While a daughter will always be her daddy’s princess, fathers today raise their daughters to be warrior princesses. These daughters are rooted in tradition and yet empowered with worldly wisdom; respect everyone, but don’t compromise on their self-respect and hold their family together while retaining their identity. On Father’s Day, we present 3 pairs of fathers and daughters who reflect the values and ideologies of the Dawoodi Bohra community.
Ummesalma Gom and Mustafa Yusufali Gom: He is her idol; she is his joy. She aspires to have his patience and he strives to be her guiding force. Here’s what they have to say about each other.
Ummemsalma on Mustafa: I’m studying to be a civil engineer and that has been possible only due to my father’s support and guidance. I was often told that being a girl, I should opt for a simple subject like home science. But my father encouraged me to follow my heart and take up civil engineering since that’s where I found my calling. In fact, the first time when I appeared for the Common Entrance Test, I did not succeed, but he motivated me to reappear the following year and not give up. I followed his advice to the hilt and succeeded in my second attempt. Now I am close to fulfilling my dream of becoming a civil engineer.
My father is very patient, and I wish to imbibe that quality of his. Every time I made a mistake in life or faltered, he did not lose his patience or reprimand me. Instead, he taught me how to learn from such episodes, so that I don’t repeat my mistakes. He advises without forcing his opinions on me, and that has made me quite self-reliant and independent.
Mustafa on Ummesalma: My daughter is the centre of my universe. She’s extremely loving and caring. Such is our bonding, that if I fall sick, she will stay beside me till she has nursed me to health. She’s so involved with my daily routine that every day a new memory is created with her.
I’m proud she’s grown up to be such a good daughter and a strong, well-educated woman. While she was growing up, I felt extremely responsible for all her actions. So, whenever she made a mistake, I would take it upon me to help her correct her wrongs since I felt that’s my primary role, being her father. Today when I see her so cultured and independent, I feel my wife and I have done well as parents in raising her and our family.
Dr. Tasneem Juzer Arsiwala and Hasnain Poonawala: She found her prince, an image of her father… but dad will always be king.
Tasneem on Hasnain: The biggest learning my father has empowered me with is – freedom and the wisdom to use it responsibly. I’ve grown up having the freedom of choice and ability to make my own decisions. He always egged me to set goals and go after them. When I decided to become a doctor, he gave me full support. To the extent that when I wasn’t able to sleep on the night before my exams due to anxiousness, he stayed up with me and calmed me down to the point of me falling asleep. My father always has a calming effect on me, and that’s vital to my existence.
When I received a marriage proposal, my parents told me to follow my heart and agree to the alliance only if I wanted to. Such is my bond with father as well as my mother, that I am comfortable discussing anything with him, including my feelings and thoughts on meeting my prospective husband. Since I get tensed easily, I needed a partner who could balance this trait of mine. My husband Juzer’s nature is quite similar to my father’s, in the sense that he calms me down. My father has been my pillar of support, as has my husband.
Hasnain on Tasneem: My daughter is the first doctor in my family. I had never imagined she would become a doctor. But she was clear that she wants to be in a profession in which she can serve others. She had found her purpose. I’m especially proud of the manner in which she became a doctor. With the help of an academic counsellor she charted her own path to homeopathy college, and worked her way to success. I’m grateful to be blessed with such a wonderful daughter.
Dr Samina Husain and Zoher Husain: When life doled out lemons to her, he taught her how to make the proverbial lemonade.
Samina on Zoher: I’m a neuro physiotherapist, pursuing a Master’s degree and have recently been divorced. All of this has been possible due to my father and my family’s immense support. With the blessings of my family, I got married to a boy after dating him for 6 years. However, within six months itself, due to a certain harsh turn of events, I had to walk out of my marriage. My father stood by me through this tumultuous time and today I am living in Bengaluru on my own, completing my higher education to further my career. I don’t know how I would have braved my way through this tumultuous time, if not for him and my family.
I’ve imbibed his qualities of punctuality, meticulousness, and positivity. I’m religious as well as independent, thanks to my upbringing. My father has placed such a high level of trust in me, he says that I can never do any wrong, that this instills in me the confidence - I can accomplish anything.
Zoher on Samina: I’m proud of the fact that my daughter became a doctor on her merit. When her patients express gratitude to her for healing them, I feel proud that she’s touching so many lives. She’s a resilient woman who’s making a mark at just 25 years, despite troubles in her personal life. As a child she was fond of climbing the furniture in the house; like a monkey, she would swiftly keep clambering everywhere. Little did I know one day she would climb the ladder of success, with the same ease and swiftness.