Thursday, April 15, 2010

To Dear Papa

Happy Birthday!

It's my dad's birthday today according to the Hindu calendar. Interestingly, no one, not even he himself knows his real birthdate. No one knows neither his birthdate, nor the year. We just know his birthday according to the Hindu calender. It's the last day of the first Hindu month of Chaitra, and this year, it is today.

But we know one thing certainly, and that is that he was born. Because he is.

Today, I wish him many more such wonderful birthdays. I wish him health and happiness. I wish him peace of mind.

On this day, I want to salute the person that he is. His wealth of knowledge, his calm and quiet nature, his adherence to values, his punctuality, his constant and quiet support to what he feels is correct and right, and yet his stubbornness, his at-times whimsical nature, all make him what he is.

He is an English professor primarily. But he is also proficient in Sanskrit and Marathi. He has taught Sanskrit to junior college students. He has taught Marathi to German, American, and Indian students. It's amazing to see him literally play with these languages.

You will notice his mastery over all these languages when you hear him play with words as if juggling knives. He is apt to make you laugh with a few words spoken with a very straight face and a plain tone. His repartee is just unconquerable.

Obviously, if he is angry with you, the way he will show his displeasure is unique too. He'll seldom raise his voice. But what he will say will be such that you won't understand what has hit you until it's too late. And then too, he will have made you speechless. Beware, it could at times be quite nasty and possibly a below-the-belt attack. But you probably earned it.

Very recently, he did the MS-CIT course. His tremendous will power to learn about the world of computers is very admirable. And he passed that exam in flying colours. Hats off to you, Baba!

Moreover, like all men of his age, he is so much aware of his surroundings. He is up-to-date with the latest political happenings. He is also aware of the latest Bollywood gupshup. It's amazing how he finds time to know all that!

But there is one thing that he doesn't like much. He generally doesn't like watching movies. Especially if it is at home. If I make him go for a movie in a theatre, he will do that. But if you ask him to watch a movie at home, he will make some excuses. In fact, he will suggest a good movie that's on TV. He will watch it till the first advertisement break and then quietly slip off to read his books.

Yet, he has a few favourite movies: Sarfarosh, A Wednesday, Hum Aapke Hain Koun! And he never misses a single episode of the daily Marathi soap Agnihotra. He generally never stays up late after 11 in the night, but if he misses watching Agnihotra at prime time, he stays up to watch it at 11 p.m. That's his solidarity for his only favourite serial.

There's one another thing that he is amazing at. Baba loves to search for books on the footpath. He loves visiting the footpath-vendors who sell books; I call them that for a better name. His favourite one is the one who sells books on the Lakdi Pul. He has bought a wonderful collection of Perry Mason books, religious books, P. G. Wodehouse books, and other interesting books from him. And he will buy them at a meagre Rs. 20-30. It's such excitement when he comes home with a new Perry Mason book!

Baba loves listening to classical music. He is a fan of Pt. Vasantarao Deshpande, Pt. Kumar Gandharva, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi. But he also appreciates film songs-Hindi and Marathi as well as newer songs that are really worth it. His favourite song from the new generation music is the Kajra Re song. He simply loves it!

Today, on his birthday, I wish him lots of love! Love you, Papa!


  1. Yay! Happy birthday to your dad, Peeves.
    And English professor, huh? With a command over two other languages?! No wonder you have such good language skills :) What fun to inherit a love of word-play or a passion for any art form from a parent, na?

  2. Three Cheers to uncle!!

    Hip Hip Hurray!
    Hip Hip Hurray!!
    Hip Hip Hurray!!!

    Happy Birthday :)

  3. Convey my belated birthday wishes to your dad. He seems to be a very interesting person to know... would like to meet him some day.