Thursday, October 23, 2008

Travails of the expectant father

Abominable but true. The days of expectant dads are not far behind. Hats off to the marvels of science and technology ! What intrigues me however, is not what would make such a feat possible - deviant though in our conventional norms of parenthood, - but how would the father-to-be endure and entail his nine month long stint.

Having conceived and the news made public, his friends amd family will share a toast for the good news with several rounds of rum and whisky.Will then the father in question, forgo the temptation of those coloured liquids in the interest of his ' little one', braving all odds? Or will he give in to his just- a-little-bit-now attitude? The next question that haunts me is more amusing. Will the expectant father get paternity leave from his workplace? If the leave is sanctioned , how long will be the duration of the leave? Three months as in the case of maternity leaves, or shorter, or longer. Shorter because men are stronger than women and find it miserable to sit at home doing nothing? Longer , in the pretext that since many men have not undergone the process of procreation, they need to be under constant survelliance and medical check-ups?

How nice indeed would it be for the mothers-to-be, who would now boast of being mothers without having to entail the pangs of pregnancy! Oh for the querries that bombard my little brain! And what will happen to those regular hindi film dialogues,"Agar ma ka doodh piya hai to samne aa"? Will the man in question never be able to come infront?

So much for the burlesque.

I admit the frivolousness of my thoughts. Yet I could not help these musings clouding my mind, flooding it and then overflowing it when some time back I watched a programme in a channel challenging medical frontiers claiming that it was not long that such breakthroughs were possible.

When I asked a friend of mine what she thought of the matter, she shrugged and called off the whole idea of paternal child bearing . She said that she had heard of fathers rearing children but fathers bearing thm would be 'ugh',' chhii' and what not!

"Are you crazy?" she cracked. " What about the psychological aspects of men? Will it change too? Soft emotions like warmth, tenderness, which till now were a woman's stronghold would now be the forte of a father too,eh ? What would happen to the real macho man ? What of their chauvinism, .fortitude, power and strength ? You understand my implications, don't you?" I said yes I did. One can condescend to the idea of a man giving shoulder to his wife during her nine-month-long labour, but how does one expect or imagine the wife giving support to her pregnant husband?

  • Feminist as I am, I think this news should sound great to all working mothers, who for once can turn the tables on their husbands to give their family a descendant ! If for nothing else then at least for making them realise the sacrifice, the pain and the 'gravity' of being pregnant . But the brightest part of the whole story is this. Then the would-be mothers-in-law would have to have their mouths sealed once and for all because they can no longer blame their daughters-in-law for giving birth to a girl child!
Having read this piece of my mind, my husband made a one-line comment
which is a complete foil to my novel attempt. Yet I must mention it here.
"Do you think men would rush in where women fear to tread?"