Sowing My Wild Oats!

Alert: A conversation between two friends on being father. Read if you love your child. If you aren't a parent yet, read all the same.  

"It’s a long story."
"Okay, I don't mind listening - I have all the time in this world."
"As you wish! To be honest, you may find this is a bit ridiculous. It was another casual Saturday afternoon. I was standing with the trolley load of vegetables and meat supply for the coming week, in a queue before the cash counter, of this big departmental store. Somewhere nearby, there was a baby on a stroller with his parents. His mom was in the queue before me and his dad was somewhere else in the store itself. I said hello to the kid, for he was looking at me and just as I did that, he started babbling at the top of his voice ‘pa-pa-pa-pa……’; made his own father rush in from inside the store, but the baby was still waving his hands at me as if I was his long lost father. I said to myself, ‘Oh! God, I am in Northern Ireland for just five months now and you give me a baby who is nearly two years old. WTF!!!’"
"Was she a hottie?
"Who - the girl at the counter? They usually were."
"Not her! The mother of the kid - you dumbo, one you supposedly had the baby with!"
"Ah! Her – A typical Irish woman if you ask, but I had hardly checked her out. I literally freaked out to notice anything else."
"Why were you so shocked – was this not the first time when it happened?"
"Hell no! this wasn’t the first time."
"When you tell someone a story, you got to start from the beginning"
"Okay! (takes a deep breath) A couple of years back, I was in Coimbatore for training when it first happened. I went out with some friends for ice-cream after a casual walk on a lazy Sunday afternoon. We stopped before a big fruit and vegetable shop where there was an ice cream counter. There was this baby girl with her mother, who started crying and saying something incomprehensible, as soon as her eyes fell upon me. I didn’t realize what was it that she said – could have taken it for a blabber if it wasn’t for my friends who decoded that screaming to a meaningful Tamil word for daddy."
"What did you do then?"
"What could I do? My immediate reaction was (pausing) to her mother, ‘What kind of a shameless woman doesn’t mind correcting her little one about who the real father is?’ I wanted to run away from the baby as soon as I could and cursed her mother. But it wasn’t easy with the pack of girls I was with, who found it funny. They chewed my head for next couple of days."
"So that’s just twice – may be a matter of chance. How bad could it be?"
"I wish it was mate, but no..."
"No?"
"Nops! I was in sitting with a group of friends in a garden in Leister Square – taking some steam off by hanging out in the streets of London and stopping by for breaks intermittently. This time an Asian baby, could be Chinese or Korean, was with his mother and rushed to me as soon as he saw me. He offered me his ball and wanted to sit on my lap."
"Oh! That’s kind of cute now – at least this one didn’t scream."
"Yeah, right – you think so? All those events nearly gave me a psychological complex. I'd frequently end up asking myself - what is it in me that make me look like a father? Was it for my typical round, happy-go-lucky face or I looked older than I actually was? But I mustn't have been more than twenty two when it happened the first time. It couldn’t be something that attributed me in a matter of months."
"So what did you think was the reason?"
"How do I know? I became a laughing stock among friends. Once I went to a party that one of my senior colleagues had thrown to celebrate the birthday of his daughter. My friends kept teasing me to sit tight – because if his kid called me dad in front of everybody, it'd be really messy and all that."
"First time in Tamilnadu, followed by Ireland and then London – you seem to have sown your wild oats across worldwide!!!"
"You are telling that to me? More and more incidents started happening in airports, train stations and so on. I was so scared at one point of my life."
"So did it actually end - ever?"
"Well, as a matter of fact it did. On one special Wednesday morning in winter, I was walking nervously in a corridor outside the operation theater, all of a sudden my name was called and I rushed in, when a doctor showed me this little, cutest thing, cuddled up on a piece of towel, all pinkish among dried mucous all over – my daughter. That was the moment that changed things. "
"So you were not scared of kids anymore?"
"I was never against kids or anything, I knew I’d pour my heart out when I have my own child, but till then, I was scared of saying hi to anyone of them."
"Ah! All’s well that ends well." 
“About time mate – you shall see when you have your own child.”


2 comments:

mysay.in said...

hahaha Abhra .. wonderful experience it was, reading your experience.. from unclaimed fatherhood to be a proud father .. :)
Nice read !!
I have seen kids almost getting scared or making weird faces .. when they look at me .. Now I am happy .. at least saves me from being doubted :D :D :D

Abhra Pal said...

Yes, it is some wonderful experience altogether - those who have known me closely when it happened, often bring it up during friendly conversations.

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