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Fatherhood Unplugged: With Samar Halarnkar

Posted: June 19, 2012

In honour of Father’s Day: Samar Halarnkar, Consulting Editor with the Hindustan Times and Mint, talks about parenting and what fatherhood means to him.

Samar Halarnkar writes columns on emerging India, on the cutting edge of science and technology and on creative cooking from a male perspective. He lives in Bangalore with his wife and works from home, looking after his two-year-old daughter.

Give us a single line that encapsulates what fatherhood means to you.  

It’s the biggest balancing act of my life

Are you a different father today than what your father was? How? In what ways are you similar?

I guess I am. My father was rarely around because he was a policeman. My mother brought me up, taught me to cook and clean. So, I can look after my home in a way my father never could.

But my father and I are similar in that we wanted girls. He got two boys instead and instead of trying for another, he named his house after the daughter he never had. Since we adopted, I made sure we got a girl.

How would you describe your fathering style?

I think I am pretty laid back (though my wife disagrees). I am very particular about certain things: eating on time, eating well and no running around. So, a bit of a discliplinarian in certain matters, but in some things I do whatever she wants — specifically in exploring the outdoors, swinging from things, running, leaping. I think my fathering style is geared to making her physically tough.

Has fatherhood been as you expected it to be? If no, what was the biggest difference between your expectations and reality?

Pretty much, though the biggest difference in expectations and reality has been the amount of time it actually soaks up!

What is the most important lesson that fatherhood has taught you?

Patience.

*Photo credit: mharvey.nyc (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution License.)

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6 Comments


  1. Are The PARENTS OF GIRLS, WORSE THAN DEADLY CRIMINALS IN JAILS ? MIND-GAMES AND SCHEMES PLANTED…Exposed.There is a reason for the GIRL-CHILD concept never taking off as much as expected by the ones who protest vociferously…LET US LOOK INTO THE MAJORITY OF HOUSE-HOLDS IN INDIA. BE IT BELOW POVERTY LINE OR THE RICH CEO…I repeat MAJORITY and not the exceptions, like the columnist here.THESE BLAGGARDS ( I CALL SUCH PARENTS BLAGGARDS AND ROGUES ) VERY CLEVERLY PROGRAM THE DAUGHTER’S IMPRESSIONABLE MINDS…Let us take one sample of a family with one son and two daughters.Exactly similar to the CALCULATOR with the firm-ware built into it ( pre-set instructions ), the parents of the girls are specifically instructed to THINK, SPEAK AND ACT in only such methods that BENEFIT their SONSo, QUESTION ONE : WHAT GIRL-CHILD ? IT IS A FARCE … READ ON

  2. Next, she is programmed to think about the problems and issues faced by the parents of girls, exclusively to such an extent, that she is OBSESSED with that idea of the parents of the girls being victimized…The parents of the girls refer to a part of history and make that part the whole. They are fed with horrific stories of the sufferings of girls…The good part is never shown. Only the bad part of a bygone era is shown to the daughters…The sufferings of a girl in a poor family might not have been the case with that of a girl in a well-to-do family…Analysis, done scientifically, opens up the TRUTH…But this TRUTH is exactly what the parents of the girls DO NOT WANT TO DIGEST…Now, what if she gets married and returns to question her parents…So, yet another round of programming happens…

  3. She is programmed in such a way, with MIND GAMES that exactly similar to the monkey that was trained to rob and hand-over to the owner, the stolen goods, the DAUGHTERS are cleverly PROGRAMMED to think HORRIBLY about the MEN, husbands and in-laws.
    They are programmed to be ready to leave their husband’s family half-way, if there is even a remote risk of expose of the false and artificial life-led-so-far of the parents of the daughters.
    In the cities, the son is packed off with his wife to a separate flat in an apartment.
    The daughter is further programmed to work and earn to educate the son, then serve as emotional support for parents and then physical and emotional support in their old age.

  4. THE GIRL REMAINS A SPINSTER. She is programmed to believe that it is all a matter of one or two children and some sexual happiness. So, why get married and get into the huge cycle of responsibility ?
    If she questions, the response of her parents, range from CRIMINAL SILENCE to EMOTIONAL TANTRUMS to VERBAL ABUSE to CAUSTIC COMMENTS to PHYSICAL VIOLENCE…The various mood-swings, the feelings of the urge for romance, the small and very minute delicate emotional moments, the need for a naturally active sexual life,…etc and so on and so forth take on the shape of a huge list, in any normal woman…This is exactly what the parents of the girls, PLUG and SEAL PERMANENTLY by MIND-PROGRAMMING with PSYCHOLOGICALLY PERVERT METHODS…To them, THE PARENTS OF THE GIRL, ESCAPISM COMES EASILY…RIGHTS ALONE MATTER AND NOT RESPONSIBILITIES.

  5. ONLY THEIR LINEAGE MATTERS TO THEM. THE LINEAGE AND DESCENT FROM FATHER TO SON AND SO ON AND SO FORTH…They know that the girl-child would move to a different lineage and hence the dis-interested outlook to her life…So, NETT-NETT, in the HUMAN RACE, this is now a SURVIVAL COMPETITION FOR GENETIC TRANSFER, where one Man wants to eliminate the other and Carry forward only his genes to the next generation…Girl child is ONLY A PAWN in this entire hidden scheme of things.
    One fine day, these parents of the daughter dies…The hard-earned wealth of the daughter goes to the nephew / niece…So, NETT-NETT she has been successfully programmed into being a BONDED LABOURER by her own parents…So, the ANTI-WOMEN crowd is in TRUTH, her OWN PARENTS…These are the same parents, who shamelessly, cry everywhere and gain sympathy since they have a DAUGHTER.

  6. CUNNING JACKALS, THESE PROGRAMMING MIND-GAME-PLAYER PARENTS ARE THE BIGGEST SINNERS AND BLAGGARDS WHO REALLY NEED TO BE EXPOSED SO THAT EACH GIRL UNDERSTANDS THAT THEY ARE FORCED INTO BONDED LABOUR WITHIN THE VERY FAMILY WHERE THEY WERE BORN…IN FACT, every girl knows this. But, the world outside is so dangerous for the woman, that she prefers the known devil ( her own family ) instead of the unknown angel ( The good part of society ).
    THE FACT THAT SHE KNOWS IS KNOWN TO HER PARENTS TOO. THIS IS EXACTLY WHERE THEY SAY WITHOUT SPEAKING “ GOOD THAT YOU KNOW. NOW WORK FOR MY LINEAGE AND FEED MY SON, YOUR BROTHER AND CONSIDER IT YOUR BLESSING THAT YOU ARE SAFE WITH US AND THE PRICE FOR THAT IS THIS BONDED LABOUR “…So, indeed the sinners are her parents.
    The PARENTS OF GIRLS, ARE WORSE THAN CRIMINALS IN JAILS.

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