By Kartik Bajoria
Just like mothers and sons do, the special relationship that fathers and daughters share is undeniable. It is a bond that is deep, beautiful and eternal. There is almost this unsaid, unspoken connection that defies distance, communication, circumstances and everything else. It endures the perils of life and soldiers on despite all odds. It is a quintessential link, an invisible umbilical if you will, between a daughter and her dad, that manifests in the most wonderful and strong ways.
Given this unshakable truth, Valentine’s Day makes for a perfect opportunity for fathers to reiterate to their daughters, just how special they are. It is the one day of the year that epitomises love. Love in all its forms, paternal, maternal, sisterly, brotherly, platonic and romantic. So fathers, get creative this Valentine’s Day and surprise your daughters with expressions of your fatherly love that will reinstate the love. What can you do? Luckily, help is at hand.
Partake of your feminine side
Usually, men aren’t naturally inclined to grooming and pampering. On the other hand, most girls and women love to indulge in a bit of body and soul loving. It would make for the perfect surprise if dads were to gift their daughters a Spa Day. Better still, fathers, to really make the surprise a memorable one, why not get in touch with your own femininity and go along with your daughters? Make a full-day date of it. Not only will your daughters love you for this unique bonding experience, along the way you would have done your bit to bust some gender-stereotypes and myths!
Pass on an heirloom
Valentine’s Day would also make for a fortuitous time for a daughter to receive a sentimental, special and prized family heirloom from her father. It could be a piece of jewellery that has been passed down generations that a father would like the daughter to have. It could even be any number of other kinds of heirlooms such as paintings/art, a significant antique or piece of furniture. It would be even more emphatic if the daughter has known of its existence and the value the family places on that heirloom; to be presented that coveted and much guarded article would make for a truly special gesture.
Nothing quite conveys love and affection than something handcrafted. Depending on the interests and leanings of both the dad in question and his daughter, this DIY project could be big or small, expensive or simple yet effective. Ranging from a handmade scrapbook of nostalgic photographs, to a handcrafted piece of furniture (if the father is so inclined and has the skills), to a painstakingly prepared meal; as long as it has been done by the dad in question, the daughter is absolutely sure to cherish it.
Another fabulous gift from a father to a daughter this Valentine’s could be to surprise her with a new skill. Let’s say one’s daughter is especially fond of dancing but the father has always had two left feet; for that dad to be able to tap feet with his daughter to a song they both enjoy, would really make for a special experience. All the effort that the father would have put in, and that too having kept it a secret, would make any daughter’s day!
Most of all though, apart from all the most fancy gifts and experiences fathers may plan for their daughters, perhaps the most precious gift this Valentine’s to a daughter would be, sheer time. If a father can ensure that he makes significant time for his daughter, say, by taking the entire day off work and dedicating it to his daughter, nothing else will quite match up to this one gesture. Time, after all, is one of the most precious resources. Few things communicate a person’s importance in another’s life than the amount of time you spend with the former. What dads do with that time becomes secondary, as long as they have that time to share. So gift time, this Valentine’s.
Relationships, however robust, need work. Love requires reiterating. Bonds, strengthening. And Valentine’s Day makes for a perfect occasion for fathers to renew their allegiance and love to their daughters. Dads, surprise your daughters with something that will truly delight them. Despite all the suggestions, it is you, the father, who knows best.
(Writer, educator and moderator, Kartik Bajoria holds workshops on creative writing and personality development at various schools.)