My friend, a young handsome upwardly mobile, 49-year-old friend, recently had a baby daughter. So what is the reason I'm writing about him suddenly? Is it not usual in our society, is it? Maybe even a little late for a first child. But children bring joy and meaning in one's life, in their own journey and into one's understanding of what works for themselves.
All of it is true. But the reason I find this worth mentioning is the fact that this friend belongs to a genre that's now coming out of the closet and determinedly out in the open to make their lives full, with partners of their own gender, and with reasoned out courage to not miss out on the completeness of having a child — with an understanding gynaecologist and the resources of surrogacy.
This friend is so full of the joy of this new entrant into his life that he is absolutely in a new world of buying diapers and planning timings for the feed and everything that is delightful to him. The little baby that he could not have thought about just seven or eight years ago is now a reality. Thanks to the new age of legal allowances and broader outlooks in the world.
I am sharing this in his delight and the still somewhat bold step he has undertaken, after much thought and deliberation. Imagine all the responsibilities and members of the extended family raising their eyebrows with their still archaic views. Fortunately, his parents, although, to put it mildly, were surprised like many as they placed the happiness of their son paramount and are today full-time over-the-moon grandparents. The alternate community is comfortable in their newfound freedom and ability to live life with ease of decision. Finally, they have their own say in the choice of their partner and not just resort to single parenting like most of their lot had to, until very recently.
It's a sign of the times. This is the age of Aquarius, when many unconventional things are seen as acceptable — even 'happening' and they become a part of the usual. Already we see the more exposed, broader minded urban lot move on to other topics of interest after the initial cursory gossip quotient has worn thin. It is seen as a liberating trend, towards a life now enhanced to its fuller capacity for content fulfillment.
There are enough role models, at least in Mumbai, that lead the way for those who are more tentative in their minds. Not just men, but women too, who do not feel that marriage has to be necessary to have a child. A mature, financially able individual can be a caring, loving, responsible parent, so there it is! Karan Johar led the way with his Ruhi and Yash and has said that they are today the most important part of his and his mother's life. They dote upon the two.
Not surrogacy alone, even adoption. Single women and men are showing the way. Sushmita Sen was clear that being a parent did not have to wait for her to find the "right' partner. Many people are not letting their single status come in the way of their joy of parenthood.
But, how does this trend of a single parent affect the offspring? Watch this space as we discover how to navigate the single parent route!...