Daddy Darling

A very long time ago, I’d reassured a manic-depressive acquaintance that he would be a great father to a lovely child someday.

I didn’t, sadly, mean what I said, but the man was miserable, on the brink of bankruptcy, and on a daisy-chain of mini-breakdowns. He insisted he wouldn’t mind all the bad luck he’d had, all the exploitation of his genius and his good nature, and the gradual death of his all his ambitions, if only women would stop being so ‘withholding’, admit he’d make a great husband and father, and have brilliant children with him. However, his last three exes — all of whom eventually had children with other people — had told him they specifically didn’t want to have children with him. This, apparently, was the straw that was breaking this camel’s back, and I’ve never been a stickler for truth when a few harmless lies could soothe an anguished soul.

Now, I’ve just received an email from this person. He thanks me for my friendship during dark hours, tells me about a new livelihood, ruminates about his unrecognised genius and women, and then says, “…DNA is more universal than culture. Women across countries are really similar in what they want, because they’re all programmed the same way. I’ll give you an example. When we met I had just broken up with a long-term girlfriend, but your instincts recognised straight away that I would be a great father, and you started dropping hints that I should have a baby with you”.

You can’t make this stuff up.



  1. More credit if fictional. Very lucid, non-academic style. Refreshing. And oh, a chubby batty baby would have been … interesting.

    • This particular ‘gothic’ ambience should be borrowed from 70s Bollywood courtship scenes. They capture the spirit far better than lightning-struck old abandoned hill-top castles, with red-nailed vamps — pun intended — hanging from every possible crevice.

  2. You’re far kinder than people give you credit for. It bears rich dividends in absurd stories though, so consider yourself well rewarded by the universe.

  3. Swat him one, I say. But I can’t help agreeing with JAP here – chubby batty babies do sound interesting. As also Gautam’s idea of evil progeny opening scores of MacTelebhaja outlets.

  4. On behalf of men, I would like to apologise for our collective density, our egocentrism, our lack of social perception and cognitive empathy. Twenty years back, I was just about as clueless as your friend. Thank goodness all of that happened in a different city.

    (Oh and BTW, how can you be dropping hints about having babies with HIM when all this time you’ve been clearly hinting about having babies with… JUST KIDDING.)

    Also, hello from London!

    • Matthew! Hello ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’ve been thinking about you — we had spectacular thundershowers right after you left, and I’ve been thinking how ‘withholding’ nature can be sometimes. Little wonder she’s seen as a woman, eh? ๐Ÿ˜‰

      And there is *no* need to apologise for men. I’m certain you’d never have made the enormous leap between a casual ‘there, there’ consolation, and a secwet desire for motherhood.

      PS: Lovely to have you back on the blog. I am, as you can see, going through a somewhat productive phase.


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