I was much excited with the gift she handed over to me twelve years ago. As I glanced at her face, I felt as if goddess had landed in my lap. She embodied prettiness and was interacting with me with her electric sharp eyes. As if she was asking… “who are you?” I responded, “PAPA!” Immediately she smiled and raised her tiny hands to touch me; to feel the sensitivities attached to the word PAPA. Off course she didn’t know what did papa mean. But she knew it was someone special with whom she was interacting. I touched her cheeks and she smiled. It seemed to me God took special time in making her beautiful face. The definition of her lips were sharp and seemed someone had painted them in red color, making her even more beautiful. I touched her fingers and she gripped on my fingers and played with them as if those were her toys. I whistled, she tried imitating too, as if she wanted to make similar sound. My desire of playing with her kept increasing, and I wished she could talk and play with me without losing any moments between us.
My wife broke my attention, “Are you happy with the girl child?”
I told her, “I didn’t know the meaning of fatherhood? You gave me this bundle of joy to explore fatherhood. Before today I use to see a child as just a child. Now I feel the warmth, beauty in the relationship and I have no words to explain my experience. You can say this is just like the relationship with GOD, whom you can’t see but feel. I am over excited that our dream has come true. As far as girl child is concerned, I prayed to God to bless us with girl child. I am lucky that my prayers were heard.”
My wife smiled and said, “Isn’t she beautiful?”
I replied, “She is as beautiful as you are.”
The first nine months passed by like a whirlwind. One day, she caught on my fingers and tried to stand up. To our amazement, she stood up quickly without much support. She was more expressive and attached to me than anybody else. She only went to her mother when she felt hungry. I was her full-time friend. This encouraged me to finish my work quickly in office to get back back home. I didn’t want to miss those precious moments.
Over the next few years she had become my best friend. I felt as if I was reliving my childhood along with her. I would take her along whenever I went out to the market, friend’s house, temple etc. She enjoyed them all so much so, that she developed deep interest in exploring everything around her. Once we visited the zoo in Ludhiana, she was sitting by the fence of a tiger enclosure, and the tiger sitting inside right beside the fence. There was no fear on her face. That day I knew future is going to be interesting for us to watch her grow fearless.
There is a memorable photo of us in which I am in deep sleep and she is sleeping on my back. Photo reflects emotion, relationship and sensitivities. Riding on my shoulder, playing with my fingers, disappearing under bed, making sound while eating and so on… all these activities still mesmerize me. 12 years have passed by, but those photos always take me to the beautiful land of memories and manage to bring a smile on my face every single time.
We travelled to the beautiful and joyful land of Punjab, in the early days of her childhood. Then we shifted to Himachal Pradesh, a state of mesmerizing mountains. Himachal was beautiful, the moment we come out of our house, we could see tall mountains, dense forests, valleys and row houses at different stretches.
- Research says, Children prosper naturally if they are set free in growth phase. Let them develop their own thought. Lesser the interruption, more the chances of becoming courageous, fast decision maker and develop strong confidence.
In god abode…
We reached Dharmashala early in the evening through circular and spiraling road. It took some time to set the house in order. Life in Dharmashala was quite usual and peaceful. People would work from 9 am to 5 pm. They would sleep early and wake up early. Suddenly we realized we needed to buy some food for the night. When I was going out, my daughter insisted on joining me too. When I resisted, she used her ultimate weapon… CRYING!
Finally, I picked up the bike, it was easy to drive in hilly region instead of walking in the night. This was my first experience of driving in a hilly region. If you lose your attention for a min or two, you could fall in 100, 200 feet or more deeper gorge. I was in T-shirt and my daughter was in a frock. I was not familiar with the climate. I made her sit in front of the bike and accompanied a colleague. I drove straight hundred meter high on the road and took a U-turn and again took left. It took 15 minutes to reach the main market. There were just a handful of people hanging around and almost all the shops were closed. Somebody advised us to go higher up where restaurants might be open. We went up and luckily found a restaurant. We got chapatis, vegetable curry and salad. Meanwhile, I lost the courage to drive back on the same road as there was no light on the streets in most of the places. Due to the high altitude and the chillness, we were shivering. I had no option but to remove my T-shirt and cover my daughter.
That’s when my three year old asked, “Papa, Are you not feeling cold?”
This question made me think and I whispered, she is inspirational for me too.
- Not only a father is an example for a daughter, but a daughter is a great inspiration for a father.
Wrong, wrong, wrong…yes I was wrong
Once we shifted to Madhya Pradesh, I developed wrong sense of fatherhood. I don’t know how it came, but I wished my daughter would top in all her activities. Whenever we sat on the dining table, I would scold her profusely for not finishing the meal. Words and actions leave wrong/right impact on the psyche of a child. I did not understand this simple fact then. I scolded her bitterly and slapped her for any mistakes she made. She was only five-year old and I wanted her to understand everything. I was totally wrong.
She needed more guidance, support, love and emotions from her PAPA. It was too late when I realized that I was totally wrong. She hesitated to answer any question fearing she could be wrong. Negative psyche developed in her due to my habit of interrupting and scolding her. It was hard days for both of us. The child that was my best friend was now afraid to approach me. She would avoid talking to me and even would not sit down with me. It was very painful days for me.
It is the fact that once there is crack in a relationship, it is hard to repair. I cried desperately and tried hard to make up for lost moments. This was the silent voice of a father. The cost of missing this voice is heavy. I trained myself how to deal with my child, studied number of books, got advice and gave respect to the positive suggestions.
- New study reveals, development of brain is crucial up to eight years of age.
According to the corporate wellness expert Dr Hetal Desai, “Spanking including slapping, beating, etc. leaves negative imprints on the subconscious mind of the child of any age. The event or incident is registered as a negative trauma in the mind and it effects are felt throughout life, every time the negative memory gets triggered. Implications could be from developing fears, low-self esteem, anger, hatred, stammering, Passive aggressive behavior and much more.”
I concluded, being a father means being a torch-bearer who clears the difficulties coming into the way of a child. To be the pillar of support for a child in their all thick and thin!
-Writer is Journalist and soft skill trainer, Mo N. 9424753979, firstname.lastname@example.org,