...…and I Cried, Yes I Cried!









I knew this was going to happen. I dreaded it for years. I had seen similar situations and always wondered why people cry on such occasions – but had no rational explanation ever forthcoming. But do emotions ever have rationality? My fear became more acute when the family decided that we should have a film-like presentation from photographs of her entire life. I am known to handle film-making through Power-Director and Windows Movie Maker well so naturally the choice fell on me. The family looked at me and I couldn't refuse. I told my son you make the broad outline and then I will do the rest. He activated the software and prepared the framework. I was sure I was going to cry so I told him “Now you leave the room. Close the door behind and leave me alone. Do not call for me under any circumstances”. It was 15th December 2011 – three days before 18th December – the day my daughter was going to get married.


I sat down on the desk and collected all my daughter’s pictures of her journey with us throughout her life and started arranging them. Yes I was holding back. But yes I was also struggling and I knew that. I strongly felt that a father who is going to marry his daughter in three days should not have taken up this job. But the heart also said – if not you, who? Just as I arranged her pictures after short listing them on the software, I was fighting hard not to let the emotions take charge. But the break-point came when music was to be added to the film. There was no other choice but the song from by Mukesh from Bambai ka Babu “Chal ri sajni ab kya soche”. It had to be there. It was the most appropriate. But when the verse came “Babul pastaye haathon ko mal ke, kahe diya pardes tukde ko dil ke” started playing – I could hold it no longer. I cried and I cried like mad!


Yes I was losing the piece of my heart. She is to be married. My rational mind knew – it was my duty. I knew it was my dharma. I knew it happens with all fathers….But the heart was now in complete defiance. It was in no mood to listen. The picture of the helpless father standing in the corner wringing his hands and cursing his helplessness as sung in hat song, when he sees his darling daughter (piece of his heart) going away from him forever, just came again and again on my mental screen. And yes I cried! I cried inconsolably.


And then it was 17th December – Saturday night. The stage was set. The entire family had collected. A large screen was erected in the garden and all waited. My daughter knew what is going to happen to her father. So she just came and sat between her parents. She caught hold of my hand and tried to calm things down. But she too probably knew this was not going to work. I knew there were elders. I knew there were children. I knew there were close friends who had stood by me in my life. I knew there were sisters and brothers. I knew there were sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law and I also knew that unwritten brutal rule – men are not supposed to cry in front of everybody. But did my heart know of the rule? I held back, I fought it – but as soon as the film got over I crashed.



It was unbearable. This bundle of joy of mine – whom I had hugged and held in my hands when she was just minutes old, was going away. This angel of mine whom I had left her at the school gate on her first day at school turning back again and again as if telling me “Baba I don’t want to go, don’t leave me”. Millions of emotional snapshots! Her results in school, her running up to me and hugging me for no apparent reason what-so-ever, her tantrums, her obstinacy, her anger, her hugs, her warmth, her love everything in minutest details was whirring away on the mental screen. And here she was next to me for two decades or more and was now going away.


Consolations were many. She is in the same city. She has found a boy who is mature, well settled and worthy of her in all ways were. Both of them are having excellent jobs. Both of them love each other. Both of them have a great secure future. I knew that all. Consolations were many – but who wanted to be consoled that evening? I wanted to cry – yes I wanted to cry. Consolations are for the brain, not the heart!

Her marriage on 18th December 2011 – Sunday was a dignified and impressive function as per our family values and rituals. Surprising for me even when I saw her off, I was calm. I was stoic. I don’t know why – but I was naturally smiling.


But the biggest challenge came the next day morning. That is the time when I came out of my bedroom and her room is just opposite my bedroom. Every day in the morning her room door would be closed and I knew she would be sleeping behind the closed door. The sight of the closed door was so comforting. But today it was open. The bed was vacant. It was a stunningly silent room with a creaseless bed-sheet, the properly placed pillow and the neat and clean room – unlived. I couldn’t face the vacancy. I simply walked away – I had to. This room was her abode for more than a decade now. Every day, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year she used to be there always. I had seen that closed door and was comforted that she is there. The door closed and she sleeping behind in her room. That used to be my first view every day morning for years. Today I knew she wasn’t there. I knew she was gone. I just rushed out, absolutely numb, completely unemotional. My heart had simply refused to think for it knew if it would think it would be shattering.


