As sidey as this Karan Johar movie line sounds, it is something that I would want to use to dedicate this 50th post to my parents!! Like every milestone (big or small) wouldn't be possible without them, similarly this inconsequential one (reaching 50 posts) would not have been possible if they hadn't tolerated the late night lights kept switched on (that's typically when I write my blogs), given me a broadband connection only coz I asked for it (when there were more pressing matters they had to attend to) or say gave me awesome education, supported me on every decision I took etc. So, YES I am writing this post about those 2 MOST important people in my life (mind you NOT one of the most important BUT MOST important).. There is NO man in this world who would measure up to my father and NO lady who would be as gracious as my mother is... When they show in these teen flicks, how these kids are ashamed of getting their parents to a friend's place or embarassed to hug them in public - I often get confused coz NEVER was I ashamed of my parents and I'm hoping never were they to have me as a daughter... It was with them that I did not experience the concept of "GENERATION GAP". Their adaptability to everything that is thrown at them is one of the reasons why their life stories and what they do now becomes so inspiring for us, the reason why we have good friends but they still remain as one of our BEST friends.
Talking about my father first, he comes from very humble beginnings... He was the youngest of the pack (4 brothers, one sister) and had to fight it out for everything... His family's financial condition needed him to work instead of studying but HE knew the importance of studying so fought with his brother (my grandpa left us when my father was just 10 years old) and completed his education till std. twelfth... He wanted to study further but then had to give in to the pressures of his family and start working... So, in his inheritance - all he bequeathed was responsibilities, hardships and loads of criticisms for not listening to his elders... So, from a small village in Nanded he landed in Mumbai to make it big here... I have seen the earlier places where he used to stay... One room which served as kitchen, living room, bedroom and dining room... One room which held my grandma and him (mind you! inspite of not being well settled he took the responsibility of looking after my grandmaa - of course she did help him in terms of taking care of household chores etc.). Before this house there were instances when he was alone and had to stay on the platform, bench in park etc. while he hunted for a job (he could put up with his brother but he would get cold stares or some nasty remarks about not getting a job and he had a lot of self respect to take this). So, before he got a job in MTNL in 1973 this is the list of things he did... Sold cards on the road, sold cricket match tickets, worked in the a steel factory, founded one steel factory. This is really an inspiring story. My father and his friend started this company called A to Z steels as partners... He saved on all the money he had (money was saved by say not having evening tea, walking till his house to save ticket money etc) and executed his first order. From then on he worked for 3 years where the company grew from its first order of 180 bucks to an order of 30000 bucks... At this point in time, he applied to this government job and got selected... There is a rule in India that a government servant cannot have another job (not even part time) and therefore he had to dissolve his partnership... This company - a fruit of his labor and hardwork - still exists and has a networth of crores... Sometimes he still wonders if he should have fought with his brother (who believed a secure job is better than a risky business) and continued with the business... It makes him sad at times but he is very satisfied with the levels he has attained in his life... Of course, he still remains very ambitious and at the age of 55 he is more ambitious than anyone his age!!! He bought his first house in 1980... He married my maa in 1981 and had 4 daughters in due course of time... Not once has he faltered to give them the comforts which he dint get... He has never once undermined the importance of education and ensured all of them get quality education... He was far sighted enough to start saving at an early age to now meet the expenses of the family of 6 (he has one daughter doing his MBA, one an architect, one doing medicine and one in standard 12th)... I have no clue how he manages every June to pay these exhorbitant fees for everyone and yet manage his household expenses... Our house is entirely a ONE MAN's show... From necessities to luxuries - EVERYTHING is managed by ma paa... Strong believer in neither be a borrower nor lender be - he has NO liabilities or debts... He has helped all his siblings - monetary or physical help - whenever they needed... He took care of his mother from the day he came to Mumbai till the day she left us... As cliched as it sounds - my father