I’ll be with you every step of the way.
A father to his daughter.
You know a woman has a strong and loving father when she faces adversities head on, when she’s not afraid to fail, is emotionally strong and even if she sometimes feels weak, she knows how to go on. Being alone doesn’t scare her and she’s not afraid to love. Fathers are special. Father-daughter relationships are always special and I have the most loving and protective father in the world. I draw so much strength from him. I know no harm can ever come to me because I have him. He gives me confidence like no one else does. Baba and I, we are a team. What can I say about him other than that I owe everything good in me and my life to him? And of course, my mum. But since it’s father’s day, let’s talk about fathers today.
When I was pregnant with M, I really wanted S to be the kind of father to her that Baba has been to me. Of course, at that point, I didn’t know I would have a girl but you can say I willed it by wishing incessantly. Now when I see him with M, I can feel the same rapport and camaraderie being formed and strengthened each day, which makes me happy beyond words. Elated.
A father should be one who braves all odds to reach his child when she needs him. My dad travelled from Shillong to Guwahati, Guwahati to Delhi and Delhi to Gorakhpur to reach me when I was in the hospital battling burn injuries. He’s my Atticus.
A father’s role in a child’s life is of utmost importance and being a daughter myself, I know how much we daughters look up to our fathers for everything. The kind of father you have can be what decides the course of your life.
A father can be your shield against the big, bad world. My father has been that for us and continues to be so. Knowing he is there gives us the courage to stand up to any wrong. And when we are wrong, he’ll scold us (that’s for sure) but his love for us will never change on account of that. We may be rebuked and punished but it will never cost us his love.
Many years ago when my sister had just started going to school something happened which reinforced our belief that come what may, our father will always protect us, fight for us, teach us a lesson if needed and take care of us.
That afternoon a woman was yelling at my sister outside her classroom. The woman’s son and my sister had the same kind of water bottle, same colour and the same cartoon on it. My sister’s bottle was new though and that’s what she had picked up to leave. But the woman unable to find her son’s water bottle (which by the way was in the class the whole time) started shouting at that little girl of four, accusing her of being a thief. I think she even pulled my sister’s water bottle out of her tiny little hands. Believe me, I would have given that woman a nice verbal thrashing had I been there doesn’t matter if I was just a child myself then. Even today I get riled up thinking about it. Anyway. My poor sister was crying and that’s when my dad reached. He heard what the woman had to say, found out if my sister had indeed made a mistake. But she hadn’t. Hence, in the most gentlemanly way possible, he told her that was no way for a grown-up to talk to a child, especially someone else’s child and that too over a water bottle. He then left my sister’s bottle there telling the woman that she could keep both but not before telling her that this kind of behaviour with his daughter will not be tolerated again. That very afternoon we both got new water bottles for school. He told us that if we are not in the wrong he would always stand up for us and when we are wrong he would stand up with us. So, he would be there with us at every step of the way no matter what.
I think what we learnt that say was that with him there we’ll always be safe. And it’s really important to feel safe as children. It makes them secure individuals. My father gave that to us while growing up and S is doing the same for M today. Touchwood.
Now when I see S coming home with gifts for M, I realise how it must have been for my father. He would get me a new dress every month when I was born. That overwhelming love doesn’t necessarily spoil you as a child. It just builds this safe place that makes growing up so much better and childhood worth cherishing.
He told us that if we are not in the wrong he would always stand up for us and when we are wrong he would stand up with us.
I wish and pray that every child grows up with a father like mine. He’s my security blanket, one that I can reach for any time of the day, any day. When I call him and he says hello, I know I’m safe. When he comes home and I get to kiss his bearded cheeks and hug him, I know I’m safe.
I read somewhere that the heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature. It’s true for my father has the most tender of hearts when it comes to us. We talk of mothers so often that the roles of fathers are relegated to the background. It should not be so because this daughter wouldn’t have been half of whatever she is today without her father.
Happy Father’s Day!