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A Prayer For My Daughter

February 26, 2013

On the day I thanked God as the proud father of a daughter, I did not have an inkling of the fact that I would have to face the reality of letting her enter into the jungle of our modern life. With an increasing number of cases of rape and molestation making headlines, it is difficult to get rid of a feeling of fear and uncertainty about what is in store for my angel. The government is talking of tough posturing and many stringent steps are being taken by the law enforcing agencies but there has not been a drop in the number of such cases.  On the contrary, such incidents are increasing in an alarming manner, making us wonder if we are living in a civilized world.

You have seen your little girl grow into a woman past the days of innocence, marked by her spontaneous giggles, fun and laughter. Now a new life has begun in the shadow of adulthood.  When a father talks to his daughter, sharing with her his feelings of apprehension and jitters, she tends to rubbish them saying that she knows best how to defend herself.  But being a father, familiar with the tenderness of your daughter and her foibles, you know that she will not be able to defend herself if ever she, god forbid, finds herself in such a situation. The thought that our daughters are dangerously vulnerable to the unpredictable attacks of sharks feeding on flesh, keeps gnawing at the mind of every sensitive father and I cannot help waking up in the middle of the night, drenched in perspiration. Against such a background when the mind is filled with trepidation, there is no way but to pray to god and hope that good sense will finally prevail upon men. Many people talk about putting up resistance to those prurient men to ensure the safety of our daughters but how will you find out the men who might do so?

Wailing police jeeps scouring lanes and highways, severe punishment to the extent of execution, the collective anger of the nation, demonstrations and appeals have failed to prevent yet another ghastly incident from happening. Before we can recover from the shock of an incident in which a tender and young human body has been ravished and mangled, there is another hitting us in the blankness of the heart as we seem to have wrung out the last of the emotions by way of grief. Yet for the sake of humanity and those who are still in the custody of our love and affection, we cannot avoid what we have to do and therefore the onus lies with us to ensure that they can live and breathe in the world, though it has been stained and scarred.

Against this murky backdrop there is something we can do by being a bit more strategic and trying to learn what our masters have said about something which might be of some importance in this regard. You cannot shift your house to a different place for fear of a burglar but you can fortify it to ensure that there is no way to break into it.  In the same way we have to be careful about something which we know is precious and need to protect it from the lecherous gaze of those who tend to be covetous. Starting from the days of the Bible to the present, it is necessary to note that the number of people who covet a neighbour’s wife, among other things, have not dwindled in number. In the lively comedy As You Like It, on the eve of making a journey into the forest of Arden, Rosalind is concerned about her beauty as it will arouse wicked desires in the minds of people more than gold. She says, “Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.” Therefore when our daughters or the women under our protection get started out on their lives in the outer world, we have to take care to ensure that they do not appear to be too provocative, though it is not necessary to disguise in men’s clothes or smear the face with umber to look ugly. This is not a suggestion to change oneself by surrendering to the perverse ways of some men who are infinitely lascivious but to tread the path of life with a bit of caution.

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From → Parenting

2 Comments
  1. How well i relate with you on these fears!
    Imagine this is a free country.

    • It is difficult to allow our children, particularly our daughters, to sail along in life without harbouring a dark fear.The only way out is to pray to god for their well being and safety.

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