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Aditya Nabial

Aditya Nabial

Aditya Nabial

What inspired you to compile a book on poems related to early childhood?

While parenthood is a universal phenomenon it is also a uniquely personal experience which makes one look at life through a new lens. Life looks and feels different. There is a myriad of emotions – the joy, the fears, the toil, and underlying it are moments of magic and wonder. Also in spite of the seemingly long days, early parenthood is a fleeting window. I was spontaneously drawn to capture these aspects of early parenthood, but it was the sense of wonder which triggered the endeavour.

How has spending your childhood years in Uttarakhand influenced you as a person?

I was fortunate to spend most of my childhood years in Nainital, where I attended school and also on account of my father’s multiple postings there. The mountains exert a certain calming influence which is difficult to quantify or measure. Living in that milieu engendered an appreciation and respect for nature, and the intrinsic need to explore it responsibly. I would like my child to experience Nature in its elements and be in harmony with it. This has influenced some of our parenting decisions such as the choice of house, the child’s playschool, everyday conversations and the experiences that we try to craft for him.

You have been brought up in Uttarakhand whereas your son is being brought up in Bangalore, do you witness any changes in parenting owing to location?

The immediate environment does determine some aspects of parenting. I would love for a child to have the fresh air and water and the relative safety of a smaller town such as Nainital. Parents raising their children in larger cities and metros seem to be in a perpetual state of alert, given the safety concerns and deterioration of natural resources. In my childhood, the field of play and recreation extended well beyond our home and surroundings, and our parents felt comfortable enough to let us walk around town and explore it on our own, even at a young age. This is something which I had taken for granted while growing up.

Do you think advancement in technology and urbanization have heightened or doused the joy of parenting?

The facilities available today and technology have helped the cause of the parents and have made the logistics of parenting easier. It has armed parents with information, resource groups, helped them prepare and organize their lives better. These things can’t be overstated especially in cases of nuclear families with both parents working. However the over-reliance on technology and facilities does impersonalize the experience, and there is a danger of compensating for personal time with such things.

What according to you is ideal parenting?

From my limited experience of 3.5 years, I think that there is no single template for parenting. Keeping child’s well-being at the centre of it serves as a good guiding principle. While one can be prepared in part for the experience, a lot of it is learned on the job and is instinct driven. One must recognize that there would be surprises which need to be taken within stride. Parenting can sometimes be lonely and teamwork between the parents is important since it is as much the father’s job as it is the mother’s. It is essential to have fun in the process and recognize the moments of wonder which are aplenty even on a difficult day. Finally, while one can rely on technology and aides, the personal time and connect with the child is important and irreplaceable.

Do you regret anything from your early parenting period?

Thankfully there haven’t been any lasting regrets from our early parenthood. However, that is not to say that we are perfect parents. There are things which we could have done better or differently, but we’’ve learned on the job, reflected upon the difficult days and course corrected when needed. While we would have loved the child to be closer to his extended family and the grandparents, it is a constraint which many young nuclear families face, with no easy solutions.

What is your stake on issues like abortion and adoption?

Abortion and adoption are matters of personal choice, and shouldn’’t be viewed through the prism of morals or values.
With many children in need of a safe and loving home, and several homes hoping to welcome children, adoption is a logical way to bridge the gap. It is also heartening to see the Maternity benefit Act recognizes the needs of adoptive parents with the provision of adoption leave.

 

About the Interviewee:

Aditya Nabial has spent his formative years in Nainital where he also attended school. Originally from Dharchula, Bangalore has been home for the last 12 years, and for all of his professional life. He resides there with his wife and three and a half-year-old son and works as an HR professional in one of the IT companies.
His debut book is Dear Child: Letters and Reflections.