Friday, January 12, 2007

MY FATHER

Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Time: 10.20 pm.
" Baba, there is no laminated brown paper to cover my Biology project file."
This was what I told my father the night before submitting my project file. I had thought that there was enough laminated brown paper in the house, but I was wrong. I told my father that we would remove the cover from another project file very carefully and use it for the Biology project file. But he did not agree . Since my marks were related to this project, he immediately put on his clothes and went out at that time of the night to buy the required brown paper. We were lucky. The shop was still open and and he got the brown paper. But he did not complain even once, nor did he scold me. His only concerns were me and my marks. That evening, we had already been to the market once, but I didn't know about the brown paper then. It was my fault. I should have noticed. My father had to take up the pain and go to the market just because of ME.
My father is jsut like this. Incidents, such as the one mentioned above, have happened before too. But everytime, my father came to my rescue. Baba is absolutely a family man. He specially loves to spend time with me. As soon as he comes home from office everyday, I jump and give him a big hug, scratch is beard and pull his moustache. I also mess up his hair. Although he tries to protest, I don't stop. I even start tickling him. He tries to counter- attack, but is not successful every time. He never says it, but I know that he loves all this. I just know that he won't be able to stay calm even if I stop doing this for one evening. in this world will Baba talks to himself sometimes. When he is alone in a room, doing something, you can hear him murmuring to himself. He also murmurs in and even sometimes on the road. If he and Mammam come from opposite directions on the road, he looks at Mammam and then walks past, without recognizing her! So, he is a bit mad, but that, according to me, is also his special quality.
When I was in class two, Baba was transferred to Balugaon in Orissa. I mentioned in one of my previous post that it was very difficult for us back at Kolkata. But it was also difficult for my father. He had to live all alone. At least, Mammam and I were together at Kolkata, but who was there at Balugaon? Still, Baba managed to live there for one-and-a-half years without complaining about anything, even for one day. He would call us every night. I remember waiting anxiously for his phone-call. As soon as the phone would ring at about 9.30, I would run and pick up the receiver and say ' Baba' without saying 'Hello' first. I just knew it was his phone. I have been mistaken very few number of times. Baba stayed with us after his tranfer to Kolkata for three years. Then, he was again transferred, this time to Guntur in AP. This was even more difficult, as he was away for 3 years. This time too, it was just as difficult for him , as it was for us. But, he found a nice rented flat for himself and settled down well. In course of time, he learnt how to cook. He actually learnt how to live alone. I know that it was very difficult, having no one to open the door when he came back from office, to cook good food for him and most importantly, to share his feelings. He used to call us every night , but he did not let us realize for one moment that he was lonely there. This time, our new slogan was "O Baba, heh heh Baba" and we used to say it on the phone every night. We used to say it 5 times on one particular night and then, the number would increase to 10 on the next night, 15 on the night after that and so on, till it reached 50. After that, we would again start from five.
The most difficult part would come when Baba would go back to Guntur after coming home for a week or so. We used to get up very early to escort him to the taxi stand. After that, when I would enter our study, I would find it all neat and clean, very unlike what it is in Baba's presence.
Baba used to come home from Guntur once in two-three months. One such homecoming was in August 2004. But when we heard our calling bell and opened the door, we found Baba standing there with a peculiar expression on his face. We quickly brought him inside the house and discovered that he was very sick and exhausted. But we couldn't make out what had gone wrong. So, we took him to his physician who said that Baba would have to be admitted to a hospital. Baba had suffered a mild cerebral attack.For four days, he was in the hospital. He was recovering, but those four days were hellish.Not just those four days, the month after that when he stayed on at Kolkata to take rest, were hellish. Nothing seemed to be cheerful, beacuse Baba was ill. Both Mammam and I wanted him to get well soon. I had had experiences of someone else in my family falling sick and my father always rising to the situation. But this time he himself was ill. We could help Baba, but his physical pains were only his. We could not share them. Mammam did everything that she could to help Baba and it rent my heart to see them both suffering together. Why did God not punish me then, in some inexplicable way? I could have tolerated the pain, but why did my great Baba suffer? He does not deserve what he got.
I guess the only problem with Baba is that he snores very loudly.And there is a wide range of sounds that he can produce while snoring. If one finds different pages of the newspaper lying in different parts of the drawing room, then it becomes obvious that my father had been reading it.
Last word: " Dear Baba, to describe you very briefly, you are THE BEST. I can live without you for 3 years, but that life is very strange. It's like one part of my body staying at Kolkata and the other part going away with you wherever you go. It's not that Mammam doesn't fulfill my requirements when you are not here, but you yourself, is a big requirement for me. I am so lucky again that you are my father. Life has been very different and colourful because you have made it that way. Thank you and love you always."

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

what to say....well you reminded me of my dad...fathers are a strange character indeed. They would be the funniest people around but would somehow always make you feel secure. I remembered the incident when he would stay up the night with me helping me finish my home work, mending my shoes with his own hands...

God bless you bacha....I wish your father a healthy and very long life.

Subhadip said...

Great post! Speaks volumes of your love for your father.

Just don't like the pulling his moustache part. From experience, that is about the most irritating thing that you can do to a man with a moustache.

Anonymous said...

Very very nice post.
Dads are special. I miss mine so much ever since I have come here. And last minute runs to the market is probably something every Dad has to put up with.
Since there are so many parts of this post that I have seen unfold in front of my eyes, it was very poignant to read about them here. I have seen "Heh heh Baba", and your violent love inflicted on your Baba and his beard and mustache the moment he returns home from work. And as I have said always, "That must hurt!"
Your Baba is an ultra special person. We have had, as you know, innumerable memorable conversations. And he will always be an important part of my life as well.
Stay happy...both of you.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea why my comment came signed "anonymous"!

Anonymous said...

I really liked this post. :-)

Anonymous said...

Man, what an incredibly sweet post. Really. I hugged Dad this evening too. Its just amazing to see your Dad take all pains for you, address the dumbest of one's 'luxuries' and...well all that usually follows. Surprisingly, they hardly ever expect anything in return.
You're right..they sure are an inseparable part of anyone's life. I loved reading this post.
Dads rock! =)

Butterfly said...

@kanu
My father read your comment. He was very happy. So am I. :)
@subhadip
"From experience", you say? Then do you have a moustache too?
My mother just couldn't stop laughing when I told her your about your comment.
@woodsmoke
What a lovely comment! Baba was very happy to read this.





@richa bhardwaj
Thank You:)

@rohit talwar
You are right. Dads don't expect anything in return. They indeed rock!

Anonymous said...

touched :)


This post reflect only love :)

Butterfly said...

@chitrangada
Thanks:-)

Woodsmoke said...

By the way, I don't remember whether I wrote this to you in email or not. I wanted to let you know that the way you started this post, with a dialogue, was a very effective medium. It immediately contextualized a setting for your readers and that was great. Good piece of writing there. Keep it up, baby.

~ Deeps ~ said...

excellent post...........

Amiya said...

Awesome, awesome post. Loved it beyond words. Am touched.

Butterfly said...

@Woodsmoke
Thanx.:-)
I'll try to do it again.

@Deeps
Thank you. :-)

@Amiya Didi
Thankx.:-)