A study on “Why Dads matter emotionally” published in the Journal of Family Psychology says that “girls who have good relationship with their fathers are less likely to develop anxiety and depression. Additionally, they are also better at handling everyday stress.” It needs to be remembered that children in their growing years need guidance, even on mundane matters of daily routine, for which they naturally look up to their fathers. “They are much more comfortable talking with their father rather than their mother about things like personal values, self-image, relationships, sexuality et al; a feeling of control over their own lives are other things that Dads help shape for their daughters.” Thus the father’s image is deeply rooted in the daughter’s subconscious mind as she grows up into a young woman.

More importantly, a father is also the bread earner of the family. He not only supports the family but also makes sure that the family is well provided for, children are properly educated and all their needs are met. He also has to make provision for future needs of the family such like the marriages of daughters and sons. Thus he is an indispensable in such a role.

A father’s relationship with his son is a different cup of tea. As a little boy, the son simply dots on his father and tries to ape him in the way he walks or stands and even his manner of conversation. The little boy will do everything in order to attract the attention of his father. As the son reaches adolescence, he tries much harder to win the approval of his father. However, the texture of their relationship changes when the son becomes an adult and his own man.

Though there are emotional links with the son but these are not as strong as in the case of a daughter. Essentially, the relationship between a father and son is more practical and businesslike particularly if the father runs a business. It is assumed that son will join the business as he completes his education. This is not to say that such relationship is devoid of paternal love and affection. In fact, the father greatly loves his son and the son’s love for his father is equally strong. When the father becomes a grandfather and his love for his son is partly transferred to his children. The grandsons and granddaughters then become the cynosure of his eyes

The role of a father irrespective of his stature in life is of utmost significance. It doesn’t make a difference if the father is India’s Prime Minister or governor or an industrialist or a daily wage earner, he nevertheless remains a father first and father last. The fact that the father is also responsible for making sufficient provision to meet the material needs of his children is daunting enough indeed.

By the grace of the God Almighty, all of my three children extend to me their love and affection in ample measure. My older daughter lives in Cleveland, Ohio; she doesn’t feel shy of expressing her love for me, “I love you Papa,” is the last sentence of her telephone call. Ditto with my Mumbai-based older son; he also ends his phone call, “Love you”. My younger son settled in San Francisco is equally affectionate and loving.

What can I say on this Father’s Day to my children that I am not said all through their growing years? However, I would love to say a few words to them. Remember that I will not always be there to help you in time of any crises, and you alone will have to cope with it. Please do appreciate that I have myself had a roller coaster life with many ups and downs. Also you will accept and appreciate that I have a lot more experience, sweet and bitter, over the past seven or so decades that you will not have in a lifetime.

The world is cruelly competitive; the life too is not kind to the soft and the timid. Therefore, you must shun timidity and acquire courage. The world respects the courageous. Also remember that a united family is a powerful family. The love among the siblings is sine quo non of a happy family. I really adore all of you. May the good Lord shower all of His blessings on you!