Tuesday, October 25, 2011

To Daughter From Father... With Love

Dear Daughter,

Before everything else, let me tell you something that I haven’t put into words since you crossed your fifth birthday- I love you.  I love you my little girl, perhaps more than anything else in this world.  It is just that I lost the art of conveying that to you. 

I know I am at fault, for not creating the right atmosphere for verbal communication between us.  Perhaps it was due to the fear that I might spoil you by pampering. Perhaps it partly had to do with my own arrogance that stemmed from the ‘nothing can go wrong with me’ outlook resulted by the stupendous success in my life and partly with the belief that one should not pamper own children.

However, this is not to debate on what is the right method for bringing up one’s children. So, let it pass, for now at least. 

Last week, I went to Church and confessed.  I confessed about everything that went wrong between us.  The priest remained silent, but I could hear the God whispering to me; “It is not here that you need to confess. Go and convey your feelings to your daughter...”  I wanted to do that immediately, but believe me; I couldn’t muster the courage for all these days. 

So, let me use this letter to convey my side of the story to you.  Sometimes, written communications do much better than verbal communications; more so when the listener is as biased as you are, right now.

You might think that your dad is heartless for saying NO to your wish to marry that boy.   I know given a chance, you would like to tell me that you are 25 already, it is your life and your risk, I have no right to manage your life etc.  I would also have said the same thing to my own dad in your situation.  But my dear girl, there is a difference in the way parents think.  Today, I have to think as a parent and not as a young one in blind love.

Let me ask you- how are you so sure that you have made the right choice this time?  You were 22 when you first fell in love.  You were so gung-ho about it.  One look into the eyes of that stupid boy was enough for me to know, he means only trouble to you.  But how could you have seen that, for you were blind with your first love.

Didn’t I resist even at that time? The same way I am doing now? You can find faults with my methods. But can you fault my judgement in that first case?  I did take away your internet connection and mobile phone and you felt bad about it.  But what happened later? You yourself had to give them up for such a long time!

This first love of yours soon turned hostile and showed his true colours when you gave up on him as you slowly realised how bad a selection you had made. How could anyone even think of loving such a violent and criminally oriented person?  He even drugged and tortured you to make you agree to marry him. Finally, when you managed to escape his clutches, you were almost a nervous wreck.  

I can’t think about that incident, even now, without shudders in my body. I am sure you don’t understand what I and your mom went through during that period.  Having a daughter with depression and suicidal tendencies at home is a nightmare for any parents. Each faint noise woke us up at any time of the night.

Now when we realise that within such a short period of less than three years you have made another choice, it disturbs.  We wished that you will complete your studies and settle down in life.  Instead you are now forcing us into making a decision on your partner; again your selection.  Haven’t you heard that old saying that a cat that had fallen in hot water will be worried to touch even cold water?  We are in such a position now.

We, as parents, prefer a daughter who is unhappy with us for some time that one who will remain unhappy forever due to wrong choice while selecting her partner. 

So, as a father, I am only asking you to give us and yourself more time.  Let us understand the intensity of your new love and also about your selected boy; how good a human being he is.  I know you hold him in high esteem, but we also know that love at your age is blind!

Being our only daughter, we have to see that you not only enter into an appropriate alliance but also become able to inherit and manage (with or without your husband’s help) all these properties that I and your mom had created through our hard work of all these years.

I understand we still have a huge generation gap between us.  It is not easy to expect you to appreciate all that I said above.  You will have your own perspective on all these. But as a possessive and protective father, I can’t wait for you to realise the finer points of life through your own experience. So bear with me dear daughter.

Anything and everything that I do may not be to your liking; but be assured that I have only your best interests in my mind when I arrive at those decisions.

Now that I have bared my heart before you, I feel much relieved.  No matter how bad you feel about me, I will continue to insist on what I feel right for you.  I know as an adult you are capable of walking out on me and doing what you consider right.  But that is a risk every parent with grown up children has to live with.

With the hope that there will still be a meeting of our minds,

With love,

Your Father

PS: This post is a result of my enquiry into the minds of those parents who say no to their children.  I am a firm believer that every human being takes rational decisions.  From the decision maker’s point of view, the reasons are good enough; and the hindsight often useless.  Therefore, it is necessary for all of us, whatever the relationship may be, to try and see the rational of the other person when our decisions end up in creating conflicts. Father and the daughter here are purely creations of imagination and mere tools to prove the aforesaid theory.

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