Dad, or Papa as I call him, arrived in town last week and therefore my slight lack of time. He’s in town for just a few days and it’s been quite interesting to have him around. One thing about Papa is that he flowers when Mum is not around. He’s talkative, chatty and engages everyone in some kind of conversation or another.
Also, having read a lot through his life (newspapers, mainly; he subscribes to about 6-7 of them back home) he always has some information to share about anything under the sun. I’ve been introducing him to my circle of friends in Bangalore and he seems to be taking it all quite well in his stride. Back home, however, I feel he’s a little different. More reticent and not so free.
There’s also that slight shift in the equation in our relationship now. Earlier, I would not really bother to introduce him to any of my friends (especially the guys) since I’d be scared that he wouldn’t like them. Or it was mainly out of rebellion. Or that he’d scare them away 🙂 In that phase of my life (especially in college), I didn’t want to share anything, including my life and friends.
Now, it’s pretty different. Last Friday, I took him to Shiok for crab (again!) with Deki and hubby, Retisaint and Ree for company and we had a really enjoyable evening over a few drinks and Madman’s delicious food.
A few years ago, I couldn’t even imagine a friend over for a drink and Papa giving company. On Sunday evening, I called over a friend who wanted to taste Assamese food. Dad cooked a dish called khar, I cooked fish. They had a few drinks. A long discussion over dinner ensued while I kept the fish fry and chicken drumsticks happening on their plates. Another 2 friends joined in well after 10.30 pm. If my mother was there, she would have thrown the biggest fuss and probably ex-communicated all of us 🙂
Interestingly, a friend who came home on Friday evening asked if my dad influenced me in any way. And I guess, I have to admit that in more subtle ways he has over the years (besides my inheriting some of his really bad habits like collecting junk!).
The other thing that I only appreciate today (and didn’t really realize the value of earlier) is that he’s never ever forced my sister or me to do anything. He does offer his opinion upfront about everything we do, but he never forces or has forced us to do anything he wanted. And I do realize that it has been one of his greatest strengths in bringing up the two of us. Mom on the other hand is very vociferous about her opinions. In fact, anything to the contrary, and she would be upset for days (even years!).
This is a gem from Papa (he keeps sharing these tidbits on different occasions!). The more I think about it, the more I feel it’s true (ladies and gentlemen, do correct me if you feel otherwise :-).
My friend and Papa were having his conversation about life, marriage and other such affairs of the heart when he told her that are basically two kinds of women (from men’s point of view) : the ones who are coy, shy, coquettish and are basically helpless (or act that way) : Type A : I will call it.
The others are the WYSIWYG kinds : upfront, frank, independent and more in your face : Type B for reference. The interesting point he made was that while guys usually like to take out or go out with the Type B kind, it’s usually the Type A kind they finally marry.
I was going to object first, but the more I thought about what he said, the more it made sense. I am actually inclined to agree that he is right. This is exactly what happens in most cases. Guys, you are free to object here 🙂
Besides lots of thought for food, he’s also been rearranging my kitchen, making me eat several different concoctions (healthy stuff for different parts of the body :), fresh orange juice in the morning and healthy snacks in the evening!
Sadly, after a rather hectic and short week, he leaves for home tomorrow.