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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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