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Thank god for dads

He didn’t nurture you inside him for nine months, but he sure was by your side, feeling your tiny kicks. He didn’t give birth to you, yet he was overwhelmed when he took you in his arms. He didn’t know it just then, but he changed forever the moment you entered his life.

He was probably scared the first time he saw you. He was worried he might harm you. After all, he’d never thought he could create something so precious. He’d never known he could feel so responsible for another life.

The journey from being a father to a dad wasn’t easy for him. From midnight feeding to putting you in the right school, from changing diapers to scrutinising your prospective life partner, your dad probably fussed over little things to make your life easier.

This Father’s Day, Soulveda celebrates dads, their unique parenting styles and all the quirks they come with:

The overprotective dad

He tucks you into bed and makes sure the room temperature is just right. He drops you everywhere, just so you don’t have to walk under the sun’s heat. He even checks the loo before you use it while travelling. And if you’re a daughter, he probably keeps boys off you.

Always prone to ‘daddy worries’, he’s the epitome of overprotectiveness. Think George Banks (Steve Martin) in the movie Father of the Bride. Crazy, yet adorable, he’s the kind of dad any child would love to have. This dad is so protective of his child, he forgets to protect himself. So, if your dad’s anything like him, you might want to make sure he doesn’t jump into your prospective in-laws’ pool, close to your wedding date.

The love-to-make-you-eat dad

On Mondays, he gets you pizza; on Tuesdays, pani puri. On Wednesdays, he brings home pasta; on Thursdays, Chinese take-out. Friday nights are his favourite; he gets you and your sibling(s) to the couch for a movie-night with a tub full of nachos and dip. Bet your mother doesn’t approve! Hungry or not, this dad’s always there to make sure you have plenty of food. Bonus points, if he can cook.

Shares Divyashree Bhatt, an undergraduate student, “My dad has always lived by a golden rule ‘Eat. You’ll feel better’, even if nothing’s wrong.”  She recounts the time she’d gone to bed early, but how that didn’t stop her dad from feeding her. He waved spicy banana fritters near her nostrils, so the aroma would wake her up. “And of course, it woke me up. But I’m not complaining. I’m a foodie, thanks to my dad,” she says, laughing.

The proud papa

This dad can’t stop telling all and sundry about your accomplishments. In his eyes, you’re a unicorn that brings rainbow to his life. He’s probably been proud from the moment you were born. He’s never needed you to prove your worth.

So, have you ever felt mortified when your dad’s busy showing you off to the world? Graphic designer Dania Zafar has. She says, “Papa’s made a shrine out of my sister’s accomplishments, and mine. He’s actually created a display wall with our medals and trophies, so guests can’t miss it. Much to my discomfort. But I take that in my stride, because it makes him so happy.”

He probably let you fall several times as a baby, much to your mother’s anger. He’s the one that believes in making his children independent. He encourages you to make mistakes, learn from them and grow.

The handyman

He’s the fix-it guy for anything that’s broken down in and around your home. You probably never find the need for electricians, plumbers or technicians, because your daddy’s an all-in-one handyman. And if you call an actual expert, you might just offend your dad.

Sheela Kumar, a media professional, fondly remembers the time her father donned an electrician’s role for her. “For two days in a row, I faced electrical issues at my place. Repeated calls to the electrician bore no fruits. On the third day, my parents were visiting me. That night, when I saw the lights after I got back home from work, I instantly knew my father had fixed it himself,” she recounts.

The coach dad

He might not seem sweet. He might not be generous with his appreciation. But he sure is devoted to your success. He’s never missed any event you’ve competed in. He’s always there to cheer you on, albeit subtly. He’s the one that believes in tough love.

In the Hindi movie Ehsaas, protagonist Ravi Naik is quite stringent with the way he brings up his only son Rohan. No matter what Rohan achieves, Ravi only expects him to exceed those feats each time. While his friends and neighbours disapprove of his parenting style, Ravi persists, just so his son can win at an upcoming athletic competition. However, when the boy is unable to achieve that goal, Ravi doesn’t reprimand him. Instead, he showers his love and expresses his softer side. After all, coach daddies are loving too.

The teacher

He probably let you fall several times as a baby, much to your mother’s anger. He’s the one that believes in making his children independent. He encourages you to make mistakes, learn from them and grow.

IT professional Nikhil Manjunath recalls the time he and his younger brother would play at building water canals, while their dad looked on. They’d make several canals for a water puddle, and channel them to ‘irrigate’ fields they’d created. “Obviously, we were just kids and could only do so much. Our dad’s a civil engineer, but he’d only utter an occasional ‘hmmm’, if there was a better way to build the water channels. We’d then know we can try other methods on our own,” he says.

The formal dad

He’s the one that sits in a corner, with his nose buried deep in the newspaper. He’s so quiet you rarely know if he’s home. And when you talk to him, he answers to the point. Rather detached and aloof, this daddy type is typically formal and reserved. He might be rather strict too, but he’s always present to carry about his fatherly duties.

While he’s often stoic and rarely expressive, his stern side might pop up out of nowhere. Think Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro) in the movie Meet the Parents. He keeps his would-be son-in-law at an arm’s length, and even goes on to do a polygraph test on the unsuspecting chap. Clearly, this type of dad can be every boyfriend’s nightmare. But worry not. Eventually, he’ll find a soft spot for his child’s happiness.

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