Monday, December 6, 2010

Being Baba

Maintaining two sets of lies isn't easy, especially when you don't believe in either one of them.

"It's going to be all right, don't worry", said Baba (my father) to me in March 2005 when I was detected with Breast Cancer, Stage III at the age of 29.

"Oh it's just for a few days", said Baba to Aai (my mother) in April 2005 when she had to go in for her first dialysis after a complete renal failure at the age of 58.

He was economical with truth.

How does one break the news to a daughter that it is going to be a long treatment full of insufferable chemo-therapies, extended surgeries and surplus radiations on a very long road to recovery. The fact that she was unmarried and living alone in a metro was too much for any father to bear. He told me the truth in due course of time.

How does one break the news to a wife when she innocently asks "how long do I have to take dialysis done" that these rounds of dialysis were just the beginning and would graduate from being a weekly affair to twice or thrice a week soon. There was no scope of a kidney transplant as her heart was beating at only 30% of its capacity. He told her the truth in due course of time.

He shuttled between Mumbai and Hubli for 9 months. He would take an afternoon appointment for her dialysis. Sit with her for four hours, holding hands. Drop her back home in the care of my brother (who had just started his business with family savings hence couldn't leave the city) and take the night bus from Hubli to Mumbai. Head straight to Tata Memorial Hospital where my Chemos would start at 9:00 am. Be with me through that. Take me back to my rented apartment. Take care of me for the next 6 days.

On the 6th night he would take the midnight train which reached Hubli the next afternoon around 3:00pm, well in time for Aai's next dialysis.

He did this for 9 months without fail. For two women who meant the most to him.

His greatest joy was taking me home in November 2005 for Diwali. His whole family was together, at one place. He slept well.

I lived to tell this story, Aai (mother) couldn't.

I called him up this morning. He sounded groggy and tired. I asked him if he was all right. He said "Yesss, I am fine". My sister in law tells me, he hasn't slept the whole night due to some discomfort in his eyes as he has just had a cataract operation.

He still lies, my Baba!

Aai, Baba & Me in 2000


  1. :) he is like that only

    :( i know u miss ur baba a lot

  2. Strangely I dedicated the post I wrote today to my Dad. He lives with me through the memories I have...some really vivid and some beginning to fade

  3. Today is a day of co-incidences...
    yes dads have that special ur post...sorry I didn't know but am sure he is smiling from where he is and looking at u n the idlis with equal affection.

  4. If only all lies were for the good of others.. Sounds like a wonderful person.. :)

  5. he is :) thanks for visiting.
    how i wish all lies were just for the good of others!

  6. i wanted to say something to add, but i guess they would be another set of lies. i will let it be.
    be well.

  7. u said a lot via those 3 sentences :) health n happiness to u n ur loved ones. thx for dropping by.

    am looking at 'snooze abuse' and I want to read more...

  8. such a beautiful tribute to a 'dad'.

  9. he is a wonderful person. thx :)

  10. :'( such a wonderful post...


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