All guests were to be seen-off. I had to oversee arrangements of making them reach airports and railway stations in time. Once all this was done I walked into her room. I had to. I knew my strength would come from here. Just then the soft toy of Merlion that she had so fondly got for herself from one of our family vacations from Singapore fell down from the shelf. It made The Swiss Cowbells that we had purchased together from Switzerland clang and her famous laughter started running out from each wall each brick each drop of paint from each piece of furniture from each soft toy that she had so assiduously collected and amassed. I - the father was completely overwhelmed. I just crashed in the chair. My head down, may face completely wet – yes I was crying, yes I was!


The sages say – time heals. Today she is at her home in the other part of the city, talks twice everyday on phone. The family invariably dines once a week usually on Saturdays together. She is very happy. I am happy too at her happiness. But I know, I am dismembered – the family is no more complete. She is now a part of her family. I don’t cry anymore but yes even now when I am typing this my eyes are wet.


Being father of a daughter is the toughest duty to perform in the world. Blessed but toughest! They go away. They have to go away. But when they go, they make you cry, really cry!
                                                



Comments

  1. Àvu ‏ @Mystic_Eyes_ tweeted this on this blog: Loved it

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  2. KananKR (@KananKR) tweeted this on the blog: doc, ur daughter is beautiful, May God always bless her with lots of happiness and good health and love from all. Its a beautiful post.

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    1. One more tweet from KannanKR: doc my mom always says, that no matter how tough a man, he is bound to weep when he sees his daughter off. And as a mother I know.

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    2. One more tweete on this from KananKR @KananKR: Everybody should be blessed with one daughter at least.

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    3. KannanKR further tweeted on this blog: Doc, as I read this, I dread this moment as well. It is going to come in our life too, perhaps 6 to 7 years from now. cant imagine

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  3. You made me cry Doc all the way till the last word .....speechless

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  4. Moon M ‏ @moonsez tweeted this on the blog: Thank you for sharing... I don't really believe in the sentiment though. I think a daughter remains your daughter no matter what.

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    1. Moon M @moonsez further tweeted on the blog: There's a lot of raw emotion there in your post & it takes guts to say it the way you have : )

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    2. Moon M ‏ @moonsez further tweeted: I somehow get bristle-y about the finality, an end to a relationship that a daughter's wedding is supposed to signify.

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. I really felt the feelings of you and i almost felt sad to imagine to be a father of a girl ...

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  7. I dont have a daughter but reading your blog made me cry.
    May God bless your daughter and your family with all the joy and peace.
    Bhartendu Mehta

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  8. I'm a daughter, and this made me cry as well.. i've graduated, fell in love, just got my first job, and invariably moving towards the painful task of flying away from home, away from dad. :(

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  9. Yes Pankaj, daughters are always going to be forever close to their Dad's heart and go away to live life with their partner, may your family and daughter be blessed always and be happily live and fulfill her life's wishes.
    Jihirshu

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  10. Archana Sharma (@archie229) sent a direct message on the blog: Beautiful post Doc. It made me cry too. Everybody in metro looking at my sudden tears. Blessings to your daughter.

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  11. Vani Taneja tweeted this on the blog: scary yet undeniable :-s

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    1. Vani Taneja further commented :-) the post was worth the comment. Aint easy to gather emotions and put them into words as it is.

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  12. Sivakumar Surampudi ‏ @S_Sivakumar Commented this on the bog: ...and I Cried, Yes I Cried!

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    1. Arunn Bhagavathula ‏ @ArunBee replied thus: Ditto! My darling leaving me for 2 yrs in a month!

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  13. Srividhya Jayakumar ‏ @srividhy Commented this on the blog: Nice !!Wondering what happens to mothers when their sons get married?Not seen much stuff being written

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    1. Sivakumar Surampudi ‏ @S_Sivakumar replied to @srividhy You are right! That story is always told from a daughter-in-law's perspective!

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  14. beena sarwar ‏@beenasarwar tweeted this on the blog: I hope they are blessed and happy. She is lucky to have a father like you. Awww. Very moving. And Congrats

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  15. subhadra @subhadra_72 tweeted this on the blog: Ur daughter looks beautiful :-)

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  16. kavitha @reddy_kavi tweeted this on the blog: Deeply touched. A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart. Peace and happiness for your family.

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  17. Keerthi Kariappa @Keerthi_AK tweeted this on the blog: beautifully written doc..the pain and happiness that a father goes thru seem universal. Very well expresed.

