16.7.10

You the man, Dad!

ok so the last post was rotting away for a while and I just thought I'd dust it up and put it out there. This brand new post is about whats gone down in the past few weeks.

As my 4 regular readers are aware, I was laid low by ye olde Swine flu for a few days. Apparently my sister picked it up from God-knows-where and then was generous enough to share it with the whole family. The biggest irony of this is that my sis is one of those super paranoid new mothers who wanted to ensure that nothing would make the baal baaka of her precious son, my nephew and so during the Swine flu scare many months ago, would take endless precautions in terms of hygiene and remained housebound for a majority of that time. And sure enough Uncle Murphy comes along to screw things up. So four out of the 5 people in the house at the time are down with the Piggy flu - the only one not affected being Dad.

Being that my sis was in the hospital and then subsequently advised to be in isolation, my nephew was staying with us in the interim. The kid is adorable but like all kids there are times when they get annoying and tiresome. Stop booing! You know I'm right. Despite being away from his mum, I'd say the lil tyke held up remarkably well and I only felt like giving him an ulte haath ka twice in that 2 week period. The monster credit for all this goes to my Dad. At 63, the man is almost exactly twice my age but to see him keep my nephew entertained through all these days would make a younger man, who is almost exactly half his age, quite embarrassed about himself. In many ways the last couple of weeks was an eye opener of what he was like when we were kids. At that age, we of course couldn't remember how he took care of us except for some stray memories. But to see him with my nephew brought back memories from more than 2 decades ago.

He'd play with him, feed him, talk to him, sing silly songs and take him for walks around the building everyday. All those silly songs were usually sung when he'd have to put my nephew to sleep and these are the same songs all of us have heard as kids. There is the odd moment when me or one of my siblings would pass by their room and hear those songs and I know secretly inside we are all smiling and remembering those days of our youth when he'd sing for us too. I remember back in the 80's when we used to stay in the government colony in Bandra East (the non-hip sibling of the Westside which it is even today). Power-cuts were quite frequent in those years in Bombay and I remember many a night when my father would fold up the newspaper and keep the temperature bearable for us by waving it over us right through the night all the while singing those songs.

The songs also take me back to another time. This particular colony we stayed in was located quite close to the notorious Behrampada slums which was a sensitive area back then and to some extent even today. I remember the situation had become particularly tense in 1984 when there were communal riots which took place in Bhiwandi (about 40 kms outside Bombay) and these tensions had spread into areas like Behrampada where the riot police was called in and for a couple of nights everyone staying in a 3 km radius was extremely tense about what would happen if things went out of control. Those few nights were interesting coz the entire family was gathered and sitting on the floor of the living room. As a 6 year old it was interesting only because it meant we were hanging about together at a time when I should be in my room sleeping. Of course it was many years later that I came to know that we spent those evenings and nights sitting on the living room floor to avoid any stone throwing by the rioters or worse stray bullets from the cops.

Anyway back to Pitahshree... I think most kids come to a point in their lives when they realize their father is not the superman they thought him to be. I came to this realization many years ago but every so often he'll pull the odd rabbit out of the hat and stun the hell out of me. There have been so many instances over the year where he's done stuff which any other person would chhati thok ke say, "Yes, I am responsible for such-and-such good thing happening...". But not my dad. I've rarely met someone who chooses to fly as under the radar as he does and in many ways I do the same as well. And therein lies the irony now... from a time when I wanted to be something more and better than the old man, I have in some tiny ways become kind of like him.
A long while ago an ex-colleague of mine and I were drinking one night and he was regaling me with some hilarious stories about his jovial and kinda eccentric dad when he stops in the middle and goes, "Shit man... I've also become just like my father man...". It's like he couldn't believe it and wasn't really sure when exactly he'd started mirroring his dad. I still smile when I remember his slightly baffled expression from that night.

And then I think about what he said in my own context and father and... It's not so bad.
You the man, Dad! :)

2 comments:

Thresia said...

Heya!

You've been awarded something!

You'll accept it, and do what you're told. Mmmkay?

Blackfayth said...

Ooh loving the bossy tone :D

And thanks but how about telling me I'm being awarded for...