Meet Modern Dad - Brahma Gurbani, Chaitanya Challa, Narendra Kumar Dungarwal, Gopal Mor, Amit Jadvani, V. Swethan Reddy, Rohit Bharadwaj, Sanjeev Mehta, Mayank Anand

For more than 100 years now, Father’s Day has been celebrated on every third Sunday of June – and why not? Dads play a unique role in a child’s life, be it emotionally, mentally or even financially. Still, there are times when we tend to forget the sacrifices and contributions they make. Father’s Day allows us to show and express our love, gratitude and adoration towards these special men.Celebrating this special day, we went into the homes of some cool, hands-on and doting dads, to learn about their paternal side and special relationships with their kids.     --- Anahita

 

Brahma Gurbani with Dolly, Sarita, and Deepa

Brahma Gurbani is the chairman and director of Gurbani Group, one of the leading confectionery manufacturers in the country, and the president of the Indian Confectionery Manufacturers Association. But more than being a first-generation entrepreneur and a successful industrialist, he’s a loving father whose world revolves around his family. Father of three lovely daughters – Dolly, Sarita, and Deepa – we caught up with this enterprising self-made man.  

What did you have as a child that kids today don’t have?
I lost my father at the age of 11, and hence barely had anything during my childhood. Back then, life was very different from what it is today. I’m thrilled and blessed that things aren’t the way they were during my times, and my kids have everything they need. 

How has becoming a father changed your life?
It was when my eldest daughter was born that I felt the need to plan my future. That’s when I decided to be more than a service class person, and started a tiny lollipop-making facility from home. 

As a father, how similar/different are you from your dad?
I feel I am different from my father when it comes to my children. I end up listening to them even if I don’t wish to! 

How have your daughters have taken after you?
They are all incredibly passionate about their work. They’re also creatively inclined and committed in their field of business, and that’s something they’ve learnt from me. 

How would you rate yourself as a father?
I’ve often heard from my children that I’ve been able to provide them with every comfort, without depriving them of anything. So I’d rate myself 8 out of 10.

What is the most difficult part of being a dad?
Being able to say no to my children. 

Drs Jayanth and Chaitanya Challa with Sai Krishnadev
Dr. Jayanth Challa, an anesthesiologist, describes himself as a successful man who’s also a fool. With his humour firmly in place, this happy-go-lucky doctor is a proud father of two: Dr. Chaitanya and Dr. Priti Challa Veeramachaneni. Adding to the family tree, his son was recently blessed with a baby boy – Sai Krishnadev. Check out our conversation with this fine family.

Jayanth:
What did you have as a child that kids don’t have these days?
We used to get undivided playtime after school with a lot of friends. I’m afraid things aren’t the same now. Neither do kids have enough time to play, nor do they have a lot of friends. 

How has becoming a father changed your life?
Becoming a father created a lot of love in me.

What’s the one quality of yours you wish your children hadn’t inherited?
As strange as it sounds, they’ve both taken my stupidity! (Smiles)

In what way have your children taken after you?
Both Chaitanya and Priti are daydreamers just like me. 

How would you rate yourself as a father?
I am very proud of the father I’ve been, so I’d give myself a 10 on 10.

What is the most difficult part of being a dad?
Parenting as such isn’t an easy job; it comes with its hardships. Amongst the many difficulties is being able to fulfil the dreams of my children. Every father wants to do whatever he can to make sure his kids achieve their dreams.

Chaitanya:
In what way has becoming a father has changed your life?
I became a father three months ago, and the feeling is still sinking in. The emotion cannot be described in words. It’s for my son that I now make an effort to come home early from the hospital. I try and fit in as much time possible with him, whenever I can. 

Was there any advice your father gave that you plan on sharing with your children?
“Be good to everyone and always be truthful.”

 

 

 

Narendra Kumar Dungarwal with Shreyans
Narendra Kumar Dungarwal is a disciplined and patient man who’s grateful to the almighty for everything he’s got. With a business in iron and steel, the man has come this far by making mistakes and learning from them. A proud father of two amazing kids, his son is the well-known fashion photographer Shreyans, and daughter Amisha is a makeup artist. 

What did you have as a child that kids today don’t have?
We lived a stress-free life: playing outdoors, no phones, walking miles for school. We laughed, shared, loved, and lived our lives with huge families, which today’s children don’t have.

How has becoming a father changed your life?
In every way possible and I give all the credit to my kids. It was they who made me responsible. Having them in my life made me grow, chase my dreams and plan life. 

