Wednesday 6 February 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 36

Remembering Bapujee…
5.2.2013, Mumbai

Today is my father’s death anniversary. 30 years ago father left for his heavenly abode in 1983.

I grew up in a large joint family filled with siblings, nephews and nieces. It was a small apartment packed with adults and children where meals were always a three tier affair- first the children, then men folk and finally the women. Father was the patriarch, the final authority on all matters but he was no dictator. On the contrary all of us looked forward to his daily training and lessons of life.

It was father who taught us how to brush our teeth, how to rinse our mouth and scrub our faces. We were trained to save energy and water as children, tutored to always drink water before tea and never leave home with an empty stomach. He watched our posture when we walked and sat and if he found any of us stooping he would hit us hard on our back until we walked straight. We were made to value money, time and relationships.

He set ground rules for everything…Our table manners and most important how we behaved, we were never allowed to back talk our elders. Father instilled in us courage and confidence, made us self reliant. We were pulled up when we were careless and disorderly. He emphasized on concentration and added that change of work is recreation and he practiced everything he preached…

(Excerpted from My Father, My Hero page 213 in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Indian Fathers)

Bhawana Somaaya/

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