Thinking beyond an archetypal family, 42 years-old single dad from Kolkata opted surrogacy to revive his unfulfilled fatherhood besides keeping his wife in memoirs. As Abhishek Paul says, “I’d buried my unborn child and cremated my wife on the same day. I was only 31. It was an unsettling feeling and I had to come to terms with the strength of the grief. Life has meandered through difficult circumstances and the void left by my wife can never be replaced. Like a mother carries her child in her womb, a father carries a child in his mind”.
Experiencing fatherhood so closely and then losing everything all at once left him in despair. “The pandal was ready for the baby shower. The stem cell kit was delivered. We both had big plans. I could feel the excited father inside me who wanted to touch his child desperately,” he lamented.
Even though by circumstance he could never bring back his wife in flesh and blood, he still had a choice to fulfill his dream of becoming a father through scientific help.“I felt my child’s first kick. I wanted to give birth without having introduced another lady in my life. So, I opted for in vitro fertilization (IVF),” he said.
A single father walks over the questions of his sexuality, potency as well as fidelity. He too was mocked at with the lame interrogations like ‘Are you a gay?’ or ‘Don’t you get erection?’ Abhishek was up for multifaceted challenges that came along his way.
From duly medications to updating himself with information, he did it all. In fact, he had also braced himself up to face unpleasant questions of society. “I had to keep myself fit and healthy to get the IVF results perfect. At times, I went through medications too. I had to take injections to keep the sperm count at check. Even after every little care, my first attempt of IVF failed. The good news came at the second go. Later, on 32 weeks of pregnancy I was told that I am going to be the father of twins,” he smiled.
Before deciding to go for surrogacy Abhishek had to counsel himself and prepare answers to face those gut-wrenching questions which was scoffed at him by the society for choosing the road less taken.“I will teach them to address every other woman on earth as their mother irrespective of age, caste and creed. At a certain age, I will disclose to them about their journey to my life so that they can face the world bravely and need not shy away from situation,” he concluded.
Author Nibedita Sen is a Defence Correspondent turned Fact-checker, now associated with Alt News. Nibedita is awarded by the Government of Goa, two times for her contribution in the field of Media and Journalism.