on becoming a father …

After I became a father, the one question that has been asked most frequently is, of course, "So, how does it feel to be a father?". It’s impossible to describe that feeling in words, but here are a few things so you get the hint:

  1. When you have just become a father, it’s okay to walk down the road with a completely silly smile slapped on your face. You can’t control it any way, so why bother!
  2. Compared to the experience of becoming parents, the experience of being married is like holding a candle to the sun.
  3. The one thing that you will want to do is sit next to the baby and just keep looking at her. Go ahead and do that, it’s amazing … you’ll never notice how time flies by.
  4. And an important thing to remember: Try not to fight with your spouse about who gets to hold the baby more!

accord with Hrithik?

Seems that umbilical cord blood banking in India received some starry recognition recently. There’s also a rather informative general discussion about it on Slashdot.

I haven’t made up my mind about it yet, but I am pretty sure it’s all a waste of money for the following reasons:

  • It smells like a scam … just like ULIPs, endowments, child plans, etc:
    • “Do it for the kids!”
    • “You need it. We know better.”
  • Nobody really knows whether and how long cord cells can remain viable in cryogenic storage.
  • Recent research indicates that it will soon be practical to reprogram somatic cells to do what you need … basically researches have managed to use cells from skin, teeth, bone marrow in rather interesting regeneration procedures, like reconstructing a windpipe using stem cells from the bone marrow.
  • The cord cells have the same genetic defects as the child, so they can’t be used to treat leukemia etc.

Given all this, it makes quite a lot of sense to donate those cord cells, either to a public bank, or to stem cell research, rather than spending money on storing them. In the long term, it seems the preserved cord cells will be mostly unnecessary. But I don’t think either of these alternatives are very interesting in India yet!