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Father’s Day: Three Things I Am Grateful That My Dad Never Did

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I was not born alone, born with me was the parenthood of my parents. We all sing and appreciate for our mothers but we turn a blind eye to the contribution of our fathers towards our development. Unfortunately, we are not very expressive with our fathers.

This piece is all about appreciating you papa, for all that you have been doing with sweat on your forehead and a smile on your face. Thank you so much for being that invisible safety net. On Fathers Day, I want to thank my parents, especially my dad for the three things he never did for me as a father.

1. Not Reciting Fairy Tales 

Many people are of the opinion that fairy tales are positive, boast a child’s imagination and set the child’s’ moral to teach them what is good and what is bad. However, I firmly believe that it sets unrealistic expectations from life. It keeps kids ignorant about important aspects. In many subtle ways, it influences children negatively. A deep emphasis is made upon “appearance” in daily tales.

Young girls tend to think that their body is their identity and their ability does not matter. I am glad that my parent never read such stories to me. My father never told me that I will be ‘married’ to a prince. He never introduced me with the concept of ‘perfect boy’. Instead, he used to recite me stories from Indian history. My father used to cook up some story himself where I used to be the protagonist. Those lazy nights when I would ask him to tell me a story, he used to ask me basic questions of science, geography and history. I was never kept away from the real world that exists.

I am happy that the trends as regards fairy tales are evolving and now we get to see stories with independent women characters and one with social messages too. There is an effort being made to make a difference, which is necessary.

2. Not Rejecting The Idea Of Dreaming Big

Generally, girls in India are trained and bought up in a manner to match the whims and fancies of a “sanskari family“. This is because she has to be married off to a “sanskari boy“. Females are often not appreciated for their efforts and treated as supporting agents of family.

My father never told me that I will have to give up my career post-marriage or after having kids. He emphasized on learning chores and cooking with a view to being independent and not with a view to bearing dependency of a man upon myself. He always broadened my vision and encouraged me to dream big. He always imbibed within me the idea of dreaming big to achieve big. He always helped me to take the road less taken, being bold and also doing things that fewer women do. Till date he tells me “nothing is impossible, you are just a vision away.”

3. Not Gifting Me Barbie Dolls

Why is it that toys are gendered? Why is it that toy shops have dolls, kitchen sets and all the pink cosmetic toys for girls while offer doctor set, guns and trucks for boys? I strongly believe that Barbie dolls define beauty and it may make the child go through inferiority complex.

It is not wrong to play with dolls but it is surely wrong to gender the toys. My father always gave me toys related to something that would help me develop. He bought me a mouth organ, a keyboard, a crossword, a train set and encyclopedia books.

All these surely helped me become what I am today. I am glad that my father is a visionary. He invests on my education rather than saving for my marriage. He has always prepared me for me. There are times when he is not very supportive, differences do exist but the beautiful part is that I can say it all. I tell him how I feel about his approach towards my ideas or his suggestions to me.

Father’s love is indeed underrated. When my mother juggled roles to raise me, My fathers too did his best. He played with me, planned weekend outings, listened to my school tales and taught me school subjects. All this after a tiring day at his office. He missed many important moments of his my life. He missed seeing me walk for the first time, talk for the first time, my sports days, my dance at school and so many such precious moments.

For all the Dad’s who support their families, this is for you. You are doing a great job. We treasure you equally! Wishing you a very happy Father’s Day!

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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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