An Interview with a Father

Updated: Apr 11

“Dad! You have to look into the camera!”

Ananya walked over to the sofa and tried to fix her father’s posture. “Sit straight, face that way, look into the lens when you are answering.”

Her dad fumbled around for a bit before laughing and giving up. “Alright, Miss Director. I’m in your hands. Direct away.”

“Please take this seriously.” Ananya said.

“I thought this was going to be sort of a Father’s Day present. Isn’t it? Aren’t you going to record me and then cut up pieces of my interview to make a lovely little video about how wonderful I am so that I can forward it to all of my friends and rub their noses in my success as a father?” Subroto asked his daughter.

“No, this is not a gift. This is a medium for a daughter to get to know her father better.” Ananya repeated for the 5th time.

“By medium you mean a complete rip-off of Vogue’s 21 Questions with a celebrity.” Subroto replied with a smirk.

“Maybe I should interview Mumma.” Ananya said.

“Ha-ha, okay, I give up. Go on, ask your questions.” Subroto said.

“Okay, so, you understand the purpose of the interview?” Ananya asked.

“Yes, the interview is your ‘fun’ way of getting to know your father as a person rather than the role I have been playing in your life.” Subroto said.

“Nailed it, now just keep up this level of quality in all your answers and we’ll be done in no time.” Ananya said.

Subroto began to question the purpose out loud if Ananya wanted to be done with the interview as soon as possible but decided to go with the flow. Ananya began her questions, “What do you do for a living?”

Subroto said, “I make travel documentaries for a really underrated and not so well-known company, it is called National Geographic.”

“Good way to brag.” Ananya said with a grin. “How did you get into this profession?” she continued.

“I was the founding member of the filmmaking society of my college, we didn’t have a lot of technical know-how at the time, but we did know our cities quite well. We used to take the bus and go all the way from Karol Bagh to Chandni Chowk interviewing people left and right until we got a good story to base our narrative on. I kept doing that after college and soon found myself working for a magazine which led to a job for a news channel which led to this one.” Subroto said.

“What are your top five travel essentials?” Ananya asked.

“Hmm…this is a good question. My camera has to be the first thing, for sure. The fanny pack you hate- “

Ananya cut him off saying, “It looks terrible Dad. You like one of those American Grandmas from the stock photos on Google.”

“The one you hate but is very useful to keep your money and passport safe, as I was saying. Safety and utility over aesthetics darling, you learn that as you grow older and wiser.

Third, my swim trunks and fourth, oh! My Outer Woods bag. Not only is it incredibly useful but it also looks smart and stylish.”

“I thought you were all about utility over aesthetics.” Ananya retorted.

“A thing can have multiple qualities daughter. For example, you are wonderful and annoying. Similarly, my Outer Woods bag can carry two bottles, keep them chilled, and match all my outfits by being a beautiful but neutral aqua in color.” Subroto replied.

Ananya said, “Alright, so what is your 5th travel essential?”

Subroto said, “Okay so,

Ananya rolled her eyes and said, “Which is your favorite travel destination?”

“Mangalore, definitely. The trip we took, your mother and I, was the best one I’ve ever been on.” Subroto said.

“You have been to 109 countries and Mangalore as in Mangalore in Karnataka in India is your favorite place to travel to?” Ananya asked.

Subroto thought for a moment and then said, “Well, travelling is not so much about your destination. It is more about the experience of getting there. Your mother has accompanied me on every single one of my trips to Mangalore and the White Wine Spritzers we share on every train ride there talking and laughing are some of the best memories I have as a person. I know you will say this is cringey or oh Dad that is so embarrassing, but it is true.”

Ananya stared at her father for a second and smiled, then she said, “Next Question.”

People don't take trips, trips take people.” - John Steinbeck

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