Like most girls, I've been a daddy's girl throughout my childhood. I wouldn't say that he and I share the closest father-daughter bond, but I certainly had more of an understanding with him than my mother during my growing years. The reason being that I resemble him more in looks and temperament than I do my mom.
Dad has always been single-mindedly ambitious for me and my brother to get the best marks at school. Everything else took lower priority as compared to studies - be it sports, extra-curricular activities, reading etc. He was the one who supervised my homework and progress at school. He used to be deeply disappointed if I missed the first rank at school. He even wanted me to top the university and wanted to see my photo published in the newspaper when I was in SSC! To be fair, his own photo had been published when he had topped in school in his native town and he had similar aspirations for us. For this, he discouraged us to be distracted by TV, friends etc. He told my mom not to expect me to help out in household chores as it would distract me from studies. He even insisted that I should not grow my hair as tending to it (washing, drying, braiding etc.) took away precious time! He frowned upon our participation is college functions and parties etc. were a strict no-no.
When I got my first job, he was always keen that I should do well in my career. He is most emphatic that he never wants me to quit work or give up on my career, no matter how much stress and juggling I have had to do especially after marriage. He even scolds my mom when she sometimes advises me to cut down on my job hours or quit it altogether since the hectic schedule sometimes takes a toll on my health.
By now, you must've got the gist that looking good, grooming etc. never really featured in my relationship with my dad. Imagine my surprise then, nay shock, when he commented on such a thing when I recently visited them. I had had a busy week at office and had dropped in to visit my parents in the evening. My mom commented on the dark circles under my eyes concernedly. And my dad quipped "Why don't you try the Garnier eye roll on?" My mom and I were both speechless! Then my dad explained that there was this ad they showed on TV where they show that applying this product got rid of dark circles. I was not even aware that my dad watched such ads and what's more they registered with him! He then said that its good that I don't yet have any grey hairs and that I should take care that I don't get them for another 10 years! I thought I would never live to see the day when my boringly ambitious dad would ever advise me on beauty products. It brought home the fact that my dad too is changing with age and experience (He is now retired and watches more TV). This has probably brought out the lighter and softer side in him. It is perhaps the beginning of an era where our relationship has taken a turn for a more comfortable and conventional equation where we can discuss anything under the sun with each other without inhibitions :)