How Fathers Dote On their Daughters

By Supriya Iyengar in Health & Nutrition 30/05/2016

One could tell she was a novice, doing this for the first time, trying to hold the delicate miracle in the best way possible. Enter the dad. By the window that streamed the mellow sunlight as opposed to the blazing one outside, he held the newborn in his arms. It seemed to me that he was born to do that. The comfort with which he was doing it made me exclaim, “Wow, it seems you are a professional at this”.

And he answered, “I am the dad. No one in the world can really do this as well as I can now. Holding on to her.”

Just day before yesterday my best friend had a baby girl. I knew they wanted a daughter and seeing them happy made me tear up. As much as I would annoy one of them off by saying this but I could see the clumsiness with which she held her daughter.

 

Every parent has a favorite. No matter how much parents say that they love equally, there’s always a clear favourite! The general consensus is that it is always daddy’s little girl and mumma’s boy.

Priyanka Chopra definitely seems to believe in the former which is quite evident from her ink.

A mother’s love in inexplicable and can’t be replaced. But so is the case with the love of the father. When I joked about a possible marriage between the neighbor’s new born son and my friend’s daughter, the first reaction was “He better watch it!”.

 
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So what makes a girl, daddy’s sweetheart? Why do dads dote on their daughters?Such unreasonable feelings are probably at the heart of every father-daughter relationship. Sure my mom would never believe that I could do anything wrong, and if I did I wasn’t influenced by some other person.

But for a father, his precious angel will always be swayed by the wrong intentions of a punk.

For fathers, jealousy, love, anger and protectiveness trump reason every time. Why else would my friend react like that to a joke? Writers and movies, at the heart of every story, have emphasized on one kind of love between the opposite sex more often than required. A romantic and a passionate relationship has been shown for which a man would give it all. But there is a much greater love that isn’t diluted by any relationships. I mean we have heard a man being torn between the women in his life, mother and wife being the most common. But it is the love of a daughter that is forged in blood and sealed with piousness and not a mother, a lover or even Scarlett Johansson can compete with that.

 

This filial intimacy is by no means a modern phenomenon. Remember the songs “Babul ki duayen” and “Babul pyare”? To this day they create an overwhelming sense in everyone.

A father daughter relationship is an extremely possessive one, even from an early age.

Like my friend, many new fathers I know are already worrying about the dating life of their daughter, not the ‘why she will be dating’, but the ‘who she will date.’ The departure of daughters into adulthood – via marriage or sexuality – is made more poignant by the sheer contrasting asexuality and innocence of the relationship between fathers and daughters. He would want the best man for his best girl and will settle for no less.

 

Every other man will only be a distraction or a pied-piper to his girl. Mr. Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, an excellent example of an indulgent, wise and kind father, summed up his love for Lizzy quite well when he said “I cannot believe that anyone can deserve you… but it appears I am overruled. So, I heartily give my consent. I could not have parted with you, my Lizzy, to anyone less worthy.”

 

For a father, there is always this constant need to protect their daughters from any looming hazards. Be it the paper cut in her hand, her tired legs from shopping, or getting that extra scoop of ice cream when mom is not looking, dads dote on their daughters.

 

All rationalizations of being “the bad cop” sometimes to your child, go out the window when it comes to a daughter, for a father. So despite your daughter falling in love with a college failure without a job (but good at heart and loves her with everything he has got), there is always a father who will eventually say “Ja Jeele Apni Zindagi Simran”. A daughter may think of her dad as her hero, but here is the other side.

A father thinks of his daughter as his savior.

In Victor Hugo’s masterpiece, Les Miserables, Jean Val Jean believes that adopting Cosette saved him from a life of criminality and aimlessness. Cosette is the saving grace to his otherwise marred life and in her he finds a purpose.

Like a father once told me “Save the day. She’ll grow up looking for a hero.

It might as well be you. She’ll need you to come through for her over and over again throughout her life. Rise to the occasion. Red cape and blue tights optional.” I guess every dad in the world is trying to be just that, a hero to his little girl.

 
 

Supriya Iyengar
“A writer is by nature a dreamer, a conscious dreamer.”

With a decade of experience in writing, my complete oeuvre includes an eclectic mix. From working in the Indian crafts sector to writing short stories for children, I have associated with start-ups and established enterprises alike. After freelancing as a writer I was entrusted with heading the content for one of the leading startups in India. My stint with feministaa promises to enrich my portfolio by penning down articles that aligns with the philosophy of the organization and what I believe in, as a writer.


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