Happy Fathers Day 

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As posted  on The Quint Blog

Dear Papa,

Thank you for teaching me about gender equality way before it became fashionable to do so. Thank you for teaching me about it, but not because it was politically correct to do so. Thank you for teaching me about it through example.

You and Mummy led that life, and I grew up thinking that’s the way it must be in all households till I visited other friends and realised it’s not the same everywhere.

I remember you telling me about how Mummy took up a job in the bank so that there was a steady income coming into the house, while you pursued your dream of acting. You did it so effortlessly. Even when you became successful in your field, you had no qualms about being a “house husband”, while she was the one who held a 9 to 5 job. Being an actor, there were long periods when you’d be gone for shooting or on tours or with your play. That’s when Mummy was supposed to be both, the mother and the father to us. And then when you were in town, in between a film or writing your new play, you’d be our “mom” when we came home from school.

I still remember the taste of those yummy toasted egg sandwiches you made for us. The simple joy of you cooking us a yummy chicken was something I took for granted. I didn’t think it was a big deal that my father cooked and knew his way around the kitchen.

I grew up believing that this is how it’s supposed to be between a man and a woman. Spouses were meant to be equal, and the world was a fair playground, where my mom did what she liked and so did my dad. They could exchange their roles as and when they liked.

You had met mummy when you were in college. You went to see that pretty girl who was acting in the college play. She became the heroine of your life, and you “let” her pursue whatever her heart desired. She also pursued professional theatre alongside a full time bank job. She had us, and she had your support in raising us.

You did everything together. You acted and directed the play, and she produced them. You were husband & wife… you were equal partners.

I remember we bought our second home with a loan from mom’s bank, and it was her name on the nameplate. It didn’t emasculate you. You were so comfortable in your own skin.

I wonder how you became like that since I know your parents were a conventional Gujarati couple.
I think it’s because you have the soul of a poet. You read a lot and you kept telling me how reading and travel broadens your horizons.

I’m so glad you brought me up the way you did. Today, I feel life has come a full circle as I’ve been fortunate enough to be married to a man who is quite like you in many ways.

And I’m glad that my daughter will also grow up learning about concepts like gender equality and feminism through example.

Happy Fathers Day.
Love you so much,
Manasi

7 comments

  1. Hi Manasi
    Very good way of expressing yourself natrually, very much simply narrated and touched my heart…i guess a good blog written by you…awaiting some more… keep it up Manasi!

  2. Awesome writing Manashi .. my gratitude to dear Uncle n aunty … Loved the way they raised you up .. blessings for your daughter .. luv n hugs..

  3. Every word comes from your heart and is so true since I know your parents closely being neighbours since 30+ years. Respect and love to your parents.

  4. Manasi, such a wonderful tribute to your dad and even your mom.. you might not even remember me, but I remember your family well, through my mom.. Your family in the 1970s stayed just a couple of buildings away from my humble family home in Vileparle east, Azad Road, my mom knew your family and there was some connect, I just remember that aI used to visit your ground floor apartment holding the hands of my mom and my mom would talk with your grandmother, I would see your grandfather also around, then your dad and mom, even the younger uncle and aunt and your younger brother Sharman, who was very young that time.. my Mom being from a Gujarati Bohra family was a fan of your father, and even your elder uncle Pravin Joshi and his very talented wife, Sarita Joshi… All I think stayed around in Vileparle East in those days. Those days in the 1970s I remember in the lane where we stayed, once there was a lot of talk that Sanjeev Kumar had come to visit Arvind Joshi, I was maybe around 10 years old and did not know much about filmstars but it seemed, Sanjeev Kumar was a big personality, also when your elder Uncle Pravin Joshi passed away… I was still in my own childhood world but his sudden passing was lamented by my parents … Your blog on your dad, just made me go back in flashback… Thanks for sharing .. all the very best..god bless…

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