A father-daughter relationship has a charm of its own. There’s a deeper sense of conviction that bonds this relationship so strong and secure. I had penned this poem at a time when I was a member of a student team championing the cause of educating people on the ill-effects of female infanticide. A few of my heart-to-heart conversations with the fathers we interacted with has found their reflection here. But beyond all this, I’ve tried to capture the feeling of security and pride my sister and I have been brought up with, and what we wish to see emulated across the world.

Standing under the huge metal arch
A smile glittered my face
This was a moment I knew would come
But never with such grace.

The dark, cold alleys, sweaty with moss
Touched my cheek and swept my feet
Combed my hair and gelled my scalp
With tenderness that tolled me back…

My mother’s fingers would caress my hair
While my child filled himself with mud
And then suddenly there would be a swish
A bucket of cold water straining my blood…

The strain comes back to throb my brain
Standing at the edge of the altar
The cloth of destiny covering my head
Reminding me of a shame I never feared.

The thought comes back of that gross day
When I saw my little girl soaked in red
With the woman I married smiling sanctified –
I rid the mother she once had.

The smile deepened on my face
A sweaty glow returned
The ground under me split apart
And my little girl and I walked on.

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