Soldier For Women

I am really grateful to Gillette and Blogadda team to come up with an initiative to honor the good men amongst us, to salute the soldiers of our daily life who stood up for women. This is not only a great way to spread awareness in these hard times but also an opportunity for me and fellow bloggers to share their experiences. The following post marks my gratitude not only towards my father but for every man who becomes the voice of women and stand with them for their rights. 

As they say, your father is always your first hero. And they are right. I always had immense respect for my dad and never needed any reason for that either. But when this opportunity came up, I recalled an incident I'd never gave a second thought to; and that made me to love and respect my dad even more. 

This tale is about my maternal cousin, Surabhi. She is beautiful, smarty and had always been a topper in her school times. She had just completed her HSC and topped in the merit list too (21st rank I guess, pardon my memory) when she turned 18. Belonging to our average orthodox family, her parents began their search of a groom for her. They were planning to get her married within a year. But Surabhi didn't wanted to get married so soon. Being smart in her academics she wanted to pursue higher education and was interested to work afterwards, understanding how crucial role financial stability plays in withstanding a marriage. She had her reasons. 
'What will society say?' 'Why your daughter is not married yet? Is there something wrong with her?' 'Her elder sister got married when she was 19, isn't she happy?' 'Jay is turning 21 next month, we can't marry him before her.' Again 'what will people say?' My uncle and aunt had their reasons too. 

I was much younger then and didn't stand a say. My dad is a respectable man and my uncle and aunt favors his opinion a lot. They always consult him on their financial investment and other welfare, because of his knowledge and experience. When my mother told him about Surabhi's dilemma, he went straight to their home, called out Surabhi and made the entire family have a heart-to-heart talk. Though Surabhi's frustration was waning, my aunt and uncle were still reluctant to let her study further. My dad has a great sense of humor and knows how to play with words. Though I vaguely remember the entire conversation, some of the things he said are still engraved in memory. He stated the importance of education to them and boldly used sarcasm to let my aunt know how little helpful she was to her kids when it comes to tutoring them. Being from a Hindi medium school, it was really difficult for her to provide competent guidance to her kids; though she was lucky to get children who were passionate towards study and hence never had any trouble. "Do you want your grandchildren to go through same?" my dad asked. 
The ice was thinning, when my uncle protested that they had over expended on their first daughter's marriage and all left is for her marriage, if they spend it all on her education then how will they manage the marriage, as they can't Jay before her. To which, in my mother's surprise, my dad said, "I'm sure she will be able to manage everything after getting a job, if not, I am ready to bear all the expenses of her marriage." I don't have any siblings and dad always considered Surabhi as his daughter. "And forget about dowry, guys will be competing to marry our beautiful and by then, engineer daughter." Somehow, his words did made an effect on them. My dad helped Surabhi to get an education loan, which giving her AIEEE score was not a problem at all. She completed her computer engineering and worked for two years after that before marrying. Now, it has been four years to her marriage, she have a wonderful daughter Anushka with her doctor husband. And unlike her housewife sister and cousins, she is a working woman (IT head at Tech Mahindra) and leading the life she planned. 
Such thing makes me wonder how little conversations can mould the passage of life. All we have to do is say the right thing and stand by it. Love you Dad! 

This post is a part of #Soldierforwomen in association with BlogAdda.com


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