is really like a coconut... Huge temper so would say the nastiest things to people who mean a lot to him, be extremely tough in dire circumstances but if any of his loved ones are in pain - HE cannot stand it... I had a fever of 104 when I was young and both my parents dint sleep till it came down to normal... My sister had this small lump at the point where her nose started... Docs said its a tumor and needs to be operated.. He was ready to bear all the expenses but when he took a second opinion - he realised surgery wud not help... He went barefoot to Pali (a famous Ganpati temple lies there) and fasted for many days... Today there is no lump and she is one of the better looking sisters... The architect was a premature baby - wasnt going to survive on delivery - my father ensured that she gets the BEST in Mumbai.. She was under observation, in an incubator with many docs monitoring her condition for almost 5 days after which she came out... Now, she is not only healthy but also his favorite (when I say this - I am sure he will not agree but his attachment to her is VERY visible). There are many such instances where this man that I know as my father did exemplary things... I dont know if, as parents, I would be able to do for my kids but I am certain their grandpa would do EVERYTHING to make them feel the most amazing grand kids on this planet :)))
Behind every successful man lies a woman!! And my father's exemplary achievements would not have been possible without the unstinted support of my maa... There are times when I get super bugged with my father (read - the tough exterior part) but my maa NEVER leaves his side... She gets dragged a lot into these daughter-father fights and poor thing strives hard to not take sides and solve the issue... She will defend my case in front of him and his in front of me... This lady who comes from a similar background as my father (father expired soon, lived with her brother, could not study despite being so bright and got married to come from a village to a huge city like Mumbai) never once let me down. She was my friend when I wanted to discuss something and a mother when she had to guide me. In true sense - She is ma FRIEND, PHILOSOPHER and GUIDE. Her story also truly inspires me and probably is the reason why I am the way I am. My mum in std. tenth lost her father. She moved from one city to another. In std. tenth she changed schools. She did not have books to study from. So, she would borrow them from this friend of hers - study while she was sleeping (and in the street light - since her family could not afford electricity or more oil to let the lamp burning whole night) and then return the books in the morning while attending school... Despite this she secured above 60% which was a big deal then. When she bore 2 daughters, she went and completed her B.A. Going to classes in the evening all the way in Ruia, Dadar (and this was after cooking lunch, taking care of her in-laws and daughters, preparing dinner) to come back in the night - study for sometime (if we dint cry and bug the hell outta her) and then get up in the morning to continue her routine again.. All this only made the importance of education instilled VERY strongly in all of us. She became a housewife to ensure that her daughters get personal care and attention during their formative years... She balances everything so beautifully - her house, her family, her relationships with dad's side/her side/friends etc. Even my uncles and aunts praise her a lot (these are the people who are generally sitting to point out faults in others) and we cannot but feel the pride of being her daughters. What she means to me is completely cannot be expressed in words (though i have tried to write something in this post - http://sharmiliphulgirkar.blogspot.com/2007/04/mothers-you-can-never-predict-their.html)
I can go on and on about them but I still would not be able to do justice neither to the hardships they faced nor the perfection with which they have brought up their family. When I do start my family I hope I learn a great deal from them. With the amount of hardships in my life reduced by 90% (thanks to their efforts) I still have a lot to learn. I am still not sure if my kids will grow up to learn, respect and behave the RIGHT way like we do thanks to they instilling those values in us. When you have a child - his/her entire life depends on you - you have a great responsibility and one wrong move can ruin his/her life. And yet this odd couple (they are as opposite as it can get) in their twenties from a small town in a huge city managed to make their 4 daughters responsible ladies with a class who have been given the freedom to do whatever they want and who know to bear the consequences of their actions.. I believe even a standing ovation cannot give them due credit for this feat :)))
I will put an end to this blog with a thought that I will implement till the day I live - I hope ma and paa that WE ensure that NEVER again in your life - would you face hardships again!! Love u so much!! Thanks for everything!!!