Friday, October 17, 2008

Me & my Parents...... Reunion !!!

The past one month has been very busy. My parents are here with me after so many years. Infact, this is the first time we are spending so much time together in more than 25 years…..sounds unreal na !!! But its true. How time flies….. snap of a finger & its gone…all of so many years. At times, I feel like travelling back…into the past…unfolding & opening up on what I’ve been silent for so many years. Guess, I will pen down a ‘down the memory lane’ on these bygone years in a separate column. Watch out for some real comedy of errors, melodrama, horror or har –har stories, struggle, et al. It’s going to be a real long story…so I’ll go year by year….. that itself is more than 25 episodes….Gawd!!! Guess it will be one episode a week. So bear with me pls!!!

Baba is 86 years now & Maa is almost 80. Our home, named ‘Ashroy’( meaning, a place for shelter), is at Kalyani, a remote town in West Bengal (about 76 kms on road from Kolkata). My elder sister (happily married with a college going son to manage) also stays in Kalyani about two kilometers away from my parents. Kalyani is a small industrial town in the dist of Nadia, West Bengal. The 1st CM of West Bengal, Mr Bidhan Chandra Roy, a great visionary, gave birth to the township of Kalyani, in Nadia & Salt Lake City, in Calcutta. He was a legendary physician, a distinguished Congress leader, an educationist and a philanthropist. He became the chief minister of West Bengal and transformed it from a problem state into a prosperous one. He was a leader whose advice Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhbhai Patel always relied upon. He focused on infrastructure at a time when very few people realized the importance of it. Unfortunately, his work then has not been managed well by the subsequent leaders, & the townships are losing their shine due to lack of proper maintenance. However, Kalyani still is a beautiful, quiet & green place.

A few months back, Maa went to the bathroom in the middle of the night to attend to nature’s call. She tripped & fell & suffered a bad blow on the left side of her head. Swelling & some internal bleeding led to almost a complete paralysis of her left side. She was bed ridden for more than two months, unable to even move. For someone who I can’t remember having been bed ridden ever, it was a torture. Doctors had almost given up, but I knew she would pull this off. I spoke to Guruji & his blessings were enough for me to believe so. I spent about a week with her & she showed remarkable improvement. She responded quite well to the physiotherapist & medicines. Today she walks on her own, does almost all that she has been doing over the years, by herself. She really has been my biggest strength over the years. Throughout my growing years & even now, she has always encouraged me to follow my heart…chase my dreams…..take risks in life. When I was a kid, she would sit with me after I came back from school, & tell me inspiring stories(all this, just to hold me from running out in the afternoon to play). I heard all about Ramayan, Mahabharat,Bhagwat Gita, Indian Independence from the British, Swami Vivekananda & so many more. She is extremely patient & always smiling. She's known to speak very less(everyone says so), but with me, I feel she enjoys speaking. I feel her silent support always. Incidentally, inspite of getting all the punishment from Baba, it was Maa, I was always scared of. I could never lie to her.

Baba is more agile than men half his age. He loves speaking. Give him an audience & he will take off. He can talk endlessly on almost any topic. In his salad days, he was very serious about everything…..always very disciplined & thorough in planning. In fact, more often than never, I would end up on the wrong side of his choices & he would get very upset. I still remember, he coming back after a hard day’s work, there would invariably be someone waiting for him to complain about me & my pranks. This would certainly get him angry & I would be at the receiving end of his ire. It was almost a daily affair..… someone complaining about me & I getting punished. Baba had a very short fuse. Baba is much mellowed down today. I guess, the lush green & cool breeze of Kalyani has had its effect. He still manages to ride a bicycle once in a while, in the lanes of Kalyani. He still finds the energy to do gardening. Sometimes he forgets that he needs to slow down & has to be actually told to do so. His enthusiasm is really awe inspiring. Today he spends a lot of his time with Ramkrishna Mission. He meditates a lot as well.