Me and my sister have never been the typical daddy's little girls. When I say typical daddy's little girls, I mean those who are never allowed to travel by buses, or bike to school, or go out with friends; well, who are just over-protected, in short. My dad has in fact brought us up like boys, giving us all the freedom we needed with, of course, restrictions when necessary. He has made sure we learn to be independent as much as we can. For instance, if my bike was out of petrol out of my doing, daddy dearest would not come and push it for me, I would have to push it myself till the petrol pump(which I have, many a times)! We have been pampered, and he has a soft corner to buy us all the stuff we ask for but what we have never been are his over-protected little girls, and I absolutely love him for this. This let me grow up, take my own decisions, make my own mistakes and learn from them - just the way it has to be - with the secure feeling that he will always be there for me, no matter what.
When people who know us see the best in me and many times the worst too, it is evident to plain eye that I get it mostly from my Dad. We are so alike and I can easily identify it and this, according to me, is the best gift that my Dad can ever give me. I have seen his virtues and I can see them in me too. More importantly, I can see his weaknesses, which help me not make the same mistakes that he has done and I typically would have too, otherwise. Where he has lost in the past, I have earned, and that makes him the ultimate winner. From trusting people blindly, to spending and lending money liberally, I have seen my Dad being hurt many times in the past and these things have taught me to always exercise some judgement and caution in my life! But after such episodes too, to have such magnanimity of only giving and never expecting anything in return is something truly great and something I still need to learn from my Dad.
Being so alike, me and my Dad know what irritates each other the most and we each do precisely that when we are in a fight. Now, being so far away from home, I miss those stupid unwanted fights we used to pick with each other and the way we both never had to say sorry to each other but just understood that talking to each other meant forgiveness. I miss his amazing sense of humor, jokes targeted at me (especially when my friends were over). Jokes that irritated me, but kept me in splits nevertheless. I miss those summer nights, when we used to sit in the balcony across the coconut trees swaying in the breeze, when my dad would recount his childhood heroics and I would sit and listen to them, maybe for the hundredth time, but still with awe and pleasure. I miss waiting for him to return home every evening, when he would surprise us every now and then with our favourite treats. I miss him every night here, being accustomed to his 'Goodnight baby!' for all these years. But at the end of the day, I know my father has given me the love, respect, freedom, education and courage that I need to survive on my own here and I sleep peacefully.
You do know you are blessed to have parents such as mine, when friends of yours visit home and tell you 'Your Dad is so much fun! Loved meeting your parents yesterday', or when you are chatting with a friend back home, and he tells you your parents are the coolest he has met, ever! You do know you are truly blessed, when all you can think of is going back home, just to hear him say, ' All the best, baby', yet another time, coz you just can't get enough of being Daddy's little girl :)
[The Blogadda contest gave me a wonderful opportunity to write what would otherwise have been just thoughts in my mind, never penned!]