The author analyses the loving relationship between parents and daughters in the light of societal expectations

Often, this thought occupies my mind: Why is it that a girl is never thought of as a permanent member of her parental home? This thought is somehow drilled into a girl’s head, especially in India that eventually, she will go away to another home. Once she is married, she is taught that her priorities have to change ― that her husband’s home is her first home, and her parent’s home is the second one.

The day a girl is born in our country, the very next second, everybody starts thinking that she is a girl and will eventually go to another home. This happens, even though the parents may shower her with enough love.

It is almost as if a girl begins her journey in life in the light of this age-old aphorism. 

Dr Parul Gupta

There are other roles that she is silently saddled with. She is given dolls to play, taught how to tidy up and conditioned into unconsciously imbibing all kinds of tasks that are typically associated with women. And slowly, gradually as she grows up, somewhere these become like truths. As she grows up, she naturally develops with more maturity, has a sense of responsibility, and even learns the rudiments of cooking as if it is the most natural thing in the world.

Before she knows it, deep in some corner of her heart, she knows that in due course, she has to leave her first home.

But some things can never change. A girl’s first love is always her father and her first friend and mentor is her mother. Girls, often grow up to think that their fathers are their real heroes and in my own case, that has proved so very right. When I’m at my best, I am very much my father’s daughter. Somehow, daughters can feel this ― that this person is always there for her to help her weather every storm.

The mother-daughter relationship, too, is special and is connected directly from the soul. Only a mother can give that love and affection to her daughter as she has already gone through that pain of detaching herself like a bird from her real home. She is there to always fill you with more love for others, and she also instils in you the qualities of perfection and courage so that one day, your own children too can be as proud of you as you are of your mother.

Moms and Dads give their daughters, the greatest gift of all ― the gift of unconditional love. They care more for who we are, and never judge us for what we do or don’t do.

When a daughter is raised like this, why is it that once she is married, she is expected to treat her parental home as secondary? It is time this stereotypical thought should change. I don’t want to dwell too much on this conditioning, but perhaps, it is time we made way for change.

Why is it that once she is married, her behaviour is expected to undergo a gradual change? Why can’t she still demand a gift from her father, albeit with love, just as she used to do in her childhood? Why can’t she show that stubborn insistence on eating certain foods just like she had always done before she was married?

I often wonder if this is my individual perception or if this is a hidden truth which is somewhere deeply engraved in every parent’s and daughter’s soul?

I believe that even if daughters can outgrow their parent’s laps, they can never really outgrow their rightful place from their hearts.

Dr Parul Gupta holds a Masters in Physiotherapy (orthopaedics) and has eight years’ clinical experience. She believes in self-motivation and is always keen to expand her learning through books, religion and spirituality.

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