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    1. Keerthi further tweeted: Every daughter,every father who hs a daughter cn relate to ths touching post by @drpdesai

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  18. Himanshu Kalra @h_kalra tweeted this on the blog: Very touching blog. I felt the same when my sister got married :(

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  19. Rohini Haldea @rohaldea tweeted this on the blog: Awwww... touching post

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  20. Nivedita Gandhi ‏ @Ur_Pancake_lady tweeted this on the blog: Very touching. I can relate, not as a parent but as a daughter, of course. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Ra Ch Na ‏ @raggedtag tweeted this on the blog: I loved it :-) guess thats how a father feels. Mine left us as kids can only imagine what he would have felt.

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  22. akanksha @tadbitlooney Tweeted this on the blog: its beautiful almost made me remember my wedding. Did you show it to your daughter?

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  23. Dark chocolate ‏@URM1 tweeted this on the blog: Aww. This is so touching. Perhaps my father felt that way too. I wouldn't know... God bless her.

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  24. Subhashini @NeelaVanam tweeted this on the blog: I understand you. I understood my father. It heals...

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  25. Kasturi Basu ‏@Kashanand tweeted this on the blog: Very nicely written n ur daughter is lovely :) god bless her

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  26. Ganesh Desai sent this email comment on the blog: Your blog on occassion of Ushma's marriage is SUPERB! Very well written & well-expressed!

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  27. Yogini @yoginisd sent this message on the blog: Thanks, nice read. I am sure it must be therapeutic for you.

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  28. Col Manobendra Roy commented this on FB:‎...read your much touching piece on your "Bundle of Joy"...could very much feel how you must have felt that night...a very poignant write...somehow always knew you had a flair for writing..

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  29. Dharmesh Bhuptani on FB: i shudder to tink of it

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  30. Shanta Durgae on FB: its painful moment.

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  31. Prathana Bhoora on FB: You lose apart of yourself in a daughter.a bond like no other.

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  32. Jyoti Daswani on FB: Oh my God.Well take it like any other pain,and you are fortunate to have her near you.Time heals.Think of us the less fortunate,and feel blest.:)))

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  33. Jyoti Daswani further commented on FB: Cute girl.nice pics both.

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  34. Bebu Seems Pandey commented on the blog on FB: By your beautiful way of summing it up u made me cry too... But right.. That's the way father thinks... Babul pachtay...

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  35. Vikas Chauhan commented on the blog in FB: Respected Sir, let the emotion flow. Because that's possible best way; let it be exactly as it is from inside.

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  36. Shruti Malvi commented on FB on the blog: ‎.......Cudnt read it full.... :(....

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  37. Saroj Naidu commented on the blog on FB: very touchy sir even i cnt resist myself...

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  38. Vimal Garg commented on the blog on FB: after my daughter's marriage , i cant see any beti ki vidai ,my personal experiance ....

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  39. Sudip Kumar Basu commented on the blog on FB: Same feelings as yours...being a father of a daughter ...went away....today is her birth day.....can't reach my 'blessing' hand from India to USA

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  40. Sudeep Shroff commented on the blog on FB: Inevitable experience for all the fathers (of daughters). I know I'll have it one day. Feeling heavy already...

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  41. Radhakrisna Nayak commented on the blog on FB: Sir the biggest Offering is called Kanya Dhana.There is no better offering,so be proud of it I have two lovely daughter's.

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  42. Priya Bhave commented on the blog on FB: and I cried too.

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  43. Bruce Patel commented on the blog on FB: dikari vahal no Dariyo

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  44. Rachana Pandey commented on the blog on FB: Simply beautiful .... And I thought only girls and daughters understand these intense emotions .... Just wow...

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  45. Seema-Lalit Kalra commented on the blog on FB: dikri to parkhi thapan kahevay...

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  46. Tushar Shah commented on the blog on FB: TRUE..

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  47. Archana Verma commented on the blog on FB: Noway ! daughters are always there as daughters .... unlike a son , he is there till he gets a bride ...

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  48. Binal Shah commented on the blog on FB: SuperLike...

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  49. Aditi Dhimar commented on the blog on FB: Sir! This is second time I am witnessing this kind emotions from ur side . Once in OT while music player was on, and which song was going I don't remember but u said "i was not knowing how it feels? But as now I hav a daughter I completely agree with this."

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  50. Prashantkumar Vankar commented on the blog on FB: its a social +creditable job sir.....

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  51. Hetal Gediya commented on the blog on FB: superlike...

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  52. A heartfelt post! I was imagining what my father must have felt.

