When I start to scribble about my father, words fail me. He means so much to me that emotions are just psychedelic when I think of our days together. His razor sharp, analytical and scientific bent of mind is what I inherited and learnt to use the skill sets from him. With him, I grew up in the rich world of art and culture, love and laughter.
My father, like most Bengalis, was extremely creative. He was into theatre, gaining accolades in drama and elocution. In fact, I owe my share of theatre and elocution talent and time to my father.
A few of his habits that he passed on to me are evergreen and will last my lifetime. His habits of spending his time reading, writing, travelling and listening to music.
His everlasting memory etched in my mind is his waking up at 4 in the morning on the day of Mahalaya* (মহালয়া) to tune in to the All India Radio for Birendra Krishna Bhadra’s rendition of Mahisasura Mardini** (মহিষাসুর মর্দিনী). No television could take him away from his Murphy radio at the time.
When I was small my father would perch me on the basket of his bicycle and go about doing his chores. Like listening to the radio, cycling was his passion. Although I couldn’t learn cycling from him, I learnt driving. I also learnt the value of money and he made me realise that life was richer when the morals and ethics drove the persona.
My father was into indoor games as well. He was a state level bridge player and much sought after by the international bridge clubs. But he never had the time for it. I learnt to play carom, chess and bridge from him on our holidays together.
Much later in life I realised that we had more than adequate money which he spent on our expensive education, books and on several activities that honed our talents. A simple man with few needs and even fewer wants, he hardly spent anything on himself.
A true believer of gender equality, my father supported me in all that I did. He allowed me to experiment and never fell short on advise.
In a nutshell, my guru (teacher), my ‘go to man’ and my idol. A man in whom I saw what sacrifice, unconditional love and affection meant. My father. My pride.
[*Mahalaya is the last day of offering tribute to our departed forefathers and the beginning of the rise of Durga. **Mahisasura Mardini is a form of Goddess Durga, the killer of demon in Vedic mythology).]