would be my safe haven, my refuge, in this big bad world. It was love at first sight; I saw him and knew at that very instant that our bond was meant to be everlasting! That’s where my rapport was formed with the greatest and the best man to have ever walked this world; my father, my Baba!
It is true when they say that a girl’s hero is always her father; infallible and strong. Form the first day in the hospital till this very moment as I write this post, I feel blessed that I have had him as my father! From new beautiful frilly frocks almost every other day when I was a baby to fulfilling my every whim in the years to come, he did it all. From shedding silent tears when I couldn’t take part in a dance competition , due to him being sick, to flying in the most inclement weather to get to a ‘burnt me’in the hospital; he has never shirked from doing it all. When I fell in love, he accepted the man I chose and never once made me feel small! Yes, he is the best father in the world! Sometimes I wonder if it must have been the good karma from my past life that I got to be his daughter in this. A charmed life, shielded from all the banalities and brutalities of this world; yes that’s what he gave me and more.  And that’s not all, the independence that I enjoy today and my beliefs are a silhouette of him too.
It is ironic but true that in our country becoming a father is easier, than beingone. I, however, am one of those lucky ones for I have seen him being a father every day of his life, and he has done it brilliantly with élan! It is scary but true that there are fathers in India who want their daughters to be only groomed for the chores in the kitchen. Or to put it bluntly, majority of fathers in India have the sole aim of ensuring that their daughters fare well in the marriage market. Well I’m glad my father is not one of them! Baba has always been different in that respect. Kitchen, knitting and marriage were not on his to-do list for his daughters and still aren’t. He wanted me to soar high and live a free-spirited life that I’d choose, not one warranted by anyone else. Well I guess the fiercely independent spirit in me is a gift from him, which by the way I still guard with feverish intensity!

There are a lot of diktats that meddle in the affairs of a father-daughter relationship especially in a society like ours. One example would be when they say that ‘once a daughter is married, she doesn’t belong to her father’s house’. In my view it is absolutely preposterous! There is a ritual in Bengali weddings during kanyadaan (which by the way is an annoying concept in my view) when the father and the bride have to pull apart and break a bundle of straw. It is believed that’s when the daughter is “officially” out of her father’s family and becomes a part of her husband’s.  I always hated that ritual! Infact during my wedding I performed it in the most lacklustre manner possible. Yes, I had decided that no damn straw in this world would snatch me away from my father and I stuck to it!  Yes, I would forever be my father’s little daughter and nothing in this world could ever take that away from me!
Holding me in his arms,
Promised me love!
Taking me by my hand,
Taught me to walk!        
Shielding me from harm,
Always kept me calm!
The greatest man I know,
My father, and to him my life I owe!

42 thoughts on “BABA & I

  1. Nabanita this is such a beautiful piece. Everything about this write up except for the beard 😛 reminds me of my dad. True in this society where girls are only treated as brides to be sent away to have a father who makes you believe in yourself through out is something 🙂

    Whenever I tell my dad that vikas (my husband) wants to do this with his career or that. He wud always quickly say "what ru planning? Dont let this woman business get in way of your dreams"

    Man you got me emotional 😐

    beautiful read 🙂

    Richa

  2. Glad you liked it Richa … I guess we are really lucky to have incredible men as our fathers… And to tell you the truth, writing this piece was emotional for me too.. *touch-wood* for our luck , what say ? 🙂

  3. super touch wood. And I always say whatever I am today its only because of dads belief in me. In our society Nabanita we are superbly lucky!

    love to you 🙂

  4. Very well said Naba. In fact the you have beautifully summarized it in the last eight lines. Parents do command the highest respect and love and nothing in this world can replace them.

  5. u got me all emotional and involved making me realize what an ideal fatherhood is all about … thank you for sharing your moments of love with the first hero of you life …. Me being a man would whenever be a father would love to be resembling him.
    Senti hoyegechi jaani na keno !!
    thank u for sharing these lovely moments !! Of cherishing … love of a father for her child and grooming her up to live life with respect and self identity …in an Indian society where fathers of womankind are more bothered to get off their duties of handing over her in right hands.

  6. Beautifully written Naba! Very moving and at the same time with all the love and respect for the most admirabe man!!

  7. Ah! you got me all emotional here. I and all the ladies out there who are blessed with wonderful fathers can completely relate to it.
    I truly believe that a father and a daughter share the most adorable relationship on this planet.

    I too find the Kanyadaan concept and the term very annoying…How can one give away his precious child as Daan? Whether she goes away from her father's home or not… she is part of him and the family till her death.
    Hopefully the ritual dies away with time.

    I loved your post.
    🙂

  8. Beautifully written…m misn my pa now n hv a lump in my throat…the belief n the confidence that he has in me…the support he has given in the life decisions that I hv made…unjudgemental n always by my side…u've expressed everything beautifully. N I hate 'kanyadaan' ritual too…its just plain demeaning!!! A daughter is for life!!

  9. Thanks so much…I'm happy that you liked it and I do hope you too become a wonderful father whenever the appropriate moment arrives 🙂

  10. Ahh! I am sorry if I made you emotional Namrota 🙂 It is a topic very close to every daughter's heart I guess and hence we are all bound to feel a twinge of emotions in our hearts !

    I'm glad it touched a cord in your heart too 🙂

    And yes I too hope that the ritual dies away!

  11. Glad you felt the soul of the post Aditi… and yes 'a daughter is for life'!

    Thanks 🙂

  12. Wow…nicely written…a sweet relationship of a daughter and her baba has been penned in a more sweeter way…good job…I liked it…

  13. Well written Naba! Fathers are very special to daughters. Completely loved the emotions and could relate so much to them.

  14. Aah, lovely..lovely blog. The father-daughter bond is one of the most important in a girl's life …I was baba's darling too!He's no more today…and I miss him so much!!
    My dad and I were like two peas in the pod. We looked alike, thought alike and reacted alike ….this welled up my eyes, Nabanita. Am glad I didn't miss this blog.

  15. Thanks Panchali.. Glad you liked it…and what can I say, a daughter is indeed her baba's darling 🙂

  16. A beautiful remembering, Naba! So much of your memories about your Dad reminded me of mine 🙂 In my family, it's just me and my sister too and I am so glad that I never had to go through the 'Girls should only do so much routine' – I have actually seen it happen. Even today, I know that Dad would stand up for our rights 🙂 But our parents have also raised us so they know that now we're capable of finding our own happiness and making those choices for ourselves. Here's to more Dads like them!
    Cheers,
    Deepa – 10 Reasons Why I Didn't Post

  17. Amazing…yes this is what every daughter in this world would feel if she is fortunate enough to get a father like yours…and yes…totally agree with your thoughts on the banal customs which should be stubbed…as any daughter can never acclimatised herself of not being the part of a family where she has grown (after marriage) or in other words got the identity she presently has…!!!

  18. Thanks Anjan..Glad you appreciate the feelings of a daughter and that you being a man too agree that some customs are just not needed ! 🙂

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