Fathers’ Day: An Open Letter to Abbu

Somewhere between “Abbu, amake eta kine dao please” and “Abbu, eta ekhon nah kinle’o cholbe,” I grew up. Or so I think. My father is someone who isn’t totally ecstatic about this day due to the whole “American vibe” of it, as some fathers tend to be. Despite that, every year, my brother and I make an effort to celebrate it with him in some small way or the other, and this is only a tiny contribution to that gesture. First things first – What do our fathers mean to us? What do they signify in our lives? For some of us, they are our confidante, or the fulfiller of all our downright bratty wishes. For some, they are the lecturer we occasionally (trying to be generous, here) hate listening to, or the benchmark of qualities we someday hold our significant others by. For others, fathers are their inspiration and moral compass, or the soft-hearted individual they go to ask permission from when their mothers say no. And for the rest, fathers are simply someone they terribly miss and would give anything to be by their sides again. Unfortunately, sometimes some people feel this way about their fathers despite living under the same roof. My father to me is some of these things, and more. Abbu, you are an outstanding individual. You go out of your way to be generous and encouraging towards everyone around you. You cherish your loved ones to the point that you sometimes spoil them. You try not to hurt people’s feelings, but at the same time, without sugarcoating anything. Let me tell you that to me, that is a paradox. You work hard despite being lazy at times. Again, paradox. You despise huge social gatherings reeking of small talk, but you have innumerable friends who are thankful for you. You make everything you take up your own, whether it be a sport or public speaking. You are overprotective and anxious at times, but let me confess to you today that I understand that all that comes only from a place of love. Lastly, in a society like ours, you are miles away from being the chauvinistic man who differentiates between his son and daughter, and that counts for something. I’m sure you’ve noticed the pattern of a few negative things by now, but I am your wife’s daughter and I have to be realistic. Nobody is perfect, and all of these are things that make you the loveable man that you are. To conclude, I would like to apologize for the times I was too busy boosting my ego, instead of accepting my mistakes. I would like to apologize for the times I have hurt you, and I promise you that it has always been unknowingly. I would like to apologize for the times I fell short in making you proud, despite you always maintaining my pride in being your daughter. Thank you for being the dramatic yet caring father that you are. Thank you for always catering to all my wants and needs. Thank you for letting me grow up. Thank you for the hard work you and Ammu have put in together at making our family what it is today. Thank you for being my father, in all the right senses of that word.

Author: Manaar Sadida, a high school graduate from William Carey Academy, on the verge of adulthood, and a feminist (“a person who believes in the equality of all genders,” for all you ignorant sexists) who calls a spade a spade and absolutely despises people with double standards (hypocrites). 

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