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Agle Janam Mujhe Daddy Banayiyo

Okay, so this one is a polite makeover of a song and television soap title. I know I may be grammatically wrong, because I have dared to marry Urdu, Hindi and English, so please overlook the syntax and semantics here. What I mean to say can be translated as, “(Dear God) Please make me a Father in my next birth!”

ImageWhat’s wrong with being a mother? Well, there is nothing wrong really. I love being a mother and I can play this role all over again, every time I am born again. But yes, for my next birth I would like to be a dad!

Now don’t read too much into my desire. It is not (necessarily) born out of habit and a belief that fathers have it easy. I am not saying this because fathers usually don’t have to do all the dirty work mothers do. I am not saying this because dads don’t have to feed, bathe their kiddies all through the week. I am not saying this because dads don’t have to deal with an ugly baby flab post the baby. I am not saying this because dads have to stay up all night, night after night, week after week and month after month. I am not saying this because dads usually don’t have to deal with the schism between hearth and work. I am not saying this because of anything…but one thing…

Dads know how to win hearts!

Read the rest of the post on Parentous

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Child is the Father of Man

After I became a mother I realised that this is the one relation in the world that is truly, truly selfless. We didn’t have a child for him to look after us when we grow old. We brought a baby into this world because we wanted someone to share our universe with. We wanted to look beyond our own ambitions and dreams and create a life that is truly magical. Wasn’t it Wordsworth who wrote ‘Child is the Father of Man’? While Wordsworth meant that a child and his perception of his world determines who he grows up to be, I’d also like to believe that a child is the one who turns a man into a father.

V’s dad turned a Dad when he got to know that his wife (me) was pregnant. We had been chasing our careers so hard and fast that we had forgotten that we have a home and we have a life together. In fact I was on tour and in a different city when I discovered that I was pregnant. And so unlike the recent Cadbury ad where the girl rehearses how she’d break the news of her pregnancy to her husband, I did it gingerly on the phone. I wrote about that on my blog too.

9 months down the road and I can only say that I am glad I chose A to spend my life and have a family with. V couldn’t have had a better father and I a better man to bring up a boy with.

This isn’t going to be a mushy lovey-dovey post for A saying how much I love him. I am certain he knows…but this is a very special post for the father from a son who says “Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba"

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My worst fears had come true, A couldn’t reach Jamshedpur for the birth of his child. But he made up for it in a very special way, he was the first to hold V in his arms.

This moment at 18:04 hrs on 20th September 2011 was one of his proudest moments. And I knew V was safe.

Father and son got started with their games pretty early. In between marathon feeding and napping sessions there were very few waking hours…and whatever they were the boys communicated with each other.

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I particularly like this one when A was leaving behind his 21 day old son…he said, “Bye Vihaan, I’ll see you soon!”

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There is something about V and his father’s connection. It seems that they know each other from a past life. I have seen other kids with their parents too, but I haven’t seen a child’s face light up in a way that V’s does…I love to watch them together. I love to see them play their games. I love to see A unwind after a long long day by just hearing his son’s laugh.

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In the past two months V has learnt to crawl, to pull himself up and walk when assisted. His first set of teeth have debuted and he is all eager to bite and lick anyone who is near him. He is yapping and singing more. He has learnt to dance and move his feet and hands. He has shown tiny signs of jealousy and  cowardice.  If he wants a certain thing he will throw a fit to have it. But the goodness in his soul soon overcomes his want for that thing when I distract him with something else. He has learnt to fall and cry only if someone watches him. He’ll get up and crawl again if  no one has noticed him take a fall. Pitter-patter, pitter-patter the sound when he crawls is adorable. He has learnt to see ‘doggies’ on the street and anything that walks on four  is understood as doggie! He loves to bang, to scratch, likes litchees, mangoes and biscuits.

A missed two precious months in his son’s life because we were away due to my brother’s accident and post operative care. The father missed some incredible milestones. To think of it in all of 9 months he has been with his son for only 6! He’s seen his son grow up more in pictures, videos and on skype than before his eyes. The first year of a child when the baby grows up at a tremendous rate…I am still rubbing my eyes…and my heart breaks to note that A has missed such a lot.

A is a man of few words. He wouldn’t write a blog and tell his son how he feels about him. He would rather live in the moment and enjoy each day with his son. He may not tell his son how special he feels today and what it means to be a father but let me tell you a few things that I know…

I know A will be a great pal. He’ll be strict but he’ll be an absolute buddy to his son.

He is the more protective one. I am okay with V getting a few bumps here and there. But his father won’t tolerate a teeny-tiny scratch.

A can’t tolerate vaccinations. It’s one thing to be scared of needles, quite another to see his son being poked.

A is the performer in the house. When we have guests I ask him to make his son laugh. No one makes V laugh more than his father.

As a newborn their favourite game was ‘cheeky-nose’, now their favourite game is hiding inside a cupboard.

A likes fish and potatoes. He’d be the happiest to see his son develop a palate for the same foods.

V is a carbon copy of his dad. A as a child and V as he is now look the same. A is thrilled Dad. He tells me…”Sorry Baby, but V will look like me when he grows up!” Smile

A is an indulgent Dad. He wants to buy his son the best clothes, the best toys…the works. But I know when the time comes he would also reign in on his son and teach him to be happy with what he gets. He will pamper him but with his own conditions.

A is meticulous about his hair and he insists V’s hair is combed always!!

A is sad that V would never see Rahul Dravid play in his life. He is yet to get over that grief. Let’s hope the father-son duo have a new sporting icon to share notes on.

A would like his son to be disciplined. For instance if I am working on a computer and V insists on banging the keyboard, A would like V to follow his instructions and ‘learn’ to not bang the keys!!

A has made a promise. A promise to be his son’s guardian angel. A promise to support his son in whatever choice he makes. A promise to respect his son and take his counsel when he grows up.

This blog follows my last year’s very popular blog post that I wrote for my father on Father’s Day. Of all the people who read it I was told that it brought tears to their eyes. I didn’t write it for that effect but really when I re-read it later I realised that my father has had such a tremendous impact on my life that I am no one without him. I haven’t just got my name from him, he has shaped my life in many ways.

My father is my superman. And I always thought that there isn’t a better father than him in the world. He is the father every child should have. Now, I know A will make a better Dad…and there is a part of me that wants him to outdo my father in every way.

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Love you Appa…says V…you are my Superhero…with all superpowers rolled into one!