As a kid I really longed to be my dad’s .
When I was a tiny kid, my dad was a well-built man with a big beard. I was most of the times scared to go to him and give him a hug unless accompanied by my mother. My dad was a very reserved man. He was not very expressive and did not talk much to anyone. As a child I always wondered why my dad was not like all the other dads. I wondered why he did not talk to us and play with us like the other dads did.
There are some instances I can never forget. I was a very scared kid. I was scared of darkness, insects, birds and everything possible. Every night I used to wait for mom to come sleep with me because I was afraid of sleeping alone. Dad used to insist I went to bed alone. I used get someone to switch the light on for me and went to bed scared. Ten minutes from then dad would come and switch the light off. I was so afraid of darkness that I would not even get off the bed to switch the light on. Whenever dad found insects in the flowers he would hold my hand and put the insect on my palm. I used to scream and cry all day. Even when I did not know what inheritance meant dad would tell me, “I will sell away everything I have, if required, to get you educated but after that you are on your own. Don’t expect me to leave something behind for you.” There were times I used to go to mom and ask, “Why does dad hate me so much? What did I do?”
As I look back now, I realize that what ever I am today is mostly because of him. Even without me realizing he had a great impact on my life. There are very few things that I am afraid of. I can walk on a dark, lonely road without fear. I am not afraid of taking risks and am prepared to face the consequences of my actions. I would not have lived in peace at Kharagpur with all the insects, cats and dogs if it was not for those insect exercises. With all the pampering I enjoyed in a joint family, I would have been a dependent kid for the rest of my life if my dad did not push me to be independent. Today I am a strong and independent individual.
As I grew up I made efforts to get closer to dad. It took me sometime but seems like he has been waiting too. As I got closer to him I realized more and more how wonderful a person he is. He is a person who never stepped back from his responsibilities. His family (when I say family, I mean a huge family of about 20 people) is his utmost priority in life. He does everything possible to give each member of the family the best. He respects hard work. It is from him I learnt – ‘No work is less dignified’. He is the carpenter, electrician, plumber, gardener..everything of the house. The list of things I learnt from him is endless. The strength of his character inspires me.
When I was back home for the first time after joining college (College was the first place I stayed without being accompanied by a family member. Having been brought up in a joint family, for 18 years of my life, I never spent a day without a member of the family around.), my aunt told me that it took dad two months to sleep in peace after I joined college. He would wake up in the middle of the night and sit with tears in his eyes. It was then I realized how much he misses me. I also realized that though he portrays a very strong image he is very soft inside.
He never told me an ‘I love you’ but he loves me more than anyone does. He never gave me a birthday gift but he made sure I never had to ask for anything in life. He let me make my choices and learn from my mistakes. He was there with me even when I made the grossest of mistakes. He is one man who respects my freedom and independence and has blind faith in me. If there is one man I can trust with all my heart it is dad.
Now when I look back in life I know that I have always been his Little Princess.
Thank you dad for everything you have been to me. I would never have been what I am today without you. It took me sometime to understand your love for me. And where I stand today, it might take you some time to understand my love for you. But I know for sure that I will always remain Dad’s Little Princess.