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Although he might not even know the word ‘feminist’, Papa was the #FeministFather who believed in me, from the very beginning.
My father is a retired army official, and I grew up without seeing him for most of my childhood; when I was a kid, I didn’t knew much about him as a man or father as he was mostly far away from us on duty. However, during my college days, he got retired and came home forever.
Initially, it wasn’t easy for both of us to live with each other comfortably. He was rigid, strong headed, and a highly disciplined man like all army officials, and I was in my early twenties.
But gradually, everything fell into place.
When I used to see my friends’ fathers, I started admiring my father more. He never stopped me from going on trips with unknown travel groups or even solo. I changed my studies and career choices often until I was finally sure about writing. He was always supportive of my decisions.
While my mother was always emotionally available for me, my father was there to make me confident and strong. I fell many times in my personal and professional life, but he never pitied me or scold me. He never showed his emotions but was always standing besides me like a rock.
After graduation, once he asked me to prepare for government jobs, and I denied. He never asked me about it again, as he knew I had different interests.
When I was working, he never said “we don’t accept our daughter’s money”. I loved to do little things for my parents and they were always appreciative.
During our family trips, I learned about his adventurous side too. He is fun and loves trying new things.
When I used to bring my male friends home for drinks, he never said no. In fact, sometimes he offered his own drinks to my friends.
Once in a while he used to ask me about my savings to make sure I am financially independent. When I needed money, he never said no.
In my late twenties, when all my friends were getting hitched and having babies, he never asked about my marriage plans.
I chose my life partner online (from matrimonial site) without his knowledge. When I introduced him to my dad, he accepted him smilingly, even though he was from different caste (I am from Uttarakhand and he is Bengali from Assam).
When I told him I wanted a court marriage and not the lavish and useless one, he agreed instantly.
Now when I visit my parents with my partner/husband, we three drink together. He never judged me for being a girl.
He always let me be who I am without saying a word.
Even if he was struggling financially, he never said no when I demanded anything, whether it was an expensive toy in childhood, or my first scooter in college.
He taught me riding a bike too, for which I will always be grateful.
All these years, I learnt how loving and caring he is. Although he doesn’t even know the word feminist, he was the #FeministFather from the very beginning.
In the world of patriarchy and bias, I was lucky to get a father who believed in me.
I have never said it to you in person, but I really love you Papa. You are the best in the world.
Image source: a still from the film Gunjan Saxena
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I love to write and travel. Can't do without these two. I am on
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