The issue of Tusshar Kapoor becoming a single dad at 40 using IVF and surrogacy has taken over social media. Reactions are mixed. Some hold on to their traditional views of upbringing, confirming that a child needs a mother; it’s unfair that he wouldn’t have one. Others are celebrating the brave decision which didn’t wait for “other factors” to fall in place while choosing to have a baby in life. Arguments and disagreements are rampant as the conventional and modern school of parenting collides with each other, trying to conclusively derive the impact of this decision on society and the future generation as a whole.
Dilemma of the old school is obvious. They are worried that this will give rise to a dysfunctional system where the organic, dual-parenting thumb-rule would lose its indispensability. In dual parenting, responsibilities are shared and divided. The child too gets to cushion himself between two individuals. Someone on my social media network just opined, “Raising children can be exhausting. When you are all messed up for personal, social or professional reasons, it helps to have an equal partner to share the load. Otherwise, you only end up burdening the baby with yourself! Rich people do hire trained nannies for their children and outsource a large part of the responsibility. But then, is that why you wanted a baby? To give him your money, and not time?”
True that parenting requires dual supervision, if not more. But with joint family systems breaking down and social relationships getting increasingly nuclear and virtual, this was just coming.
A baby, for many of us, is a ray of hope. A fresh start to life; a new beginning; an attempt to bring back innocence; and be loved unconditionally without being judged. That’s why often warring couples try to save their marriage by planning a baby. As crude as it might sound, and as risky a gamble it might be, many times it works! A child does change outlook, priorities, attitude and life. A baby thus, is capable of naturally healing many issues that an adult suffers.
Tusshar Kapoor’s brave decision has not only offered us a new, non-traditionalist idiom of parenting, it has also liberated us from the gender stereotype surrounding single parenthood.
Having accepted this, why can’t we welcome parenthood as an informed choice for those who might be interested? Why should the right of parenthood only come with a “conditions apply” disclaimer? Or rather, if someone wants a baby, and is physically-mentally-financially stable, then why must he or she be denied the pleasure just because he or she didn’t yet find a spouse to trust for life?
A “single” status does come with some question marks. What if the person falls in love tomorrow and adopts different priorities in life, leaving the baby to suffer alone?What if the present passion of parenthood doesn’t last? What if the parent faces some severe professional downturn or terminal illness? In a wedding, there is always that second parent to support. So argues the old-schoolers. However, looking at each of these points as a stand-alone issue, such unfortunate events happen irrespective of whatever precautions one might take. You can’t stop walking in life fearing an accident that may or may not happen! Then why now? Why in this case?
A single parent opting for a child only proves his love and attachment towards life, so much that he is ready to embrace the additional pressure and play both mom and dad to a new-born at the same time. That’s a much positive step to take life ahead. Getting married to someone just because you want a child, is too insulting for the two people involved. The spirit of companionship and togetherness suffers; so does the auspicious essence of wedding. Getting trapped in an unhappy marriage with the wrong person and having a baby from there might be politically and socially correct, given our regressive cultural mind-blocks, but it is miserable for all the three human beings involved.
Congratulations Tusshar Kapoor for braving a unique journey. His decision has not only offered to look at parenting in a whole new way, but it has liberated the concept from compulsorily relating it to women alone. It also highlights upon fertility techniques as logical medical tools that can be employed by single people who want to have their own babies. In the days to come, Laksshya Tusshar Kapoor will certainly set some norms, which will be unique in their own designs. Even if those norms don’t change the trends, they will get more people to think, and think deeper, and question the obvious!
He is destined to inspire with and as an example.