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Dear Dad & Mom: Can I say you something today?

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Dear Dad and Mom,

Although words can’t describe how much do I love you, and how lucky I am to get you both in my life, I am still confessing some things today, that I always wanted to confess but couldn’t do because of your scared behaviour, my sweet dad. Like every girl says, you are my superhero and my sweet lovely mom, you are a living diva. Today, your careless – not so useful – still mad daughter want to confess some points that may annoy you or may please you. Whatever is the case, I’ll always love you to the core of my heart.

Dad and mom, I’ll always be grateful for the values that you have inculcated in me. Respect elders, being in limit, understanding that I am a girl and I have certain additional responsibilities, are some values that today’s girls sometimes lack. I loved how you and dad took me to shopping to buy those miniskirts, but also bought something important – a piece of advice about when to wear and how to carry myself when I am wearing something that would reveal some of my body parts.

The education that you have been given me is something, many girls can only dream for. You may not know, but secretly, I always knew how much you had to fight with that bua or chachi for my higher studies when they wanted me to get married. That day, my faith got restored when you told them,” Meri beti jitna chahe utna padhegi”. That was the same day, when I determined to study hard, and achieve the meritorious results.

Mom, thank you so much for protecting me always from father and secretly sending me to parties with my friends. I hope, I never disappointed you and come back home earlier than the time you told me to come back. I knew, if I was late, dad would know about it, and he would get annoyed. I also knew, that if I come back home, I would be tagged characterless and this is something you didn’t want to listen. I know how much scared you would be in sending me to parties or with that male friend and you would constantly call me to ask if I am alright.  

Dad, believe me, I felt so happy inside when you silently understood, why my stomach was aching and asked mom to give me a rest for 3 full days. The chocolates that you bought me to relieve my stomach pain were the best gift anybody ever gave me.

Dad, do you remember that boy who came to our home that day to borrow some notes and I introduced him as my best friend? Believe me, he is truly a best friend that god has given me as blessing. Dad, do you know he has been the person who has always been on my side and has supported me always whenever I felt low. Whenever your daughter was outside home and found herself in a difficult situation, he would always be the first one to respond and take me out of the crisis. He has been someone who has always supported me to do whatever I felt was right, but has time and again provided his useful advice. Believe me, we share the purest relation called friendship.

Mom, I think you haven’t forgotten that boy who I called that day at home and you took a keen interest in talking to him, do you remember him? Mom, he was my boyfriend once. I loved him so much that together we dreamt of whatever we could. No mom, your daughter is still pure, although I have been touched by him, when we were alone in his room that day. I was scared a little bit as there was nobody else at his home. I was even more scared when he took me to his room, and asked me to sit on his bed. Then he came close as I was breathing heavily, he came even more close and then kissed me – on my forehead and just said, “You know what Aashika, I’ll never do anything due to which you feel guilty later. I respect you more and your family’s feelings and believe me, I am not coward to do an act due to which you or your family regrets later”. Mom, that day, I felt in love with him even more.

Dad, I know my limitations and I’ll marry with whoever you feel I should marry. You’ll always be the sole decision maker of my future husband and I’ll always agree for whoever you choose for me. But dad, I just want to convey you something – please search somebody who can respect my own identity, and doesn’t force me to vanish my own identity for his sake. Search somebody, who can support me in my dreams, and love me as I am. Moreover, please search somebody who wants dowry – Not in cash or kind but who respects my feelings, and respects you and my sweet siblings. Don’t sell me or auction me, search somebody who feels lucky enough to marry me.

Dad, I know nobody cares about me more than you and mom, but please don’t marry me only since I am 24 and it is a ‘perfect’ age to marry for my some ‘unknown’ relative. Even if I get older than normal age of marriage, don’t panic; you have always taught me that pairs are made in heaven, and hence even if it gets late, please marry only if the boy suits me. The society will always pressurise you, but I know, you won’t take any steps that destroys my future.

I know, It’s always the tradition that bride’s family is inferior to groom’s family, but please don’t break this traditional chain. You are as respectful as his family would be, and you have given the best education, and best etiquettes to your daughter. So, never feel inferior in front of them, they are accepting your daughter, not forcefully but lovingly.

Please don’t ever close the doors of your home for me once I get married. Moreover don’t close your heart’s door after my marriage. Listen me patiently, whenever I feel to convey something, and please don’t act biasedly to tell me that males are always right. I’ll always bank upon you to support me whenever I feel disheartened, and I’ll always look up to you in crisis. Don’t set apart me from yourself, your daughter will always remain your daughter.

Dad, I feel sad whenever I read about those dowry cases and domestic violence cases post marriages, and feel even more sad whenever I realise that the bride’s family didn’t even listen to her since she wasn’t their liability any more, it hurts. I know I have two most beautiful blessings in form of you who won’t ever leave me in danger. Just a point to say, whenever you listen a complaint from my in-laws or husband, confirm it with me once and I promise I’ll always be truthful to you.

Your loving Daughter

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        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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