Mandira crept out of the tent she had made out of 2 umbrellas drying in the drawing room. "Papa! Papa!" The toddler scurried to her father and clung to his feet. He was early that evening, and was delighted to find his little daughter awake. He plucked her off his leg and planted a kiss on her forehead. As soon as Mandira held her dad's cheeks to kiss him, she recoiled.
Jignesh put his daughter on the sofa and examined his beard. It had become quite sharp. No wonder his only daughter refused to kiss him! But he was a proud Gujju! He would never get rid of his beard or moustache. They were symbols of power and confidence. He looked again at his daughter. Mandira was his dream. She was a blessing that brought him joy every day. And nothing mattered more than his daughter's wish.
Jignesh immediately headed to his bathroom and shaved off his beard. He let the moustache be. His wife called out to him for dinner. He sat down at the table and broke the thepla to satiate his hunger. Right then, Mandira came crawling up to him and tugged at his trousers. Jignesh lifted her with his free hand and asked, "What is it, my little girl?" Mandira immediately kissed her daddy dearest on the clean shaven cheeks and said, ""Good night, Papa!".
That night, Jignesh decided to try and get home early on a regular basis. He would wake up early if there was more work. But he would not let all the precious time fly. The precious time that he could spend with his daughter. Mandira would grow up one day and not want to spend as much time with family. She would be closer to her friends, and then to her boyfriend. It won't be long before she would want to move out. Jignesh would make the most of these years when his daughter truly had the time for him. He would make time for her.