He treated me as an adult when I could barely tie my laces, as someone whose voice mattered, whose opinion had a place in this world. Even if that entailed which Barbie I thought was better and why, or which Enid Blyton character made the cut in my world.
He listened to all my school gossip and eventually we concluded which girl we’re going to like and which one we’re going to hate on (I was in an all girls school). My open days (annual results) at school entailed him taking an off from work and sitting on my bench in the classroom, very often being the only testosterone in the room.
When I told him about my choice of career, he heard me out and backed me the very next second. He somehow trusted a 14 year old to know what she wanted from Life.
As I entered junior college, he took me out for my first drink, he bought me my shortest dress and he could not contain his disappointment over my single status as it did not match up to the Casanova image he had maintained during his times. He reiterated that choosing studies over love was not as smart as I thought it was. (The 25 year old version of me now agrees with him.)
I entered dental college, and began discussing medical jargon with him. With his commerce background he tried his best to keep up. I am proud to say he’s almost half a doctor now. The over powering stress of the medical world was shared on both our shoulders. After every test I gave or every viva I appeared for, he always asked me how “our” exam had gone.
When I got my heart broken for the first time, he let me cry on his shoulders, without once saying “I told you so”. He took me for multiple coffee dates which translated into therapy sessions.
He taught me how to keep on dreaming bigger than I believed was ever possible, and not to limit myself, the resources to execute these dreams would eventually reach me.
When I reached a crossroad in Life, he weighed the pros and cons with me and allowed me to choose the path I wanted to walk down. When I chose the wrong path, he walked down that gruesome path with me until I fell and realized my mistake. And when I did, he offered me his hand, pulled me up and walked back with me towards the right path. I made my mistakes without any fear or regret because I knew I was never walking alone.
He taught me to value the worth of my voice and the importance of taking a stand and that the voice box in my throat was not meant to vibrate by bouncing off the thoughts procured from society.
He told me that standing alone did not mean I was wrong. After all, it would be unfair to ask people to construct a building for which they never received a blueprint.
My day starts with a cup of coffee with him and does not end until I have filled him in with every detail of every second I invested in my day.
HE is my best friend, HE is my partner in crime, HE is every word of every cheesy cliché that exists, HE is my Father.
This is an abridged version of the thesis I could write on the relation between a father and a daughter. I am confident you have your own version. Do share in the comments below.