My early memories of Baba are not very pleasant. I was extremely scared of him. I was a really mischievous kid. I hated studying and any activity that involved sitting at home. I would constantly be out of our house in Bombay. I would mostly be with the boys, playing carrom, chess, cricket, badminton, table-tennis, anything but dolls. The only thing I could imagine doing with the dolls was to use them as a target when I would practice bowling in our small house. Once as I was doing that I broke the doll into two pieces, my sister loved that doll, she went and told my father and Baba immediately grounded me at home. Once his temper had cooled down, I picked up a table tennis ball and started hitting it against the wall with a bat. I hit the ball so hard that I cracked up the wall and Baba completely lost it. He almost had come close to slapping me that day but mother came to my rescue, as always. I don’t remember seeing my father so angry with me ever. After that day whenever dad came back from office I would pretend to be studying and he would believe it. Until of course I got my maths results after my third standard summer holidays. I had just about managed to pass. After that result my father would come back from office at nine in the night and take my maths studies. I would bribe mother to let me sleep before he came. Though he would come and wake me up and work with me for an hour. I was so petrified of him that I would want to say 4, when he asked me “two plus two”, but my tongue would always say five with nervousness. My sister and mother would look from the other room at my miserable face and always have a great laugh. After a few years though Baba would tell me that he was as bad at maths as I was.When he was in school, to prepare for his 5th standard Geometry paper he studied a geometric figure ABCD and its proof. In the exam though when he got the same sum with changed letters PQRS, it kind of confused him. When he had told all of us this I asked him, ” Why did you give me such a hard time, when I was younger?” He told me, ” I really didn’t want you to be as petrified of Maths as I was! Stop cribbing you did get better marks in your exams after I started teaching you.” I had to remind him, more than his teaching it was the fear of him that led me to do better.
|Amused at our dressing sense, are we?|
Baba loves his wife. It is not over the top Bollywood style of love. He has hardly written a letter or a romantic poem for my mother, or held her hand while walking in the park. His love is subtle,supportive and receptive. When he was in Delhi, he and mother had gone to attend a function in his bank. One of the lady employee there gave a great speech in English, and my father raved about how well she spoke. My mother isn’t extremely fluent in English. It is one of her dreams to be able to speak fluent English. So when they came home for the next two days mother was a little low and my father immediately realised what was on her mind. He gave me a call and told me to find an English speaking class in Pune and enrol mother in it. ” By the time I am back I want her to tell me, ” Go, do the dishes.” (In English) My mother always tells us that she would never worry about loyalty issues with Baba. Baba is extremely uncomfortable with female attention. He is shy and almost petrified of women. My mother always jokes with him saying, ” If you need a bodyguard give me a call.” Baba has great respect for my mother, for her sacrifices and the dreams she let go to let us fulfil ours. He always tells us she is the head of the family,not him. Her decision is the last word in the house and that has never been questioned by any of us.
|From Baba to Pops…We are quite chilled out now. :):)|
Happy Father’s Day Baba!!!