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- Henna Rakheja henna.rakheja@htlive.com

A s a father, how much time do you spend with your child? “A father, on a busy working day (as per research), gets an average of five minutes of one-to-one time with the child — meaning the time when he’s not on his smartphone, etc.,” says Dr Prashant Jindal, an Ophthalmic surgeon based in London. Wonder why an eye doc is talking about father child relationsh­ips? Jindal’s book One Minute Super Dad, published by HarperColl­ins, is the answer. “The book was a bestseller in the UK five years ago, and did well in the US, too,” says Jindal, who has now re-written the book for Indian readers. “I have lived in the West for over a decade, and understand Indian as well as Western values. Many pressures are unique to Indian parents, such as commuting for long hours, [taking] stressing over [their] children’s career, among several other things. All these need a slightly different perspectiv­e. Hence, the need to rewrite the book for India.”

Born in Punjab, the author shifted and came to Delhi at the age of eight and lived here for about 15 years till he took admission in a medical college. “I have travelled the length and breadth of Delhi on a motorbike, running from one tuition to the other,” says the alumnus of St Stephen’s College, Delhi University. Today, he frequently flies back to Delhi from Birmingham.

“Once when my daughter was young, I had a friend who came to live with us and would usually meet us at the dining table for meals. After a few days, my daughter started calling me ‘Uncle’, too. It was shocking how a child made mental connection­s between two individual­s who usually spend time outside the house,” recollects Jindal, who then decided to work on his relationsh­ip with his daughter, and took to writing the book.

“The essence of the book is what to say or do in those five minutes (that you spend with your child) that can connect you with your kid. This includes delivering inspiring messages, and when consistent­ly done, it affects the subconscio­us programmin­g of the child to do the right thing,” he says, adding, “Quantity time is certainly important, but if time available is genuinely less, it’s our duty to acquire the skills to make those few minutes count.”

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