Welcome back the smiles…

While all of us pretty unequivocally agree that children make us happier and smile more, this particular statement was proven without a doubt in a recent few pictures of myself.

From a very young age, I have been extremely self conscious about seeing myself in photographs. I don’t know why but I have never ever liked myself in any photos so far in my life. I have never stopped to wonder what exactly it was about me that I didn’t like in photos, but the fact is that I absolutely hated to stand on the other side of the camera so far. In fact, during my post graduation days, when me and my friends took a trip to Leh-Ladakh, the entire group took more than around 1000 odd pics and I can safely say that I am in probably only around 5-10 of them. That’s the extent to which I am self conscious around a camera.

However, my daughter turned 1 yr old just a couple of weeks ago, and we had a small religous function at home last week. As is the norm with these functions, being the father I pretty much had to take centre stage and be an integral part of the function itself. This meant that I would be part of most of the photos that would be taken of this particular function. Added to it was the fact that the extended family (read uncles, aunts, cousins, etc) all of them wanted separate group photos with my daughter, my wife and me and this meant more and more photos in which I would be there. In summary, this was probably going to be an album with lots of photos with me having an extremely self conscious expression on my face.

Funnily enough when the CD with the photos was given and I saw them, I was extremely surprised to see me actually smiling in almost all the pics in which I was there. There was genuine happiness and joy displayed on my face. This got me thinking trying to figure out how in God’s name I managed to get such a natural expression of happiness on my face in almost all the photos. While recreating all the photos, I recollected that all the time I was busy trying to get my daughter to smile for all of them, and in the process I was enjoying that so much that I had ended up smiling in all the photos myself.

My daughter manages to help me get rid of all kinds of self consciousness whenever she is around me. I don’t mind getting down on my knees (and on my back, if required) down in the middle of the road if it means that she will laugh at it. The things I might do to keep her smiling and happy don’t seem to have any kind of limitations on them. And I am more than willing to bet that all fathers and mothers are like that, and will go to any lengths to keep their children smiling and happy.

It is so true when people say that parenthood (both for fathers and mothers) is almost like being reborn again and reliving your entire childhood. I guess it is time to welcome back all the smiles all over again 🙂

Image courtesy: Google images search for ‘smiles’

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