Father’s day special: No place higher than on your Daddy’s shoulders
We met some young city fathers who are breaking the norms and bonding with their children like never before. They talk about how they spend time with their little ones and how their life took a U-turn when their children were born. Anjali Shetty narrates their fun-filled experiences
Chirag Shah, entrepreneur
Son and daughter: Kiaan (5) and Kyra Shah (3)
Best daddy moments: Chirag believes that a girl becomes a mother the minute she feels the baby move inside her. However, the boy only realises that emotion when he actually holds his little one. “Kiaan, our first born, came a month early and we weren't prepared. But there he was and it suddenly hit me ‘wow I'm a Papa’,” said Chirag.
Learning curve: One thing that the kids have taught Chirag is patience. “Jokes apart, I am learning different things as we travel the journey together. Kiaan taught me to balance life better and Kyra has taught me to love more expressively,” he said.
Finding a balance: Chirag jokes that he has forgotten what sleep is. “I work out at 6 am, so I get time with them before school and get back in time to put them to bed. Story time is our exclusive time without Mamma. My weekends are also exclusively at their disposal. In fact, these days, we actually have to explain to them that Mamma and Papa also need some time for ourselves,” added Chirag.
Daddy-children bonding time: The Shahs indulge in a lot of outdoor activities. “Being a sportsman, I want to make sure that my kids understand the importance of physical activity and hence, we go trekking, swimming and indulge in many outdoor activities. But Kiaan loves to put things together, so I try and do some science experiments or put together do-it-yourself (DIY) kits with him. Meanwhile, Kyra wants us to dance with her. Our play time is quite the zoo,” he said.
Advice to the little ones: Chirag and his wife Gauri constantly stress on the importance of being kind, tolerant and adjusting. “As cliched as it sounds, I always stress on the importance of being street smart and thoughtful at the same time. That will be enough to keep them on the right track in life,” said Chirag.
Gautam Rege, co-founder, Josh Software
Daughter: Swara Rege
Best daddy moments: Gautam recalls when Swara won a gold medal in her age group in gymnastics and the beaming look of pride on her face. “When she was four, she made me a ‘love you Baba, will miss you’ card when I was going for a business trip. I still keep it in my bag. When she was running a 5km marathon with me, while in the last 200 metre, she was dead tired, but the cheering crowd egged her on and she sprinted to the finish,” said a gleaming Gautam.
Learning curve: Gautam never really understood the real meaning of innocence and ‘sleeping like a baby’ until Swara was born. “She sleeps so soundly, it's like meditation,” he added.
Finding a balance: Gautam says that the perks of running one’s own business is that when his daughter needs him, he can be there. “But, at the same time, she understands me when I have work. So its balanced,” said Gautam.
Daddy-children bonding time: Gautam ensures that he attends her gymnastics classes on Saturdays and teaches her basketball on Sundays.
Advice to the little ones: Follow your passion. Listen to everyone, but do what you believe in. Respect everyone, everything and every time.
Ashwin Pandey, co-founder, Folk Fitness
Sons: Ahaan and Aveer Pandey
Best daddy moments: There are lot of such moments that fit in the bracket for Ashwin. But to pick a few, he says, "When I went for my elder son, Ahaan’s first sports day in school, he received a medal. I was so proud of him. The other one was when we all went rock climbing and even my younger one, Aveer, attempted to do the same.”
Learning curve: The Pandeys spend a lot of time together as a family. “My family, and especially the kids, keep me going. They have taught me to not give up and keep trying until I succeed and also to keep asking questions and challenge myself on a daily basis,” he said.
Finding a balance: Ashwin feels that it’s not the quantity, but the quality of time with your kids, is what actually matters. “When I am around my kids, I always focus on them. We have at least one meal of the day together and make it a point to not use our phones and other devices when we are together. This time is dedicated only for them and it helps me learn new things from them,” said Ashwin.
Daddy-children bonding time: Ashwin always tries to take his kids along while travelling. “We engage in a lot of sporting activities together, including playing cricket, board games and badminton together. We also go for an outing at least once a week,” he added.
Advice to the little ones: Live in the moment and get the best out of it. Stay active all the time so that all your energy is channelised in a positive manner. Be good orators and also be great listeners, because that is what will help you learn more insights.
Joravar Sachdev, director, White Summer Hospitality
Best daddy moments: Joravar feels that every morning is the best moment he shares with Nirbhaan. “Every morning is special, especially when he actually climbs on me to wake me up,” said Joravar.
Learning curve: Nirbhaan has taught his daddy that happiness while being with one’s child is supreme and unparalleled. “Even is you’re stressed about something, you feel like you are capable of absorbing it and being okay nevertheless,” he said.
Finding a balance: It is tough and Joravar has a hard time managing his work and home time. "Every morning, I try talking to him and understanding what he is learning and who his friends are,” he said.
Daddy-children bonding time: Joravar has taken Nirbhaan to his office a few times. “We also go out on long drives and spend time with our pet, Hugo,” added Joravar.
Advice to the little ones: I really have no advice. Right now, I need to take some advise from them to just keep smiling and always remain inquisitive.
Devendra Nazare, media professional
Best daddy moments: The best daddy moment for Devendra will always be the day Devanshi came into his world. “It changed me as a person and my life for sure,” he said.
Learning curve: Devanshi has taught him that in this world, which is filled with self-centered people, there is still hope for love and kindness. “Oh, she has also taught me the art of being patient,” said Devendra, laughing.
Finding a balance: Devendra makes it a point to go to office at 11 am and leave by 5 pm. “This arrangement is done so that I spend enough time with her. She has her breakfast only if I feed her. Once I go back home, my entire time belongs to my angel,” said Devendra.
Daddy-children bonding time: The Nazares enjoy eating seafood together. “We go riding on my bike, swimming, and animal rides (I have to sit with her on every ride). I communicate a lot with her and I feel this is something that every parent must do,” he added.
Advice to the little ones: “ ‘It is a lack of love for ourselves that inhibits our compassion toward others. If we make friends with ourselves, then we can easily open our hearts and minds to others’. It’s a quote I read a long time ago and this is my advice to Devanshi,” said Devendra.
Amay Yeravdekar, head, off-campus events, Symbiosis International University
Best daddy moments: For him, the best daddy moment is when he had to do his ‘daddy duties’ of putting helping Vir with his diapers and cleaning him every day.
Learning curve: Amay shares that Vir has taught him to be calm, patient, never be aggressive and leave one’s ego on the side.
Finding a balance: Amay says, “After returning from office, an hour with feeding him his evening meal while watching cartoons ‘old McDonald’ and ‘wheels on the bus’ is the time I wait for every day.”
Daddy-children bonding time: Watching the world go by from their balcony. “Vir loves buses and rickshaw gazing and I sit with him throughout. I also feed him dry fruits in the morning before office,” said Amay.
Advice to the little one: Stay humble, simple and grounded and enjoy childhood time to the fullest.