This year, Father’s Day was soon followed by International Yoga Day, just like last year. It may alternate next year. Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June, while International Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21st. The former is American, and latter is Indian in origin. But there is a connection. There has to be, with so many Indians in the Americas making America great again, rather than their own country!
Like Yoga, Fatherhood is all about bending backwards and forwards to meet expectations of the spouse and their children, stretching the sinews, the wallet, the mind and breathing Family, day in and day out! The asanas of Fatherhood are a powerful tool for the holistic wellbeing of the family, but must be performed consistently and with mindfulness, lest there be a pulled muscle or a rupture in the family, rather than rapture!
Not easy at all; it does come with practice and sacrifice, which most fathers get used to – with a little help from their children’s mothers, and sometimes the children themselves; but not their own mothers though – who would inevitably suggest – if ’tis difficult let it rest! Some find it difficult to sustain the early interest, and make new resolutions every year, and sometimes give up, occasionally waking up to reality of their situation.
So Sukhasana is best to reduce anxiety and stress and mental tiredness – allows you to shut out all the stress of fatherhood from your mind and think of more pleasant stuff – Is there anything more pleasant is the question… A tip: Sit with the legs tucked inside the opposite thighs and the spine should be vertically straight. The hands should be placed on the knees and breathe in and out gently – do it forever! Nobody will trouble you. And you can’t trouble no one! Keep breathing in and out till you stop!
But Fatherhood is like Robinhood, without the robbery. Just Jobbery! Being good, while seemingly bad! Friends are around but forgotten, while the aim is clear, protect the young from the young and the old, till they are able to protect you. Truly, Fatherhood is the real Agneepath! but unlike the current offering to the youth, it’s a lifelong journey, sometimes regimented, sometimes not, that gives you both pleasure and pain, often in unequal measures, puts you on the frontlines, and at other times in the logistics department! At the end of it there may not be any pension, but there is some recognition and reward, is what one hopes for when one is recruited into the scheme, though it is not mentioned in the brochure!
Its then that it will be time to stop the Asanas and pass on that skill to the son if he is not already making up his own or is ready for the lesson! Lots of ifs and buts, and one more – it’s worth getting recruited under the scheme, primarily because it has no comparison to the scheme just announced by the Government to create Agniveers. You will be an Agniveer right at the start, if you can refuse the offer of Fatherhood! but you can’t – it is the way the universe operates. Expectations are high, and time runs out fast!
But first you have to get recruited and manage the tenure without training; that’s the difficulty. You will have to generate your own compensation package or share that burden with your best friend in this scheme of things. There is no chance to protest, no reason to maybe, or no desire to, forget about violently, only to acquiesce with a little trepidation about the forthcoming deprivation!
And therein lies the bond. Not James, but the one in which first you hold his hand, then as time goes on, he holds yours. This is a bond that can lead to relaxation or revenge! so beware. Remember the 1990 and 2012 films Agneepath? – one a commercial dud (not dad) and one a commercial success, the dad of all films in that year! in which the evil and sadistic Kaancha hangs Vijay’s father to death. Vijay grows up with a single aim of avenging his father’s death. Because he loves him and loves him more in death! The story surrounding Vijay Chauhan, his relationships with his family and above all, his revenge is what make up the films! It is clear from the film that Fatherhood is the Asli Agneepath! And there is no regimental system. Compartmental, Departmental, and even mental, but not regimental. You must be prepared to break out! If you want to succeed.
Here is the Fatherhood Agneepath scheme SOP
4 Years of Age – My daddy can do anything.
8 Years of Age – My dad knows a lot.
12 Years of Age – My father doesn’t really know quite everything.
14 Years of Age – Naturally, father doesn’t know that, either.
16 Years of Age – Father? he’s hopelessly old-fashioned.
18 Years of Age – That old man? He’s way out of date.
25 Years of Age – Well, he might know a little bit about it.
35 Years of Age – Before we decide, let’s get dad’s opinion.
45 Years of Age – Wonder what dad would have thought about it.
65 Years of Age – Wish, I could talk it over with dad.
By that time, it is too late for Agniveer nxt!
We have been told all of this by Veterans and yet all but some of us are willing Agniveers for joining the scheme! We consider it a divine gift! Once we join, we are inducted into it almost straight away. No training nothing! Learn by doing! The scheme teaches you to love unconditionally, to nurture someone beyond yourself, to run to protect another in the face of grave danger, to give to others without considering the return, and bond with something other than the mirror! But we must remember that motherhood is critical to fatherhood, we tend to forget that as Agniveers!
Everyone you meet, everyone who speaks on the subject acknowledges that motherhood is tough. From conception to delivery, the nine months or less in between, the delivery itself either natural or surgical, and the months and years of parenting thereafter – are a tribute to a woman’s ability to sustain pain with love.
As the child enters his or her teens, the pangs get worse, for despite her trauma in bringing the child into the world, and the devotion to his or her wellbeing in the years following, she tends to get ignored, more so her instructions and advice. This is very traumatic and the Agniveers can be of great help! They get a chance right at the beginning, in the labour room itself. But some deliberately veer (the English word) outside it and as they are Veers (the Hindi word) more outside it than inside it! They prefer to be relegated to the supply rather than the frontline!
But today, as the lines blur between fatherhood and motherhood, some Agniveers find they are naturals. There are naturals in every field, and this is no exception. All you have to do is hone your skills under those who know better than you – and there are not many out there; are there? So, fathers have learnt to learn by involving themselves in every aspect of the child’s upbringing – from the physical to the emotional; formerly they used to stay away either due to a lack of self-confidence in their ability to handle the changed role or the just the belief that it is not a man’s role – that only a mother can mother! That a mother can father we all know, but now the belief is that a father can mother as well.
It’s how we know that the Fatherhood Agneepath scheme has gone from pilot to full-fledged and institutional! And mothers are smart! They often leave them to it, intervening occasionally, while they bring home the bacon! Single dads, hats off to them too. They are Agniveers of a different kind! They are both mother and father to the child, or they try to be, and they do remarkably well because when alone they fire on all cylinders! That we knew, but then they became Agniveers! Some of their standard dialogues: “Go ask your mother!”, “Just wait till I get you home!”, “When I was your age…”, “My father used to tell me…”, “I used to walk to school;”, and finally, “Be home early”.
Under the fatherhood Agneepath scheme, you may be able to avail paternity leave, – though it is not yet explicit in the brochure – but can never leave paternity. These lines from the Eagles hit song “Hotel California” say it all!
“Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
“Relax, ” said the night man
“We are programmed to receive”
“You can check-out any time you like”
“But you can never leave!”
The Fatherhood Agneepath scheme is a lifetime of learning by doing. It’s not just four years, its forty years, or more, something which modern Agniveers are angling for, for different reasons! There is a retirement age down the line, but that’s when you end up in a senior home with your pot of joy! filled with learning, wanting to apply it to the new Agniveers, but not allowed to! Dad Rocks, But Mum Rules is the old saying, that Fathers are trying to turn that around under the scheme! The results will emerge in a few years! Not next week.
But until next week…you rule! If you are not mum!
This Article is written in the lighter vein with tongue-in-cheek. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental or just a mirage!
Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash