An Indian Daughter’s Father

It’s a very weird time I am living in. No, I am not just some other misanthrope who’s here to spill all his frustration out by the means of words. But, I’ve got to do what I am about to.

So let me tell you my story but I’ll do it in the way I like it the most. Because, from where I come, we aren’t given many chances to do what we really want to and so I just won’t let this one go. So let me try it then.

I am a man(and if you are aware of the current scenario of my nation, you know how blessed I am; and for those who are not aware of it, the following few paragraphs will make it evident.) and so, thanks to my stars that I took birth as a man. Every man has a dream(or few dreams) and I am fortunate enough to have achieved them. Like every other man, I am never satisfied but I am quite happy with what I’ve done so far.

Let’s take me as a very normal guy(just so that this doesn’t get any longer and the message gets conveyed and most importantly because it’s not about me) and assume that I had a happy childhood, many friends, loving parents, and everything that one could possibly ask for. Also, let us take that I’ve received all the education one needs to survive, and didn’t lose anyone close in the process of doing so. So I’ve grown into a man with all the aid from the universe there ever could be.

I got married at a point of my life and that’s not the matter as well. Let me give you a cursory glance at that phase of my life as well. I was married when I was ready. I was happy back then and I am happy even now. It’s as simple and concise as that.

I have a confession, I had always prayed to be blessed with a daughter (yes it was one of those few dreams, but the most important one and yes we do pray for everything. We pray before we leave the home, we pray before opening the shop, we pray when we buy a gadget, we even pray for kids, we pray a lot; it’s only later when our prayers are answered we stop praying to express our gratitude). I’ve told you I’ve been lucky all my life and was fortunately blessed with a beautiful daughter. I was what do you call it ‘on cloud nine’. It’s only with the passage of time that I did realize that things are not that simple. Not for me(remember, I am a man) but for my princess. As a father of a girl and as many other fathers would agree, my life can be divided into two phases. First, from her birth to her marriage and secondly after her marriage to my death, but this is not about me.

A girl, always bear two dreams; from the birth to her marriage, there are her dreams and there are her father’s dreams. After her marriage, her father’s dreams are replaced by her husband’s dreams, her kids’ dreams and many more. And if you just see it in priority order; her dreams will always be at last. But I cared for my girl’s dream more than anything(Oh, I forgot to tell you that, of all my dreams, one was to protect my daughter’s dreams and guide her to achieve them all).

But this is my place and here to protect your daughter’s dreams comes a little low in the hierarchy of a father’s to do list as he has some better things at hand like protecting her from getting molested, getting eve teased, getting kidnapped, getting raped, getting killed and more. This was not the scene when I was young (or how would I know, I am a man, remember) and this is definitely not why I prayed for her even before she came (I find myself responsible for it, partly and in a way).

Things have changed a lot. I haven’t found a newspaper for quite some time which didn’t have such cases and in considerable numbers. I am sick of reading all such stuff. I feel myself an animal after hearing the ages of the victims of such cases. Being a man I loathe myself. What have me made of ourselves? We are the nation that has always prayed to female deities just so long as our history takes us. How can we possibly do what we are doing? How do we even manage to look at each other (we, men). Maybe this is all because of something I found in the news today. But this has to be done, we’ll have to talk. We can’t just keep on blaming the government every single time when deep down we all know who can effectively help in eliminating such cases.

She’s fine, my daughter. I won’t let anything happen to her. I would rip anyone apart who’d dare to touch her. I am definitely not going to tolerate any such thing. She’s very brave; braver than me at least. She always keeps talking about nice people out there.

Then what is all this fuss about? It’s about that girl who didn’t have a father like me and got .. I don’t even like the word, it irks me, it makes me feel violent and so let’s call it ‘she got theft of her innocence’. It’s about that single mother of two, it’s about that girl who was working late so that she could earn enough to support her family, it’s about that 6 years old who still doesn’t know what the hell happened, it’s about that 72 years old who should have been reverential to everyone and should have been touched only in pursuit of her blessings.

It’s also about every man who is now scared to give birth to a girl, it’s about that father who died a million times on that day and dies even more daily, it’s about that brother who has lost the ability of protecting any women after what the world did to his sister, it’s about that younger sister who lost all her hopes gave up on all her dreams and can’t trust any boy and it’s about that mother who stopped praying.

And above all it’s about all the fathers like me who wake up at midnight, with wet eyes, to a dream that nearly killed them, and curse their good luck and pray endlessly that dreams like this should never come true…

May every man be blessed with a daughter; every man with a good conscience; and every daughter with the ability to recognize such man.

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