Baba (Father)

Baba (Father) - student project

Surprise Version:

Mishti, why can’t i hear you studying?

I am studying Baba. I am reading in my mind!

I want you to read loudly, you have your history paper tomorrow right.

Baba was generally in this cheerful mood in the evenings, when he was back from office. His job was stressful, and pointless. It also brought bread on the table, so he carried on, grudgingly. But in the evenings he was at his crankiest best. And when Ma added some spice, then he just goes wild. Today too, as usual, Ma started as soon as he was back, that I had not studied enough today, god knows what will happen to my History paper.

Baba is calm only when he hears my voice emanating from my room. I have to read the lesson loudly. Rattling off the lines, the dates, the facts, when Akbar was crowned, when India got independence, who killed Mahatma Gandhi, blah, blah, blah!

He thought that only if I read loudly, I will learn the chapter, and my silence meant to him that I am wasting my time on some useless stuff and not studying.

Just then I heard his phone ring. He went outside the living room, to the front balcony to receive the call. I could hear his muffled voice.

Just then it stopped. For the next few seconds, the only sound I could hear was Ma cooking in the kitchen.

Suddenly the door of my room flung open. Baba was standing at the doorway. His eyes were red. The strokes I was making on the paper with my sketch pen, suddenly started to appear smudgy. The pen made a squeaking sound as I continued coloring the paper in front of me. Baba was standing right on my side now. I had kept by history book open on top of the drawing that I was making.

His mouth opened in a snarl, his lips quivering.

You are trying to hide something! You are not studying, but wasting your time doing some silly and stupid crafts of yours.

He reached out and grabbed my book.

Baba! I shouted.

He threw it away, it landed near the door, and slid away outside, pages fluttering wildly.

His mouth stayed open as he saw what he had uncovered. Slowly I saw his eyes soften, and his hand that was raised to hit me, were now gently stroking my head.

Happy Birthday Baba, announced the card in Glowing Pink above a sketch of Baba working on his laptop.

 

Suspense Version:

Mishti, why can’t i hear you studying?

I am studying Baba. I am reading in my mind!

I want you to read loudly, you have your history paper tomorrow right.

Baba was generally in this cheerful mood in the evenings, when he was back from office. His job was stressful, and pointless. It also brought bread on the table, so he carried on, grudgingly. But in the evenings he was at his crankiest best. And when Ma added some spice, then he just goes wild. Today too, as usual, Ma started as soon as he was back, that I had not studied enough today, god knows what will happen to my History paper.

Baba is calm only when he hears my voice emanating from my room. I have to read the lesson loudly. Rattling off the lines, the dates, the facts, when Akbar was crowned, when India got independence, who killed Mahatma Gandhi, blah, blah, blah!

He thought that only if I read loudly, I will learn the chapter, and my silence meant to him that I am wasting my time on some useless stuff and not studying.

Just then I heard his phone ring. He went outside the living room, to the front balcony to receive the call. I could hear his muffled voice.

Just then it stopped. For the next few seconds, the only sound I could hear was Ma cooking in the kitchen.

Tomorrow is his birthday, and I was almost done with the card I plan to slide into his Laptop bag in the morning before I leave for school. He will see it only once he is in his office, and will open the bag to take out his laptop. I smile thinking of the expression on his eyes, bafflement slowly turning to his open, loud laughter, something which he so rarely does now a days. Will he pick up the phone and call Ma to tell? Will he show it to his colleagues - My kiddo made it, she never forgets my birthday, sweet kid, my Mishti.

The phone was from his Boss. Rajesh disconnected the call after the conversation was over. He muttered under his breath and stepped back into the living room. His mind was going for a spin. He worked so hard on the freaking Revenue Walk sheet or whatever his Boss called it, his eyes were bleary, and even the dim light of the lamp in the corner of the room hurt his eyes. And now he calls up to say that the data is not giving a correct picture.

It would have, had you spent some more time in the morning instead of going for your coffee the umpteenth time, and explained me exactly what was the purpose of this entire exercise.

He slumped on the sofa, spewing obscenities silently, how he wished for a drag, but his wife had banned smoking for him. He could not hear his kid’s voice any more from the next room. She is at it again! Not studying but busy watching some stupid video on her mobile. He will silently sneak into her room and catch her with her mobile, and give her a proper dressing down!

Suddenly the door of my room flung open. Baba was standing at the doorway. His eyes were red. The strokes I was making on the paper with my sketch pen, suddenly started to appear smudgy. The pen made a squeaking sound as I continued coloring the paper in front of me. Baba was standing right on my side now. I had kept by history book open on top of the drawing that I was making.

His mouth opened in a snarl, his lips quivering.

You are trying to hide something! You are not studying, but wasting your time doing some silly and stupid crafts of yours.

He reached out and grabbed my book.

Baba! I shouted.

He threw it away, it landed near the door, and slid away outside, pages fluttering wildly.

His mouth stayed open as he saw what he had uncovered. Slowly I saw his eyes soften, and his hand that was raised to hit me, were now gently stroking my head.

Happy Birthday Baba, announced the card in Glowing Pink above a sketch of Baba working on his laptop.

Gautam Goswami
Open your mind to new Ideas
Teacher