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Time just flew and while I was aware that this was always going to happen and was even reminded on a continual basis by family and friends before I knew the girl who was smaller than my hand grew up to my waist and is three years old.
Over the last three years, the father-daughter bond has deepened in a weird manner where she has started mocking me by making fun of the things I say to her, and each of my warnings against unwanted behavior is used as explicit permission to act that way. I also have some qualms against our society in general for not being explicit enough when they talk about “Terrible 2s and 3s” – The terrible part completely applies to the parents, and the kid is having the time of his/her life!
As a family, we have not only become more aware of each others presence, needs and nuances but somewhere along the line have also become more accepting of the same. Prisha’s favorite time of the day is ‘family time’ where she would make all of us sit together sharing juice box or have a meal together. She has also grown to be very diplomatic where she would claim to love one of us more than the other or the same based on the situation at hand.
We still have our challenges when we try to pretend like strangers to her in shopping malls as she throws a tantrum on not getting what she wants or when we have to run like a tiger is chasing us to catch her as she sprints towards a candy shop, small baby, cute dogs, mischievous squirrels, and the list goes on. Looking back and reading the preface of the first two books the future does not look as gloomy anymore and we would not trade the last three-plus years for anything in the world. Having a kid is magical but raising one is a reality check that each of us should face as we emerge stronger individuals, responsible couple and evolving parents.
We continue to click crazy amount of pictures of Prisha’s adventures and doesn’t look like that will ever stop and often steal a few quiet moments looking at the journey behind as we brace ourselves for the journey ahead.
When I started monthly letters to the family, I promised myself to write until Prisha can speak for herself and from that measure I should have completely halted halfway through this book! I hope that anyone who has read any of these books has smiled, giggled and cherished there own journey while some were terrified of having children.
Like the last time I cannot close the preface without a special mention to a few very special individuals - First and foremost, BIG thanks to my wife Arpana for keeping me grounded and Prisha disciplined(we are marginally successful and are still trying!). She has always been the more mature person in our relationship and often deals with two teenage kids in the house!
Cammie and Sue continue to be our companions on parenthood journey and have given us strength on many occasions to go on for one more day. They are also special in the sense that regardless of the gap in our calls/emails/chats we instantly connect and that’s what friendship is all about.
Once again my dear friend Stan was up for proofreading the book without a moment of hesitation. Even though Stan and I haven’t met as often as we would like he has and always will be the guy to whom I go with all my selfish asks with no guilt (strangely).
Giving birth, raising and grooming a child to be a member of our complicated society is probably the hardest thing in the world and each day is a struggle. At the same time watching your child run towards you and hold you like you are the most precious being in the world is more than worth the journey, and in many ways, it gives meaning and purpose to life as well.
Ankit is your average Dad taking hearty support from a belabored wife and superstar mom to make extrapolated claims of being the perfect spouse and father. He fails more often than he would like to admit and still gets rewarded by his loving wife and vivacious daughter much more than he should!
He is now retiring the ‘Close encounters’ series as his daughter can speak for herself while he continues to cherish the rollercoaster ride called ‘Parenthood’.