She respected him but she was not sure about “love”. She , the daughter. She had been used to being scolded by her father for the slightest aberrations. Hence , she feared him , like theists fear God . She was not sure if one could claim to love someone , they feared. Yet he was her father – the equanimous disciplinarian. His bearing was probably a part of the mentoring he had received in his childhood and adolescence . He was the authoritative patriarch with a tough exterior. He couldn’t afford to be weak or show his tears and anxieties , he had to always don the mask of equanimity , or so he was conditioned to believe and practice. However, he also encouraged her to chase her dreams. He was ever ready to sacrifice his all to see her soar high. He took care of all her material wants even though she never uttered a word. Most of all, he cared for her smiles, joys, triumphs. There was an implicit message hidden in his sacrifices, his concerns , his words of encouragement . He loved her deeply. Sometimes, she failed to see it in his strict words and behavior. It was there, nonetheless. His love for his daughter found expression in his protectiveness, in his unrelenting attentiveness to delineate right from wrong, in his silent anxiety when she was sad, in the secret sealed envelope that he affectionately tucked into her palms , every time she left home for the hostel and in later years for her husband’s home . The precious envelope that brought tears into her eyes, every time she opened it – an amalgamation of homesickness and gratitude.