The thing about fathers is that you can never truly know how 'cool' they actually are. Especially if you're a young girl in the city, staying with daddy dearest. 

This was back when I was in school. A friend of mine once dropped me back home and once my dad noticed the gender of my friend, he opened his can of questions and nothing was off the table. Eventually, to calm him down and get out of the situation, I had to brother-zone that guy, proclaiming how he was nothing but bhai-jaisa for me. What followed was awkward silence and some kind of a truce between the two warring parties. 

And even after all these years, things haven't changed much. 

Forget boyfriends, my father isn't particularly okay with me having guy friends either. He may not admit it but he's visibly awkward and clearly uncomfortable in their presence. I would've been irritated if it wasn't so cute! 

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It's not that he's restricted to just disliking anyone with a Y-chromosome in my life. Even without asking, he's got a bagful of tricks for me on how to repel any and every man. 

From picking my nose to not applying make-up, he's suggested it all. It's all because of his unconditional love, yes, but somehow, he fails to see that not every man is a potential threat for me. That I can figure out the good guys from the bad. That I'm not so naive after all. 

But then, for him, I'll always be Daddy's little girl. His angel who's way too innocent to be left alone in this big bad world. Be safe, he says, every time I'm headed out. And while I may make a grumpy face asking him to 'chill out' a little, deep inside, I'm smiling. 

Hidden beneath all his over-bearing and over-protective nature is nothing but deep, caring love for me. Unfortunately, the men in my life have to bear the brunt of it! 

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Firstly, my father also has this weird idea about the ideal man for me. 

A guy who wears shirts more than t-shirts and is never seen in ripped jeans. He must have short hair and no beard whatsoever. He can't obviously be fond of late-night partying and has to just focus on his job. 

Did I tell you it's the exact opposite of the kind of guys I like? No wonder any man around me is the wrong one for my father! 

And yes, the guy can't drink or smoke because as per my Dad, men who enjoy their drinks are most likely to break my heart! 

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Growing up, I used to get majorly irritated with my father's strict diktats. 

I'd misunderstand him as patriarchal and far removed from logic. Irrational and insensitive. However, the older I get, the more aware I become of his love and concern for me. And the fact that women's safety is majorly questionable in today's times, I totally get why he is so protective of me. 

Fathers are very protective of their daughters mainly because young boys remind them of their own youth. Men understand men. They've got this unique peek into the minds of the boys of the same age as their daughters. And they know the ones who're up to no good. 

But are fathers sometimes a little too judgmental? Maybe, yes. But then, it is hard for them to accept that some other guy can take care of his little girl just as good as them. 

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Now, I make it a point to introduce my father to every single man I know. Friends, colleagues and potential boyfriends. I want him to know them and also, know me and my choices better. 

I don't want him to worry just because I'm out with my friends. I don't want him to feel that a certain guy in my life doesn't deserve my trust. 

Has he warmed up to my male friends? Kinda, yes. He's isn't as judgmental as before. But can I expect him to sit down and have a conversation with them? Not yet. I guess my father will always be slightly awkward with the men in my life. He'll always be looking out for me. Even if those men aren't bad choices. 

But then, fathers can't help but watch out for their little girls, right?