19th of June 2011,
Somewhere In Mumbai.
11:00 am IST
I never was an early riser and upon that It was a Sunday for which I had labored for an entire week. But I knew this Sunday was Different, It was More special. I ripped through the sheets in one Motion and slid on my chair in front of my computer. As I was switching the machine on, my thoughts wandered over to her sweet smile, I knew she was an early riser unlike me so I was expecting her wishes for me on that very day.
In the next few moments I logged in my facebook account and there It was, A single tab on my profile was glowing with life in it. I clicked and I found myself to be right again this time. A single message form her lay there having only 4 words..
“Happy Fathers Day Dad”
Yes, at 25 years I was the father of a gorgeous 18 year old lady.
2 of a Kind: Like Father, Like Daughter.
Neel. Thats her name! That might sound quite westernized to most of you but in my kids defense let me tell you she has a name that is as graceful as she is. She answers to the real name of Neelabha. More or less my daughter is very much like me. Like my family both of her biological parents come from 2 different parts of India and hence we cant say if we are North,West or south Indians. We can only say that we are proud Indians. And just like me, She has a liking for writing as well.
It all started a couple of years ago when I found a facebook page dedicated to mothers and its name touched my heart to its deepest end. Instantly I liked it and ended up spending more time on the page than on my facebook wall itself. The admin of the page was a cute little girl who wasnt afraid to engage in a duel of words with anyone who went up against womanhood. Growing up around 2 women myself, I never was the one who would ever abuse the power of a woman. I consider a woman to be a mortal form of god on this planet. Hence, anything against womanhood was always offending to me. Because of this, She found an able ally in me.
She was none another than the lass I now adore as my daughter.
On Mothers day that year I found out that I was in for a surprise. Neel had posted a Note on her page and wanted me to read it, I was curious as It was a note written by someone for a mother. When I started to read it I found that the Note had uncanny resemblance to my life. Thats when it struck me what it was!
It was a post from my own personal blog, I had written that very article as a tribute to my very own mother on Mothers days the year before. I was taken by surprise and yet I was flattered because till that day I had never mentioned to her that I do write as well.
The conversations among us had started to flow since then, I was glad that she liked my post and found it good enough for her page. I felt in a way even I was honored and I thanked her for it. What she replied me is still the best compliment I’ve ever had and I shall treasure that moment for the rest of my life.
I’ll Put it in her own words as she said, “I was In tears when I read it… It was beautiful. Swap your a Master of words… you always manage to charm me with your words and make my day.”
On February the first, I had shared my plans to propose my best friend of 9 years with her then. She was as happy at that and yet I was all nervous. She comforted me in her own way by saying, “Im sure she’ll walk down the aisle with you, That’s just not my wish but a lady’s confidence is speaking up.”
The next day I confessed a deeper secret to her.. I wanted to have a daughter & If my daughter would have been like her then I would have felt to be blessed my the heavens because Neel is the best daughter any man can have. All she replied was, “It will be an honor for me (to be your daughter) Dad.”
Since then I have adored her, Loved her and treasured every moment that I have spend with my lovely Daughter.
Well so now, if you all have had the Impression of my kid being the most sweetest soul on this planet the allow me to Introduce you guys to My daughter Neel through My eyes. She always sports a Tainted halo that hides the horns on her head and compliments her gorgeous smile, she is just not the girl next door. She is the woman of next generation thriving in today’s world. She is born to rule and succeed. Be it man or woman get in her wrong books and she is always up for a fight. Just like me, she loves her family to the core and doesn’t give a damn to the world. A vegetarian foodie like her father (me), loves friends and a prankster to the core.
Like every beautiful lass she looks cute when she is angry or when she frowns but she is at her glowing best when she is all happy excluding vibes of Happiness around her.
The Most Important thing, If she is angry there are only 2 ways to get her anger down and bring her back to her vivacious self. Chocolate and SRK.
Yes, you guys read it right. She absolutely digs chocolate and Shahrukh Khan, So next time she gets red with anger or her mood is down Im just gonna say, “Kiddo, I think SRK is an absolutely amazing actor, seems finally I have started to like him.” I doubt that she might believe me but I know she might sense my Intentions and smile just the way she would be smiling after reading this.
She is adolescent, sweet, naughty and yet she is can behave in a way that looks more than mature. I remember the time when I was serving a broken heart, I didnt knew what to do and whom to talk to. I had friends who could have advised me or maybe even had sympathy for me but instead of them I chose to share my grief with my daughter. The next moment she had turned a shoulder to cry on, a confidant I can rely on even in the toughest of times and suddenly I found to be lighter at my heart. This was the sort of relation I always had thought I’d have with my daughter when she arrives and Neel has brought all my dreams to life.
But, the Image of a Mature woman growing in my little princess never settled in my mind. Two days after I shared my heart break she quietly and yet sweetly said me, “Dad, yeh sab chodo, Yeh batao mere liye Mommy kab laa rahe ho??” (Which means: Dad leave all this and tell me when are you bringing me a Mommy?)
My daughter always says, she never will fall in love even though me being an hopeless romantic myself. With my experience, I know that wont happen. So Kiddo (as I call her) I want to tell you, that no matter what, every one of us has to come to face love once in our lives. Only a few selected of them die with the glory of it while the rest of us walk the journey of life with the pieces of our broken hearts.
If I have to write another confession I’d do it now, I probably know there might be dumb idiots swarming around you with strategies to woo you every now and then, And yes I have noticed this even on your page albeit I have never showed this and yet joked about having a gun ready for all those who even thought of flirting with you. I might have become more of a father off late to you but then never forget, I still am the same guy, I still am the same friend whom you can lean on when your in a dilemma.
I wish I could have written more but I really cant, not because I am drafting this tribute sitting in a train on my laptop but because everytime I think of you I only end up with smiles as I go speechless. So, I’d only say live your life in a way that only you can, I might not be able to stop you from making mistakes but I promise, I’ll always be around when you need someone after committing a Mistake.
“I love you loads Kiddo, I always will.”
People around us more often than not dont understand relationships. So I dont expect them to understand the special bond between me and my daughter. All I can say love always needs to people, not necessarily they need to be spouses you always can love your children for they are also your soul-mates too In a way.
Neel has not only been a lovely daughter, she has also been a teacher to me. She has taught me how to live a life when things seem lost, She is not only my daughter but also a friend, guide and most importantly a piece of my heart itself.
Im not sure if I’d be around the day she gets married but the day she does I surely am gonna have my eyes moist just like every father does. For me even if she is all of 18 and good to be 20 soon, She still is 5 or 6 in my heart and in my memories.