Chronicles of a new father: Mom and child, both are fine! Are you …?
Our generation had grown up on a staple diet of Hindi movies and every alternate one had the statement ‘Main tumhare bacche ki maa banne wali hoon’ (I’m going to be the mother of your child). Thankfully in real life we never encountered this statement because of two simple reasons: (1) the statement in all probabilities referred to a context of out of marriage relationship with a villain. (2) The new generation wives simply showed the results of the pregnancy test kit.
It was one such eventful evening when the result of a pregnancy kit was flashed in front of my eyes and like a dodo from my past life I stood there wondering what it really implied. Soon enough the dodoness became extinct and I revelled in the thought of becoming a father. At that moment, my father’s voice echoed in my ears. He always used to say these words whenever we had arguments, ’You’ll understand when you will become a father’. Yes, now my turn had arrived. The countdown had begun, T – 9 months. I’ll prove to the world what a wonderful father I’ll be. In fact, I’ll be a role model. The dreams had started.
Against the backdrop of such dreams, a father must play different roles in real life.
Quack – Yes, you got it right. There is no official degree or certification of any kind, yet a wannabe father must know about the scores of tests that his wife shall undergo in the next 9 months. Not only the tests are important but also knowing how to interpret the tests is equally important. Why? The reasons are simple. Firstly, if you don’t do it then you’ll stress out your wife with your indifference. She on the other hand has already gone through all websites possible and scrimmaged for information. Needless to say, your brain has been fed umpteen times not to stress her out during these crucial months. Secondly, when you pay exorbitant amounts of money to doctors, hospitals, then you are obliged to torture them with your questions and make maximum possible utilisation of time you spend with them.
Interior Designer (There simply isn’t an English name for it) – Along with your life the last trimester of pregnancy brings about a whole lot of change in your home, cupboard, working area and all possible places. The room that you loved for its spaciousness and early morning sunshine must be revamped and redesigned to accommodate additional shelf, clothes, mini bed, and many other things … that you have anticipated to buy once the real-time delivery happens. Obviously all those football, cricket and what not memorabilia are auctioned off to the deepest and unwanted corners of the house.
Ticket Collector – The D day arrives and while you are anxious, stressed and happy, a small part of your brain is doing some calculations at the same time. Just like a ticket collector ensures that all passengers have bought a ticket and are accounted for, you start accounting for all possible financials – the expenses, the incomes and even the future expenses. Not that you want to show off to anyone about the expenses incurred in the overall process but to some extent it’s satisfying the self-ego and saying, ‘See, I’ve not compromised. I’m a real role model’. And the brain goes back to original task – Room charges — Rs. X, Doctor fees — Rs. Y, Emergency charges … what? What are these?
The miracle finally happens. You hold the small kid in your hands and somewhere expect it to hug you tightly while saying ‘You’re the best father in the world.’ It doesn’t happen that way. The baby cries, sleeps, makes some noises while looking out in space and then again cries.
You learn the art of making your child burp after it has been fed. The nurses, doctors and resident doctors look at you in anticipation of the kid giving out a burp. It doesn’t and instead pukes on your shoulder. Ouch! The semi solid stuff on your shoulder doesn’t hurt that much but the look on the spectator’s faces which say ‘Look, he couldn’t even get a baby to burp’ makes you mad. This is where the real journey of father begins – Challenge no. 1.
The era of challenges begin and this is where your father’s voice echoes in your ears again, ‘You’ll understand when you will become a father.’
- Rishi Arya
- February 17, 2017
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