My Child or Yours

I was to be at court with my son today. His ‘dying’ father would like to spend some time with him I was told and had requested the court to take him away for some days. The court had therefore asked me to bring him for an hour or so to grant the wish of a dying man.
I was upset. I am upset. Terribly let down.
The judge doesn’t understand. People I know cant figure how an hour or two matters so much. My lawyer doesn’t get it either. I am constantly told by the system – “after all he is the father”.
Nothing angers me more.
Their premise — I may be a feminist. Which by the way is a word beyond me!
I am not someone who questions the role of the father. Son or a daughter, a father provides one the strength to fail or win. To move on when it gets difficult. When you feel like nothing is working, the father brings in the solutions. One call, and your dad knows if you are unwell, unhappy or worked up. My dad has been all this and more so how in the world will i ever question the role of a father.
My argument is not against the fathers of the world.
My argument is against one father who fails, time and again, despite every opportunity I have provided him with, to be a real father. To keep his son as priority.
Having impregnated me is not a good enough reason for him or any such person to break the bubble that i have worked so hard at creating, the bubble that keeps my child safe from pain, hurt and heartbreak. No i am not okay with a man who has not contributed to any part of my son’s life to shake us up now and then in the name of being a father.
My son was just born and my husband had a choice to spend two extra days with him before heading back to his so-called job. He chose to spend it with his girlfriend in Mumbai. I have raised my son single-handedly when I was with him and when apart. He never stayed up to walk the child at night or woke up early to bathe, feed or take care of him. Never!
I have begged him a hundred times, to change his ways, to be a father that my son deserves to have. The begging, which means you get down on your knees and even touch the feet of a person, the kind you see in movies. He laughed at my face or when I was agitated, smooth-talked me. Nothing changed.
He was violent. He was angry. He was rude. He couldn’t care less — but you tell me he is a father!
When my parents took me away in Jan 2012, his ego didn’t even allow him to say goodbye to my two year old. He refused to step out of the car. Three weeks we waited, my son and I. He never came. Not for me, not for my son.
When we gave up and came back. He came rushing home, drunk, banging at the door. That night he came to hit me and instead beat up my dad and brother who stood there to protect me. He forgot the tears and the wailing of the child he had fathered. It never mattered.
It didn’t matter even when I agreed to send the child to him alternate weekends. We waited, mother and son for him to turn up at the door. 9 am would sometime be 11, sometimes 12. School events were not important — a driver was not available. Timetables were silly — it’s only Saturday and Sunday.
When he started turning up at the door stinking of alcohol, I put my foot down. Wash up and be here or I am not sending the child, father or no father. My parents were called and abused.
When I saw posts of him smoking up on Facebook, and friends called to tell me about his overuse of drugs and alcohol, I stopped sending my child over. My maid was followed and stopped on road. I was threatened, I rushed to my kid’s school, hid there for a couple of hours before we got back home.
Today, yet again he blackmailed the court with a disease that he is yet to prove but I will no longer fall for it. I have dreamt of a life for my child, and I work hard to provide him with sanity, normalcy and goodness. I will not allow any theatrics to push me against the wall.
A father is there for you.
He provides for you.
He protects you.
Four years and my husband has never known what it means to take care of a child, stay up all night when he is sick, juggle work and innumerable parenting responsibilities, pay bills, and give up on everything that is about oneself.
I fight to reject a man who has used and abused us to be given the due of a father.
If I didn’t I would be insulting all the real men, the real fathers in the world.

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