It’s tough being a father these days. Everyone from US President Barack Obama to Baba Ramdev are giving gyaan on how to be a ‘good father’. New-age Dads need to start early — snap the umbilical cord, change diapers — and can’t quite stop short of dangling the babies in front of a crocodile for ‘blessings’ as a devotee did with his five-month-old son in Karachi.
Now, that’s a whole lot of stress for fathers who are used to getting away with an annual guest appearance at the PTA meetings. Mothers, ah, they are used to the grind. Which is why, the Father’s day (June 20) makes a whole lot of (material) sense. Especially since the day almost lost its (retail) significance to Mother’s Day in Washington in the early 1900s. So before it became mandatory to say ‘Thanks Dad’ on Archies cards, the day became a rally point for jokes. According to wikipedia, by 1937, the Father’s Day Council in New York had calculated that only one father in six had received a present on that day.
Back home, however, we don’t need lessons in hero worship — think teary-eyed SRK in Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham, standing with his hands-folded before a life-size portrait of Big B. Subtext: it’s all about loving your parents, dude.
So, I nod furiously when advertising honcho Prathap Suthan tells me, “In India, fathers are use to having their way. We celebrate a ‘Father’s Year’, we don’t need a day! Even for advertisers, Father’s day is not a saleable idea.” Either way, I am not complaining, I get to wish mine in print: Happy Father’s day, Papa.