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Father’s Day 2022

Being a dad in Bengal in times of Covid, war and inflation

Vikram Poddar – ‘That Marwari boy from South 24 Parganas’ – on father-son bonding and NFT bonds

Vikram Poddar | Published 18.06.22, 03:26 PM

Dad: Son, it’s the time of war and inflation. I have seen all this in the ’40s. You were too young.

Son: Dad, you were born in 1946, so surely it’s a stretch that you would remember anything.


Dad: Yes, I remember things. I come from a generation that remembers things. Like people’s phone numbers. I bet you couldn’t recite your own phone number without looking up some app…

Son: Dad, we’ve had our own wars and fights, okay? Have you seen how much I have bled on Twitter? In terms of followers. I have seen all this in the 2020s. You were too old.

Dad: I can see the Ballygunge in you has taken very firm roots. But I should remind you that just like the author of this column, I also started my life from the South 24 Parganas. It’s only through many circular routes in life that I have managed this apartment on Ballygunge Circular Road.

Son: Oh dad, that is so capitalist of you. Only talking about your achievements. That is why this war is happening. So rich old men can talk about their achievements.

Dad: To be lectured on Father’s Day on capitalism by your child is not something any father in Bengal is prepared for. But then I suppose Bengal does prepare you for pretty much anything. Kolkata is the only city in the world where the Metro struggles to live and the tram refuses to die.

Son: I suppose it is also the one place in the world where inflation could come and die because of our stubborn refusal to increase prices. Or the safety standards of flyovers. Perhaps the two are related in some way.

Dad: As if a father doesn’t have enough things to worry about, now this Covid fourth wave nonsense is beginning again. I wish people would follow my simple advice. Use high speed overhead fans everywhere. The virus will be pushed downwards away from the mouth and nose, which are the site of infection. Then it’s as harmless as a football in the hands of a Calcutta Football Club committee member.

Son: I wish you would stop throwing that club membership in my face every time we talk about something serious. I admit it is a privilege. But keeping up appearances is also a responsibility. The club will never accept me if I present myself in my true form: As an avant-garde contemporary artist from the South 24 Parganas.

Dad: I agree presenting yourself in your true form might get you banned from the building society much less The Tollygunge Club. I am just glad your mother hasn’t forced you into throwing yet another surprise party for me this year. I’m happy it’s just the two of us with an Old Monk between us. Happy Father’s Day, son.

Son: Happy Father’s Day, dad! To commemorate this day, I wish to inform you that I have quit my well-paying job with that IT company in Sector V. And will take up my full-time career as an artist. I will no longer be bumped around on the bumpy roads of Kolkata. But seek inspiration from the many bumps that life will no doubt send my way.

Your life journey is an inspiration. But I have also started a side hustle in crypto. Therefore, today on Father’s Day I am hereby gifting you the chance to invest in an NFT of your own passport size photo. (For 20 per cent more, we can also provide 3 revenue stamp-size NFT for Aadhaar Card and fake OYO couple ID).

Dad: I guess now is a good time to share with you the NFT of my latest will. Now go and buy your own Old Monk. Happy Father’s Day, son.

The author, Vikram Poddar, is a Marwari investment banker turned corporate comedian. The views expressed in this article are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the website.

Last updated on 18.06.22, 04:56 PM

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