4 April 2020

A eight year old tradition “grounded”

For the better part of eight years or so, I have been visiting my parents every quarter. Way back in 2012, sitting at a bar in Milton, Sharmila and I had decided that we will make sure that if and when one of our parents pass away, we would not have a regret that we had not been with them for a long time before they moved on.

The trips for me are very short – sometimes 2 days (like the last one) and rarely more than 4 days. In spite of 25 plus trips with predictable regularity, there have a been a few times that I was able to spring a surprise on them by showing up unannounced. Like the last to last trip. Of course, both my siblings and their families were out on vacations not knowing I was going to show up!! Guess who was surprised?

I had to break to my parents that I will not make it this month and in all likelihood, will miss this whole quarter. It is not that they minded at all. They have been hearing about a virus too. I am simply bummed that the tradition will be broken.

Last night, I video-called my niece and asked her to go upstairs to the grandparents. My dad – who has nary an idea about video calling – at first surmised that my niece was showing him a picture of myself.

“Chhobi ta katha bolchhey to. Ekbaarey Bachhu-r golaa-y”. He was startled to realize that the picture was talking too. Even more so since the voice sounded eerily similar to mine.

My niece did a great job of explaining to him in simple terms what was happening. His next question was – who was the other person in the picture (the inset). So, my niece explained that it was of course he himself.

That confused the living daylights out of him. He comprehended the bit about how he could see me and hear me – after all, he has seen a TV. But how both of us, sitting a world part appeared on the same phone seeing and talking to each other at the same time was totally beyond him.

After a few minutes he said something that proved beyond any reasonable doubt that while he did not get the technology, he had a fairly good grip on the broader impact though.

“Taholey to eta korlei paaris. Teen maas ontor ontor plane-r poisa-ta bechey jaabey”!

His suggestion to me was that I video call him every quarter and save myself the airfare!!

My dad, I tell you, will never change!!

Admittedly, the world is no worse for the wear for that either!!

Posted April 4, 2020 by Rajib Roy in category "Family in India

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