Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ek tha bachpan................


                                        
                                          

Our sitting room has a large sideboard (which, along with some other furniture, came along with the flat) which happens to store many of our treasured books, most of our music, and all of our movies. The said movies have overloaded their shelf- the drop-down flap often refuses to close. In the interest of closing the flap I pulled out a few VCDs and DVDs and came across Ashirwad, the 1968 Ashok Kumar starrer. I first saw this film with my father on the television at the home of our dear family friends. (Daddy and I spent many a Sunday evening in their sitting room watching whatever film Doordarshan cared to telecast). It was an amazing film, with two memorable songs for children that I remember, both composed by the incomparable Harindranth Chattopadhya, Rail gadi chuk chuk chuk and Naao Chali.
             The song that has been playing in my head ever since, though, is Ek tha Bachpan: it brings back so many wonderful memories of my father, and seems to describe him perfectly. I see him laughing out loud reading Wodehouse, listening devotedly to K.L.Saigal, carrying me up to the terrace in summer while I pretended to be asleep, cherishing his Parker pen, relishing the sharpness of a green chilli (and breaking off half of the hottest ones and insisting that I try it), bringing home exquisite sarees from his frequent travels, annoying my mother endlessly by saying "Yes Sir" to her diktat, fomenting my eyes with boric solution and putting eyedrops in them, waking me up in the middle of the night to give me medicines on schedule, tossing his head back and laughing out loud, him using the phrase gadhey ka baccha as a serious term of abuse, going to plays and concerts with him, going to buy vegetables with him on his bicycle especially for the joy of careening down the slope on the way home, arguing with him on what for me were matters of principle, him singing Radhey rani dey daro na , going with him and my sister for children's films at Sapru House, his ability to find joy and adventure in everything, waking up early to find him already up and studying for his homeopathy exam, him making tea for Mummy every morning.............
My list of cherished memories of my father is endless.


Ek tha bachpan, ek tha bachpan
Chhota sa nanha sa bachpan
Bachpan kay ek Babuji thay,
Achchey sachey Babuji thay
Donon ka sundar tha bandhan
Ek tha bachpan........

There was once a childhood,
a small, little childhood
This childhood had a Father,
A good and true father
A beautiful bond between them
There was once a childhood......

12 comments:

Julia Dutta said...

Beautiful post Dipali and what a beautiful and rich collection of books.

Simply a treasure trove!

Anonymous said...

Sweet nostalgia ! What a lovely tribute.


Dipti

dipali said...

@Julia, Dipti: Thank you.

sukanya said...

What's with fathers and Parker Pen eh? My dad is a huge collector of Parkers. That man loves his pens!
Lovely post-almost got me teary eyed. Your closeness to your father reminded me of mine. I miss him so much, wish we lived closer.

Banno said...

What a beautiful post, Dipali. Such lovely memories, and so good of you to share them with us, make us a part of your story.

dipali said...

@Banno: Thank you. You are a part of my story, and I am so glad that you are!

sukanya said...

heh? dont know what happened to my earlier comment-anyway loved this-you made me miss my father, who btw is also a collector of Parker Pens!

dipali said...

@sukanya: Your comment is right there! Thanks for taking the trouble to comment again! Fathers and daughters have such a special bond, I'm glad we were together during his final years.

mandira said...

Thats such a lovely collection of books! Fabulous!

A wonderful, warm post with beautiful memories, Dipali.

dipali said...

@Mandira: There are two more bookshelves in other rooms, and we still keep spilling over!
Thank you!

radha said...

Quite like my father too. And strangely I was thinking of him all of yesterday. The KL Saigal songs. The PG Wodehouse. He however had a Schaeffer pen. He was a voracious reader and a polyglot too. Sometimes I wonder these wonderful qualities cannot be left behind as an inheritance.

dipali said...

@radha: I'm sure we have inherited at least an appreciation for some things from our dear departed dads!
Some memories are never far from the surface.....