The perils and pleasures of being a 21st century father
- What is this book about? Asked by: Monty
- 'Dad's the Word' is about parenthood from a father's point of view. It talks about the unconditional love, anxiety and self doubt that colour a father's life; about why we want to have children and how they shape our lives; and about how every moment of fatherhood is evanescent and unique.
- family father and mother - all these institutions may be at threat, but will nevertheless survive. question to be answered is, whether peril and pleasure is subjective or objective? Asked by: Vinit Kumar Upadhyay
- I suppose both are subjective. My book is a memoir, so I can speak for myself, although I hope that the book will speak to its readers in some way. Parenthood makes one vulnerable and anxious in a way that few other things in life do. That is one of its perils. And it is probably the most rewarding and fulfilling things in life. That is one of its chief pleasures
- Hello Sir. what are your other books? Asked by: Srikar
- I have written two books about how cricket defines India. They are titled You Must Like Cricket? and All That You Can't Leave Behind. I have also written a novel called If I Could Tell You. Google is your best bet if you want to find out more. :)
- can social change be subject crude value based debate. Asked by: Vinit Kumar Upadhyay
- Not exactly sure what you mean. I should think that social change ought to be preceded by (and accompanied with) debate. The quality of the debate would depend upon those debating the issue.
- What are the noticeable differences that you see emerging in parenthood today, when you compare it with your parents and grandparents and to yourself? Asked by: Supertamp
- I do explore this theme in my book, so you could do worse than to get hold of it. I feel that the manner in which India has changed in the past 15 years has entailed a change in the nature and notion of parenthood as well. Children today are far less fearful and in awe of figures of (and in) authority. They are better travelled, more exposed to the world, less inhibited. For instance, 'Why can't I visit this website?' is not a question I could have asked my father.
- Will your book discuss problems of Parent Child relationship? Asked by: Srikar
- Yes, it does go into that at great length.
- In your book and column, you have often mentioned or given details of your daughter's various activities. Do you ever fear that once she grows up, she may not like it at all, and confront you for making it all public? Asked by: Supertamp
- That's a very pertinent question. I stopped writing the column - as I explain in the book's introduction - because my daughter was entering a tricky, pre-teen period in her life, and I felt that the real meat of a memoir would soon become stuff that she would rather not have written up and made public. As for what is in the book, she she knows about it and is fine with it. It is a celebration of the bond between a father and a daughter. I doubt she would mind it when she grows up. But, as I said, yours is a pertinent question because memoir is a complex form and one takes risks by putting oneself and loved ones at the centre of the narrative.
- do you feel sometimes, fathers dont get as much importance as probably mothers do? sounds a cliche but it's also true. your thoughts? Asked by: Salman
- Well, it's a great pity but mothers tend to be more central to the child's upbringing than the father. Which is to say that mothers tend to do much more of the work. A generation or two ago, fathers used to be a remote figure of authority. I think some of that has changed over the years. I know of lots of fathers nowadays who are genuinely involved in bringing up their children. I suppose if you are involved, you gain in terms of importance.
- read you book, it's very well-written. what made you write on this subject? Asked by: samarth
- I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed it. The idea of exploring how a child alters one's relationship with oneself; how it subverts what one had once thought of as one's priorities; and how so much of fatherhood is a paradox between delighting in it and regretting the passage of a succession of moments - all these themes had begun to fascinate me. The book was a way of trying to work all that out.
More chats with:Soumya Bhattacharya