    P.S. Your daughter looks lovely in the wedding pic, please pass on my compliments to her :)

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    1. Thank you Smita. I will convey to my daughter this evening itself. God Bless You

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  53. sir,i respected u as my senior but now onwards as my elder too.mere papa ab es duniya me nhi hain,par aapka blog pad kar lga ki wo bhi shayad yehi feel karte jab mai wida hui thi apne ghar se.tears r flowing like river unstopped.god bless ur daughter sir.

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    1. Thanks Bharti. Words are inadequate to express my gratitude

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  54. Bhupendra Amin commented this on the blog through FB: dikridan is shresth daan amongst all daans.Very few fathers are fortunate to be father of dikri.Dikri viday ni vasmi vela ne anubhavava dikri na pita banvu pade! Time is such v have to have law to protect girl child. It is sheer disgusting for human race.

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  55. Ankita Chandna commented this on the blog through FB: Many Congratulations for Ushma's wedding Sir! I can relate to ur feelings Sir but still feel that daughters never leave u emotionally.....

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  56. Sarbani Ghosh commented this through a message on the blog: Read your blog, very nicely written, poignant. No doubt you have brought out the raw emotions of a father marrying off his daughter very lyrically.

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  57. Deepak Bhagde commented this through a message on the blog: Ek ladki kitni bhi seva kare to bhi wo apne pati ki rani nahi ban sakti par hazaar galtiya karne par bhi woh apne papa ke liye rajkumari hi rehti hai

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  58. Ajit Gandhi commented this on the blog through FB: yes! do agree! i have experienced it

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  59. strange is the way of the world sir... but have to live with it.. The song which used to play in me head before my marriage was... kahe ko bihaye bidesh rasiya babul mohe.....

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    1. That was a very nice response Bhawna. God Bless You

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  60. Am a daughter and a mother of a girl..and it will be equally difficult for a father to bear the pain of separation.

    Very touching it was, had to cry all along.

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    1. God Bless You for your words of great understanding

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  61. Missing my father, he sensed my eagerness to work hard in life inspite of knowing my limitations. Papa you gave me new life and a will to survive when you used to hold me and take me out for a stroll... the times, when I couldnt even afford to stand upright. I owe my existence to you !!! Pankaj Sir a very heart touching blog, loved reading it.

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    1. God Bless You Monica...You daughters make our lives worth living.

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  62. R. V. Bhatt commented this on the blog through Email: I read your write up on "I cried". I feel crying is not appropriate. You should say I weeped
    I feel it is normal to have this feeling. Even Rushis are not exempt. When Shakuntala was given farewell, even the Rushi was weeping. Good write up

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  63. Vidya ‏ @filterkaapii tweeted this on the blog: Hey very nice read!! Thanks much for sharing your article.

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  64. Thanks Dr. Shambhunath. God Bless You

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  65. I don’t know what it is about genuine human sadness but it strikes a raw nerve in others. I had to fight back my own tears every time you cried. It is six months since your daughter got married and I wish both you and her much happiness.

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    1. Wonderful KayEm. God Bless You

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  66. Dear Pankaj bhai
    i am proud father of two angels Rani and Aashiaq , 15 m 11 resp

    Your blog has not only touched many but have let us over come the fear and gain strength to face the day.

    Love you my angels.

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    Replies
    1. God Bless You. I am touched by your kind words

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  67. Nandita Iyer ‏@saffrontrail tweeted this on the blog: Read your daughter-wedding post - very touching indeed. She's blessed to have you for a dad

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  68. Asha Bhatt sent this email on the blog: I read few of your blogs particularly " I cried" very touching. I also cried being devoid of having a daughter

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  69. very touched... extremely well written... as im a daughter too...i knew only my side of the story.. the expression in this one is impeccable!!!

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    1. Thanks a million for a very emotional input. Made me emotional too. Appreciated

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  70. Sirji very touchy. Could not hold back my tears.tnx 4 making me cry. Coincidently i too have been preparing such film and i am having the photo and video of aishwarya right from sonography and will collect upto her marriage and gift her on her mrg. Only blessed r the parents who have atleast one daughter.v have two.may be bad news for the world but good news for me and alka that we will not b able to marry our nishtha and she will be with us lifelong.v feel to b luckiest parents.will explain u personaly. God bless ur daughter n ur family. Kirit kubavat.

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  71. Thanks Kirit for a very beautiful response. I am touched

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