Relationships are the strangest and yet the most memorable when they break the shackles of being stereotype and traditional.. and such is a story about Me and Baba….

I had once asked Ma whether after having a much coveted daughter .. Baba ever wanted a son…
Ma had a loving look in her eyes when she answered that she had asked Baba the same thing a few weeks before my birth, to which Baba had smiled and replied that nothing on earth would make him more happy if the baby was normal healthy and a happy kid… Ma said she then knew that she had married the right Man…

Ma has numerous occasions to recite to support her decision of marrying Baba.. and then again numerous phases of amnesia to argue that had she known “this side” (the side differs each time mind you).. she would have never married him :P….. But I knew she would… they are just made for each other *touchwood*… but yea I’m digressing from the main characters of today’s narration… that’s Me and Baba….
Me and Baba have shared a very special bond right since begining…. while Didi was the apple of the eye… the pampered to rot one.. for being the only grand-daughter till I arrived… I was the one.. whose arrival made my swear that she’ll raise an independent kid… so while at the age of 6 months I was left on my high chair with my dinner to be stuffed into my mouth on my own… or being watched by a dog…. (yea she did it :P)…. or just being left till baba came home.. coz she was exhausted trying to make me sleep… Everyone who has seen me still vouches on how I refused to sleep without Baba’s “signature” lullaby…. 🙂 …..

Baba says he knew he had a difficult kid to raise when till the age of 5 I refused to call him anything but “Chakraborty uncle”.. my reason being that all other kids used to call him that….. he says that it was the first time he understood that scoldings .. beatings don’t work with me.. and what works is logic….. and that’s when he decided that he has a ‘challenge” in his hands 🙂

I have always been the “son Baba never had’…. right since childhood.. from helping him wash his car.. or assisting him while he fixed the broken transistor…or going to the fish market with him…. I was the one whom he had trained to fill his shoes… and there came the difference in our relationship…

While Didi was the “daughter” who had to be nurtured .. protected… I was the one with cropped hair and short-tees.. who was the fighter… who was the strong one who had to win every race…. so amidst those National Science Olympiads and Indian National Debate Scholar Find….. and ESPN STAR Cricket Quiz… I was the one whose defeat was not acceptable… and somehow just to see him smile I would fight till the end…

Baba was the one who gave me my first “introduction” to my passion…. Baba was the one who removed me away from it (n No I don’t old grudges against him… no matter what Pup says!!)…. Baba was the one who had built all dreams for me… and I had always seen life from his eyes….

Yes like all relationships… we have also had our rocky phases.. more so coz of the “father son” ego we share.. refusing to bow down and say sorry.. and then when we realise we were wrong.. silently accepting and without apologising.. picking up threads from where we left and moving on….
Baba was the one who taught me to fight…. but then again its because of the apprehension of seeing him dejected that I haven’t learnt to lose…. Baba is still the one who refuses to believe that there’s nothing which I cannot endure…. who refuses to acknowledge that a mere migraine attack can lead me down… Baba is the one who teaches me how to fight each battle with a smile…..

Although people say I’m akin to Ma’s personality I somehow feel more connected to my Baba with each passing day…. and although Didi claims to love him the most I feel that I understand him more…
I know when he’s not talking what’s going on in his mind.. and some days as he smokes out of the French windows and I silently go and stand with my Milk cup and ask him as to why is he thinking the particular thing… He looks at me awestruck and then we start talking like two mature adults…. two individuals who do not belong to different generations….

Those football matches in the mud.. those lessons of dribbling the Basketball.. those “panja” sessions.. those pillow fights…. those secret knowing that we “smoke”…. those mending things before Ma finds out…. those overlooking “overdrunk” moments… those waiting for each other silently…. those understanding why we “shout” and why we can’t “speak” out…. those letting me justify each stand of mine with logic…. those letting me fight yet protecting me because of my “feminism”.. that stoic feeling of refusing to let me grow… coz then he’ll have nobody to goof around with…. those broken promises coz of work pressure… those little treats despite work pressure…. that never attended PTA…. yet being my Career Counselor…. that’s what Baba is all about….

Often someone has asked me… if life would have been different had Baba treated me differently.. had I been able to talk back at him… I smile…. Few people including my sister still think that I don’t say anything over Baba coz I’m scared…. but in reality I don’t coz somewhere I know that a few years down the line that’s exactly how I’m going to think….. and trust me I know I’m going to ….
Here’s a man who refused to let me go alone to the relief camp…. but here is a man who let me travel the world all alone… coz his explanation was I knew that’s a battle you would win.. and he was right!!!!…

Those drives with “father Daughter talks”.. those nights with talks about what should rule the workplace- friendship or professionalism?.. to those counseling about marriage.. about what to give priority.. family or marriage…. Baba’s practicality awes me!!!!
Baba was the hero who lifted me up in the air and I knew that I would land safely in his arms without a doubt.. he was the one who could spin a football on his finger…. he is still the one who can drive hands down… Baba is still my Hero..there’s nothing which my Baba cannot do…

Yes he has failed me in certain ways.. esp in my eyes.. but as each day passes I try to forget them…. I try to forget that he was the one who discouraged me from indulging in my “passion”.. coz maybe somehow I still feel that I could have achieved a lot there… I disagree with him there…. I disagree with him a lot many times in the day… but then at the end when I’m tired.. and while Ma blames my attitude .. my over caring/over sensitive nature…. Baba never blames anything then… he saves it up for later… coz he knows that it’s then that a “you can do it’ does the wonder and not self picking…..

I know that he doesn’t exactly hate my ideas.. my rebellious nature.. my differently abled thoughts.. but I know he’s just scared.. scared of me not finding acceptance in this stereotypical society and also his inability to build a different society for myself.. I know that more than my Ma he wants me to select my own partner… coz he knows that no matter how understanding and adjusting I am…. I am a special child :)….

I am what I am.. coz of my zeal not to let you down… and I won’t ….. I promise… I may not have been the perfect daughter… but you have been the perfect Baba…. You are more than a Dad to this daughter … U r my tarpaulin who sets the fighting ground…. who on each fall… gives me the push to bounce back ….
I promise you that I shall never lose!!!! and that’s a Lady’s Promise :D….

(The mail today wouldn’t have arrived had you not pushed me to “prove’ myself… another challenge you made me win.. Thanks Baba)