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Papa Scheherazade


RAMENDRA KUMAR  (2)This blog is an excerpt from Ramen’s parenting book,“Effective Parenting: A New Paradigm”.

Fatherhood often brings you up-front with your own foolishness, fallibility and frailty.

When my daughter, Ankita was a few months old, my wife Madhavi decided  that since I was of no use in the feeding and bum washing departments I should at least help in putting her to sleep.

Now Ankita was a night creature from day one. While she slept like a twig (obviously for anyone as cute and dainty and delicate as my daughter ‘log’ can hardly be used as a simile!) during the day, she was in the mood to ‘party’ at night.

Soon I was assigned the job of keeping the little one engaged for a couple of hours while the big one got her 80 winks.

But unfortunately Ankita didn’t like my mug one bit. The minute I picked her up she would bawl her head off. And it was really amazing that one who was barely as heavy as my wife’s left wrist could stir up such a racket. But stir up she did and Madhavi would wake up, give me the mother of all dirty looks (if looks could kill I would have had as many obituaries as Sachin has centuries in his kitty!).

As nights passed, I tried everything to win Ankita’s confidence: doing calisthenics, making faces, creating sounds and even yodeling. The result was the same. She would just howl and continue doing so until Mother Madhavi would come and rescue her from the clutches of Attila the Papa/ Papa the Barbarian.

A few months went by and my next assignment was administering Ankita mini-feeds. I remember very clearly the first time I had to do it. I sat on the floor of the living room with Ankita sitting in front of me. I gave her a big spoon and a small plate so that she could beat them together and create the ‘euphony’ she always delighted in achieving. Then I took one spoon of the gooey mix which fate and Madhavi had ordained, should be her diet. I fed her making all the right noises and faces which I had seen Mother Madhavi unleash. Ankita swallowed a mouthful and a strange gleam lit up her eyes. I was thrilled. I had at last succeeded in crossing a significant milestone in my career as a responsive and responsible father.

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Ramendra Kumar (Ramen) is an award-winning writer for children and young adults with 27 books to his name. He also dabbles in satire, poetry, fiction and travelogues. His writings have been translated into several Indian and foreign languages and showcased in many text books and anthologies. Ramen is a much sought after inspirational speaker and storyteller. An Engineer and an MBA, Ramen is working as Chief of Communications, Rourkela Steel Plant, Odisha. You can visit Ramen's website www.ramendra.in


3 thoughts on “Papa Scheherazade

  1. Kritika Srinivasan

    What a wonderful post – so well written that I could imagine you weaving your tales with two small children all ears and caught up in the moment! Yes, these story-times do create a wonderful bond with your children, don’t they? For many years, I made up stories for my daughter as well – all unbelievable, hilarious and extremely adventurous. Now I read to her. She has been an independent reader for years but still insists that the bedtime story must be read by me. And I enjoy rediscovering my old favourites with her.

    Reply
  2. Ramendra Kumar

    Thanks a ton, Kritika! Glad you liked it. For me and my kids the best time of the day was story time! I only wish young parents of today do not use surrogate story tellers like the idiot box or the net and become true blue Mama and Papa Scheherzaadie :)

    Reply
  3. Aparajita Bose

    I loved and laughed over every sentence! Indeed my own childhood came revisiting me as I read the blog. I can visualize my granny who raised me during my formative years sitting in the terrace as I relished and swallowed every short story she spun for me before I sat down with my books in the evening. I have always believed in bonding over stories. When I kept long hours at my workplace I tried making up with stories from books as my little son sat, ears and eyes alert! Later, with more time in hand, as I had quit my demanding job I moved to spinning stories, “cooked in my mind”, for my little daughter. Long live stories!

    Reply

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