The main reason why a ‘Daughter’ needs a ‘Dad’ is to show her that not all the boys are like the ones who hurt her.
Excerpts from the Little Diary of Naina (who is currently 14yr old)
Okay, there are a few things I do not understand, and I seek answers. I do not understand, why I have to be imprisoned like this in my own home, where my brothers get to enjoy freedom, I do not understand, why I was forced to leave my education half way while my brothers continued. I simply do not get it, why I’m suddenly turning into a maid servant in my house and am punished if I open my mouth or try to express myself. I just don’t understand.
This diary, I write reflects the state in which I am and I guess, no one better than this diary can understand my situation. This diary is all I have in this world, with whom I can share my problems, anything I don’t understand and the diary, it simply listens to me and unlike others it never judges me. The diary simply absorbs every word I feed it, and it makes me feel light. I must say of all the things, my dad has done for me, I would say he educated me at least to this extent that I could at least write this diary, otherwise today I would have been nothing more than a living corpse. What happened to my dad? Why did he turn out like this? I have no answers.
Today, is 18th April, 1913. I spoke to my dad this morning, mustering enough courage to seek answers to all my questions that has troubled me for the past 3 years. The time from which, I became a pauper from a princess for my dad.
I went to him, and saw he was having his morning tea, and having some conversations with my brothers. I tried listening to their conversation, they were talking about expanding the family business. I waited for my turn, when my brothers left, and it would be just dad and me.
I slowly started pacing towards him, I was scared to speak anything, I was deeply troubled from inside and somehow I needed to speak, because I knew it if i couldn’t, then this thing would kill me. I could not bear this feeling anymore. I stood before him. He looked at me as he took a sip of his tea.
He said, “What’s the matter Naina? I have been hearing complaints from your mother, you aren’t doing your duties properly, yesterday you were supposed to clean the living room, and I saw how you did it, I must say it was very poor. You must know this thing very clearly that you will be married off quite soon, and you must know to do all the household work. It is due to this, I stopped your education and keep you home, so that you can learn what is expected of you”
I was just listening to him and couldn’t understand the need for my marriage at such an early age, I said, “Expected of me? Daddy, what is expected of me?”
That was when my father said, “Good that you asked, look you need to understand one thing, you are a girl, you should know what your role in society is, it is to obey any order that is given to you, it is to serve and keep the houshold clean and most importantly shouldn’t speak unless asked to. If you can do this, then you are an ideal woman.”
I was simply awestruck, to listen to my daddy’s definition of an ideal woman, which I could interpret in my own understanding, the more you resist, the more ideal you are to be a woman. I didn’t know what would I say after that, I was still standing there. I wanted to tell my dad about what I felt, but the truth is what should I tell him, how do I tell him that it hurts me to know what he was expecting from me. It hurts me to see, the way am treated at home. But I simply looked at him, and saw how happy he would be, when I meet all his expectations and simply perform my duties and in his words be the “ideal woman” he expects me to be. I can do that atleast, but deep down I wished he would understand what I was going through and someday he would give me a chance to speak my mind. But I know it for sure even if I got my chance, things wouldn’t change even a bit. I feel, the way this society is going, it might take a century, to overcome this situation. How I wish daddy, that for once you wouldn’t see what the society wants, and simply see what your daughter wants.
(Reena who is 18 years old today, completes reading Naina’s diary who was her great great grandmother)
As I finished reading her diary, I couldn’t help but feel sad. That this diary has been passed from generations and it has been indeed 100years, but still justice hasn’t been done. I realized that it was ony the diary who took it all for these years, but this thing needs to be brought. This is 2013, and it is shocking that even today the situation hasn’t changed a bit.
My dad too has certain misconceptions regarding certain issues, and he considers the society above anything else, everytime I try to understand what my dad means and try to follow his orders I end up realizing that no matter what I do, there won’t be any end to this feeling. The situation today is different, girls have always been kept like some prisoner, if anything wrong happens in the world, no one’s life is as affected as the life of a girl’s father. And the one who has to face the consequences are the daughters. It is the society, who has defined how a girl should be, and has set the limits and expectations from a girl. If any girl, tries to have an open mind, she would be brought down. Like my great great grandmother asked in her diary 100years ago, Even I do not understand a few things, among which is, that is it so that girls were born so that they could complete every fathers definition of an “Ideal woman”. Does the girl not have any say in what she wants?
There is a big misconception every one has, Girls do not want anything, they just need to be understood and especially by her father. A father needs to be his daughter’s best friend, For a change try and understand your daughter’s world, try and understand all that she cannot speak because she’s scared, try and understand her mind, that is all. If your daughter is wrong in her thinking mold her thoughts into something better. No daughter wants a Hitler for a father, they want a father who truly understands the real definition of an ideal woman, and an ideal woman can only become, if she has the most understanding father, who places their daughter first and then comes the society.
“Any man can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a dad.” – Anne geddes