Sometimes words just aren't enough to express the bond between a father and his daughter. Which is why Krupali Shah decided to translate some especially fond memories of her relationship with her dad into sketches.
32-year-old Shah, who lives in Mumbai, said that the idea behind the illustrations came to her only last week. “It was inspired by the last relationship I had been in,” she told HuffPost India. “I realised that even if your man loves you immensely and nurtures you with all his love, fathers will invariably continue to be the first man in our lives. And I felt this need to retreat into myself, as to why our father's hold such a strong place in our lives.”
Shah who serves on the board of Ahimsa, an NGO for stray animals, and runs her own gifting website, decided to come up with these doodles just in time for Fathers Day, which is observed and celebrated on 19 June.
She was aided by her colleague Nayan Soni, an illustrator and animator who has studied at the National Institute of Design. For Shah, each sketch has a little memory or a story from her past attached to it, and that is what has helped it come to life.
Shah doesn’t expect her father to say much when he will eventually see these drawings. “He is a man of few words. But his smile will say it all,” she said.
Here are the adorable illustrations, which can also be seen on the blog of her website, here. The accompanying descriptions are also by Shah.
This particular sketch is not inspired from a memory but from a feeling that is always around. My dad is not expressive, but there are times when I know from the way he looks at me that he thinks I am the most beautiful. It is rare, but he has occasionally let slip this phrase "my daughter is the ocean of my affection," and that sums it all up for me.
This particular illustration comes from this memory: I was down with acute B12 deficiency for 20 days and that kept me bedridden. My father would look after my medication, my eating habits, and my vitamin shots, along with everything else. He rescheduled his day's plans just to ensure that he was always around. It made me realise that dads may most often disagree with us, but they never leave our side.
I feel fathers are always looking for that plus-one who can assume their position as their daughters' caretaker. They want someone to treat their daughters the way they have been nurtured through childhood. My dad has always been a perfectionist. So, it's always going to be a little tough for him to consider a partner in my life.
Dad still keeps custody of all my important documents: my passport, leave certificates, graduation documents, and even my license. What's more, he has photocopies of everything too.
My father has always encouraged me to chart my own course. But every time I have slipped, be it from a cycle or during a tougher challenge, he has never let me fall flat on the ground. Instead, he has braved the repercussions of the major life decisions that I have made, and has always caught me before I lost ground.
I remember when he brought me the biggest Barbie Batch and Kitchen Set. It was my most prized possession as a child, and is a memory that will always stay with me. This aside, every time my father steps out after dinner, he always brings home a tub of chocolate ice cream.
Some years ago, due to unforeseen circumstances at a non-profit for animals that I am involved with, we did not have enough resources to fund our obligations for the next month. I was having sleepless nights. I didn't know how to continue meeting the expenses of caring for the animals, and paying the staff each month. Times were bad, and we didn't know how long we could keep going. Every time he saw me down, dad would say, 'Wear your armour every day, work with the right intent, and things will fall in place.' It was only because of the strength he infused in me every day, that I could turn the organisation around.
This sketch has been inspired from my father's well-timed phone calls: every time I take a flight, I know that within 30 minutes of having landed, I will receive that phone call from him ensuring that I have reached safely.
He has made many unspoken personal sacrifices to give me a life I aspired for. I have his hands firmly clasped around mine, his love, his presence, his words of encouragement and above everything else, his faith in me.
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