What makes one a #GreatDad?

What changes that a man suddenly transforms when he becomes a dad? What happens that from the moment he first holds you in his arms at the hospital, giving you a good life becomes his sole purpose? Selfless, he becomes your first line of defense against the world. Well, I’ll tell you what I think happens. In fact, it’s very simple really. He just becomes a dad, and a dad, my friend, can only be of one kind, a great one.

Dad, it might be a small word but its quintessence is trivial by no means. It is a word which is tantamount with love and safety. But tell me do you know a great dad? I know I do. Before I tell you about him though, why don’t we spend some time thinking about what really makes one a #greatdad?

When he surprises you by picking you up from school now and again? Yes. As you stand there waiting, he suddenly appears, almost out of nowhere, places a kiss on your cheeks and carries you home. In spite of his busy schedule he makes it a point to come there for his little princess. And this he does, over and over again, as often as he can at every juncture of life.

When you fall sick, he stays by your side, even awake throughout the night? Yes. When your health dwindles he makes it a battle that he needs to win at any cost, to help get you better. He worries, is restless and nothing in the world, not even a curfew stops him from taking you to the hospital when you are in pain.

When he keeps you shielded from the harsh realities of life but at the same time prepares you for it well? Yes. So one day when you find yourself away from home, a little lost even, you know you are ready for he has made you so.

And when you are a girl he never lets society’s expectations or norms stop you from doing what you want to? Yes. Never for a moment does being a girl stop you ever in life because he never let those archaic orthodox beliefs of this society get to you.

Yes, these are just some of the facets of a great dad, he who always stays with you, whether in the flesh or in essence. And I know one such dad. In fact, I have seen quite a few such dads around me. But there’s one I have observed and known from close quarters; he who is the greatest dad in the world in my view, my dad, my baba.

You know, I have had a fortunate life so far and it is he who has given me that. And that’s not all; he has even made sure that I’ll be able to take care of myself in one way or the other in the future too. Yes, it won’t be an exaggeration at all to say that he has insured my life with happiness. I remember a time when I was lying at the government hospital in Gorakhpur after suffering burn injuries. It was when I was an engineering student and a mishap at the hostel had led me there. Dad had flown over night and was with me the very next day. He was there and has been there always when I needed him.

Never for a moment in my life have I felt abandoned or helpless in the face of difficulties, irrespective of how far physically I was from him at that point in time. I knew and still do now that I have his support. Even if by some weird twist of fate the entire world turns against me, I know he’ll be there with me. This feeling of having him as my support system makes me invincible in the face of obstacles and failures; emotionally that is. Also, the fact that today I live a life of my own choice, in fact have the capacity to do so, have my own thought process and take my own decisions are all gifts from him. And that’s what makes him a #greatdad. That’s what makes any dad a great dad.

It is said that children are the future of the world and it’s true. But it is the parents who have been entrusted with the duty to sculpt these young minds. And a dad’s role in this cannot be discounted in any way. He is the first and most important man in a girl’s life and the superhero in a boy’s universe. I know for every child his or her dad is a great dad and why not? He is after all one who ensures that he holds his child’s hand, even after he is gone.

Trust me it’s not easy to be a dad. So go give yours a hug and thank the invisible power for the gift of him, for he has insured your life with happiness and opportunities. And believe me when I say this, life wouldn't be half as beautiful without you having met him.

If you know a great dad, tweet using the #GreatDad hashtag.