Thursday 24 June 2021

A thousand shades of Fatherhood

So, Father's day just went by, and here is a sort of an introduction from another of my books which is in pipeline. Hope you enjoy it!

Mishti fervently typed away!

The deadline for her book was yesterday. "Everything in my life needs to have been done yesterday, so it's OK", she defended herself and rolled her eyes. How does one write about one's parents?

How does one write about one's mother, or even one's father? Does one glamorize the role they played? Does one complain and whine about their shortcomings? Does one look at them objectively, as one attempts to do with oneself?

"Afterall doesn't it take a village to raise a child?" So then why should fatherhood be limited to just one man? Why should not one celebrate, or critically evaluate even, all father figures in one's life?

Why should not be grateful for the firm discipline a mother instills, or the maternal love that the father shows?

Why should not one celebrate the teacher who dropped you home when you were being stalked by a guy and landed at his place nervously?

Why would one not talk about the lover who walked out on you, because you had daddy issues? And another who simply embraced them? And those, who one doesn't have a relationship with, but wishes silently, that they be the man you might want to raise children with?

How does one celebrate the paternal, but non-patronizing male friends who would comfort and provide solace in bleak moments of desperate loneliness, despite being misjudged as a boyfriend for that?

Oh, and how does one accept, even embrace... the mentors, bosses, colleagues who are misogynistic and patronizing, simply because they assume familial familiarity at the workplace? Also, those who are genuinely empowering and show it through their actions, how does one celebrate them?

Mishti's thoughts wandered to the complexities of fatherhood for gay couples, for polyamorous households, for single fathers, for single women who acted both as mothers AND as fathers for their children.

A deep breath! A sigh!

"Didi, bahut raat ho rahi hai khana kha lo ab!" Shankar Bhaiya said, his voice reflecting only the slightest of impatience.

Mishti lifted her head up and wondered what would her life be like without Shankar Bhaiya. The life of a workaholic, insomniac, trigger happy, thriving single woman who worked odd hours, travel at a whim, and was barely bothered about food or sleep simply because she enjoyed the rest of her life too often!

She remembered, how half her acquaintances were concerned about her safety when she hired Shankar Bhaiya. But Mishti trusted her gut. And Shankar Bhaiya earned her trust over 10 long years. If shit is supposed to still hit the roof, it will, what is there for me to do.

What about the fatherhood of Shankar Bhaiya which extended to Mishti, even beyond his own family?

"Bas, do minute Shankar Bhaiya!", Mishti responded with a smile, finished her draft, hit the enter key to send it to her editor. As she walked to the dining table, she got on to a group video call with her family and close friends. It was time to celebrate Father's day, away from her family after all. It was time to celebrate a thousand shades of fatherhood!


Disclaimer - Image source - Internet. Not being used for commercial purposes. 

© Anupama 2021  (24.06.2021)

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