Was there any advice your father gave you that you plan to share with your kids?
He said, “Take your honesty with you when you leave this world.” That’s how I’ve lived my life, and I hope both my kids abide by it, too.

One quality of yours you wish your children hadn’t inherited?
The way they quickly react and get angry is very similar to how I was in my late teens.

What’s the most difficult part of being a dad?
I won’t exactly call it difficult, but as a father I’ve always been worried if they’re genuinely happy, which is of utmost importance. I constantly worry if they’re happy. 

What’s the best part about this relationship?
Ever since my kids have grown up, I’ve started to share all my decisions with them and take their advice. They too now do the same, and that bond makes me happy.

Gopal Mor with Karan
A retired Army officer who’s now a hotelier, Gopal Mor can be best described as a dreamer and an achiever. He’s a caring, warm and easy-going man, who takes each day as it comes. Now a friend more than a dad to his sons Karan and Saminder, the Major shares more about his rapport with his father and sons.   

What did you have as a child that kids today don’t have?
Back then we had the freedom to be with nature, as the world was much simpler and cleaner. The other thing was the love we received from our relatives, being in a joint family. Kids today have all grown up in nuclear homes and seldom relate to a big family. 

How has becoming a father changed your life?
To be honest, my entire life revolved around my children; I could barely think beyond them. So looking back, the birth of my sons changed me completely. 

A piece of advice your father gave that you plan on sharing with your sons?
My father taught me to be happy with whatever I had and always asked me to accept challenges. He believed it was worth fighting the odds to achieve one’s goals, and these are things I’ve shared with both my sons.

As a father, how similar/different are you from your dad?
I think I’m a lot more affectionate as a person compared to my father; I shower my love more. Moving with the times, I treat my sons as my friends, while my dad didn’t quite believe in that. The one similar thing would be the fact that he too was very caring, and I’ve got that from him. 

What is that one quality of yours you wish your sons had inherited? 
I feel they don’t believe in relationships as much as I do/did.

One thing your sons took from you?
They’re independent and strive/fight to excel.

What is the most difficult part of being a dad?
To be able to bring up your child well and make sure they become good human beings.

Amit Jadvani with Ananya
A down to earth, fun-loving and friendly person, meet Amit Jadvani, the administrative head at Meena Bazar. His daughter Ananya, who’s the spitting image of his, is the apple of his eye. Living his life to the fullest, we spoke to this father, to find out more about his relationship.

What did you have as a child that kids today don’t have?
I had many outdoor games, whereas children today are only glued to their gadgets; you’ll hardly see them outside. They don’t realise the importance of spending time with family, they only want to be on their own in their rooms, which was not the case in my times.

How has fatherhood changed your life?
I found inner strength and confidence, which I didn’t know existed. It also made me stronger and more responsible.

A piece of advice your father gave that you plan on sharing with Ananya?
My father bought me up in a very happy environment, always believed in living life to the fullest and staying happy. I miss his presence. I teach my daughter the same basic virtues.

As a father, how similar/different are you from your dad?
My father and I are similar in many aspects. He believed in living in the moment and keeping himself happy, and that’s my motto and way of life.

What is that one quality of yours you wish your daughter hadn’t inherited?
The worst quality of mine is my anger, and I so wished she hadn’t taken that from me. 

How would you rate yourself as a father?
No parent is perfect, and children don’t always understand nowadays. The thought processes are different, but I still try and match her as her friend. I’d rate myself an 8/10.

What is the most difficult part of being a dad?
Being a responsible dad is tough. I hate saying no to her. I can’t see her sad.

V. Swethan Reddy with Vansh
Best described as an enthusiastic, evolving individual, V. Swethan Reddy is an energetic, doting, and fun-loving father. He’s the co-founder of Fat Pigeon Bar Hop, Chubby Cho, and Blue Button, and the managing director at Samyuktha Estate. In conversation with the man who is his four-year-old son Vansh’s biggest cheerleader, we found out more about his views on parenting.  

What did you have as a child that kids today don’t have?
I had the luxury of a gadget-free childhood. I’ve been a sports fanatic since childhood, so it was either playing cricket in our colony or football post school. Kids these days are glued to their gadgets and the games on them. I earnestly hope that changes, and that they can experience the joy of playing outdoors. 

How has becoming a father changed your life?
Fatherhood has definitely made me more patient as a person. As a parent, I feel that’s the most important quality to imbibe. I also find myself more settled and composed now. 

What advice will you pass on to Vansh? 
There is one thing my father still reiterates: “Always be the person who helps another; it goes a long way”. I have followed this advice, and I would like to pass it on to my son, too. 

