Few days back, one of my colleagues (from now M) became a father. He wasn’t ready to get married in the arranged manner in the first place. But coming from a orthodox family he got married to a not yet graduate 21 yr old girl, 7 yrs younger to him and got a laptop & cash etc in dowry
. We wouldn’t have come to know that his wife was pregnant if one of his friends hadn’t let the cat out of the bag. He wasn’t at all mentally prepared to be a father but that also happened. [This becoming parents within one year of marriage topic..some other day some other post]. Following the traditions, the pregnant wife went to her parent’s home in January and the husband didn’t go to see her once during these last 5-6 months. The baby arrived on 6 June. Again following the traditions the wife will come back in the month of Sawaan (according to Hindu calender
). M will go to bring her back then and as he’ll be going then, he isn’t going now to see his newborn son. Instead M’s elder brother and dad are going!! Even when M is having a long vacation right now.
I’m amazed and shocked beyond words!! How can a father not feel the urge, the restlessness to see his newborn especially first born son? How can he not jump onto the next train to visit his wife and baby especially when money and time are no restraints? How can a wife be cool with this type of situation where the father of the child chooses not to come even when circumstances are favourable? How can a tradition allow a wife to become mother without the father and her husband by her side? Even if the wife longs to see her husband or wants him to come she has to suppress her desires because in our society somehow we are discouraged from showing love towards our spouse openly and especially in front of elder people. What type of father will he turn out to be when he doesn’t feel “I should be the first to see the child”? Instead M says “I heard he has taken after me. So what to see now?”
If there were some pressing matters, then I would have understood. But this? I don’t understand at all!! One thing I know I’m not going to compromise to such a situation and keep quiet if my husband is conveniently unavailable at such a crucial time. As if its a burden which only I have to bear!!
I disregard any such traditions and hollow beliefs that don’t let the husband take care of his pregnant wife and thus don’t let the father grow attached to the coming child. And I also don’t think highly of such fathers who just become so for the heck of it and don’t live upto the responsibilties and honour of the relation.
P.S. Image credited to Raissa Davis.