​Daddy’s Little Girl

19 Nov

Image Source: in.pinterest.com

While attending a psychology lecture, a young woman came across the legend of Electra, a character from the Greek mythology, who had plotted the matricide of her mother, as a revenge for the murder of her father. The Electra Complex is a theory about a girl’s psychosexual competition with her mother for the possession of her father, at about 3 to 6 years of age. Successful resolution of the Electra Complex takes place when the girl internalises the mother, and starts to identify with her, incorporating to her own ego, the personality characteristics of the mother.

Memories start playing in the young woman’s mind, quite like snippets from an old film reel. She starts to connect the dots, right from her childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood.

On a warm Sunday morning, the father gets his beard shaven, sprawled out on the chair in the verandah of his house. In the corner of the room stands his 5 year old daughter, a look of innocent betrayal on her face. Just as the barber’s razor was about to graze on his moustache, he calls his daughter to him and asks, “Is it okay if I shave it off”? The girl shakes her head violently in indignation, and the father promptly asks the barber to let his moustache, his daughter’s prized possession, to remain on his face.

Most of the young woman’s memories from that age, revolve around her father. She had an indescribable bond with him. Tantrums were thrown whenever the father mentioned traveling to another city without having taken her permission. The little girl felt a sense of possession and ownership over her father. 

During her teenage, her relationship with her father took a backseat, and she only has recollections of her mother, and her constant striving to be more like her mother, her supreme ideal being. She wished to inculcate her mother’s kindness and patience, the kind which was required to deal with a man as erratic as her father, whose evenings were spent with a glass of scotch in his hand, while the music of Mick Jagger blared on the speakers, albeit, much to her mother’s displeasure.

Hailing from the Indian culture, the realisation and acceptance of having been attracted to one’s own father can easily pass off as desecration. However, objectivity was a quality ingrained in the young woman because of her academic discipline, and she chuckled to herself as she continued analysing her own life.

Her thoughts drifted to the recent past, when the little girl inside the 23 year old woman had given away her heart to a man, as they got drunk on cheap whiskey and the Rolling Stones, in her one bedroom apartment.

And at 25, she still gets attracted to men with well-groomed facial hair.

Daddy’s little girl, indeed.


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