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January 17, 2016

Memories of my Father

It was Diwali vacation in 8th std. and with very little else to do but play cricket,play cricket we did,(I and my elder brother),for hours on end in our 2nd floor hall. In that hall ,there were only 2 things breakable – tube light and wall-clock made up of glass. As story would have it, I hit one of those helicopter shots (hahahaha) just kidding 
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 I struck the ball high , a direct hit on the wall-clock and its impact shattered the glass cover . It was around 3 pm, I had just broken a glass wall clock and as we were not sure how to break this news to our Dad and what to expect in reprimand, it felt like end of time. If we told him that the glass cover of the timepiece broke because of a cricket ball , well we could kiss playing indoor cricket goodbye forever. So the stakes were very high. With the wall clock broken, our game was suspended indefinitely, but time was ticking– tick tick tick and it was 4:10 already ,we kept thinking of any other way of explaining how that glass cover could have shattered. 4:40 .. bingo.. finally an idea , right below the wall clock, there was a bed on which we kept several spare mattresses , and as is customary in India, to dust those mattresses , we need to use a big wooden stick and hit it hard. So this was our story ‘ today afternoon, we (I and my brother) decided to clean those mattresses, and when I raised my arms holding the wooden stick to hit the mattress, accidentally during the reverse movement, the stick hit the glass cover of the wall clock and broke it. What an ingenious story it was, only a child could come up with that. Satisfied that we had a fool proof story in hand, we eagerly awaited for Dad to arrive from work. Dad arrived at 5 pm and while having his evening tea, I gradually opened up the conversation – “ Baba, (Dad), I think I have caused you considerable financial damage “ . Baba “ kese bara” (in what way) . I “ I broke the glass on the 2nd floor wall clock, but it was an accident “ Before I could go any further, Baba interrupted “ don’t worry about it, we will get the glass-cover replaced ” . That’s it .. I don’t recollect if I felt relief at the situation being diffused so easily or disappointed that I never got to use the story that I had so beautifully crafted. hahahaha:-)

My father was like that, appeared very strict and uncompromising , but was very gentle and accommodating in reality. And our relationship with my father transformed as we grew from children to teenagers to adults , he was strict with us as children, easy-going as teenagers and forgiving as adults. And I even narrated this episode to him a few years ago.
And by the way we did get the cover of the wall clock replaced, and later when we played in that hall , we just dismounted the clock , kept it in a cupboard.

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