“He sweeps her hair back from her ears; he swings her above his head. He says she is his émerveillement. He says he will never leave her, not in a million years.”
― Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See
It is said that no one can love a daughter more than a father does and vice versa. Fathers are often very influential in their daughter’s lives, especially when it comes to self-esteem and decision-making.
Nanjibhai Prajapati, a school clerk in the small town of Bhildi in North Gujarat, raised his six daughters along that line of thought.
That might be the reason why when Nanjibhai passed away, his daughters took the decision of breaking the social norms by cremating their father themselves.
According to Hindu tradition, only a son is allowed to cremate the body of their parent. This traditional practice also allows another male member of the family to cremate the body in case the son is absent.
Nanjibhai’s two daughters – Santosh and Manjula – also carried the remains of their father on their shoulders, which again, is a rite traditionally performed only by men.
Though the daughters bid farewell to their father with immense grief and tears in their eyes, the strength might have been nothing less than what Nanjibhai would have expected from his beloved daughters.