As a father, how similar/different are you from your dad?
My father always encouraged me to pursue what I wanted, as long as I did it with all honestly. I know I’ll do the same with Vansh.

In what way Vansh takes after you?
For a four-year-old, I see him imitating my sense of style! He also loves watching football with me. Those are definitely moments I live for. 

What’s the most difficult part about being a dad?
Playing the bad cop! I find it extremely challenging to say no or to discipline my son. In this regard, I have huge admiration for my wife, Abhilasha. Vansh is disciplined all thanks to her. 

Rohit Bharadwaj with Vidhaan
A finance manager at Deloitte, Rohit Bharadwaj is a new dad of an eight-month-old. He considers his son Vidhaan his second child, with his dog Polo being the first. Calm, patient, and sorted are few words that perfectly describe this good-looking dad. This Father’s Day will be special for him, as it’s his first after becoming a father. Here are his views on this new relationship.    

What did you have as a child that kids today don’t have?
As a child, I was lucky enough to have multiple playgrounds to let out all my energy, which I feel is lacking these days due to inadequate open space in the city. Playgrounds provide a place for children to work off their energy, have fun, and interact with their peers. It also gives them a safe learning environment to develop physical, social, emotional, and cognitive skills.

How has becoming a father changed your life?
Becoming a father has brought routine to my daily schedule.
I feel I have become creative in terms of entertaining him in multiple ways. We lose track of time, and I’ve surely learnt a lot more rhymes!

What’s  one thing you learnt from your father that you employ as a parent?
My father never put any pressure on me as a kid when it came to sports or studies. I will pass the same thing to my child and let him do whatever interests him. 

As a father, how similar/different are you from your dad?
I am very different from my father. My father is hyperactive while I am quite the opposite. He is always on his toes, doing something or the other, whereas I am very laid back and calm.

What’s the most difficult part of being a father?
At present, it is tough waking up multiple times in the night to bottle feed my kid. But I know as the days go on, this will be the easiest thing that I would have done.

Sanjeev Mehta with Gaurav
Sanjeev Mehta, co-owner of Over The Moon Hospitality Industry, is hardworking and extremely focused. But he always prioritises his family above everything else. He shares a great bond with both his sons, Gaurav and Abhinav, and believes that being a dad is a tightrope walk. Here’s what he had to say about maintaining a rapport with his young lads.

How has becoming a father changed your life?
Life changes upon becoming a father. It no longer remains about you or your work; family automatically takes priority. The birth of my sons motivated me a lot and also made me selfless. 

A bit of advice your father gave that you plan on sharing with your sons?
“Always work hard; it’s the only thing in life which will help you be successful”, and “Be a person with integrity”. He also explained that every decision needs to be made by keeping your family in mind. It could be the smallest thing, but it has to be done with the family in mind.

As a father, how similar/different are you from your dad?
I feel I’m fairly similar to my dad. My father never said no to me; he always encouraged and supported me in everything. He was more of a best friend than a dad, and I feel I’m quite similar in that matter.

How would you rate yourself as a father?
Both Gaurav and Abhinav have grown up and are successful in their respective career paths. So I guess I did a good job with them.

What’s the most difficult part of being a dad?
I’m always concerned about their whereabouts, and make sure to check on them or be safe while travelling. I don’t go to sleep until they’re back home at night.

Mayank Anand with Nirvi and Manya
A  landscape architect, visualization expert and a DJ, Mayank Anand, aka DJ Monks, manages his professions effortlessly. A happy-go-lucky guy, he’s the father of two lovely daughters – Nirvi and Manya. Always looking to be the best version of himself, in a candid chat, we found out all about his parenting skills. 

How has becoming a father changed your life?
Well, there comes a sense of possession and responsibility after having a child. Having them has changed the way I think, my outlook toward my future goals, and it definitely grounded me. My choices have changed, and so has my regard towards people. 

What makes you proud of your daughters?
Nirvi is extremely fluent in English with astonishing new words. Her vocabulary is fab, and she loves cartoons and animated movies. Manya is too young to speak right now, but is bubbly, kind, and soft-hearted. I love that even without us teaching them this, they have picked up these virtues.

How would you rate yourself as a father?
I’d give myself five stars! (Smiles) But on a serious note, I can’t rate myself. I do what I can, I do it the best. I just hope it’s enough for them. 

What is the most difficult part of being a dad?
It’s the easiest part of the day. You have to be there for them the way they want you to be. Once you’ve figured that out, it’s not only easy but also the most fruitful part of your day. Especially when you are blessed with two beautiful girls.         - Anahita