12 December 2020

Only my dad would think of it…

The somewhat good news from India is that dad is in a relatively stable state. But when I tell you that his blood hemoglobin level is 5 (normal 14-17 for men), you get the general picture – that the “goodness” is only relative to what he was going thru last week. But at least, he has been getting up on his bed to read the one book he keeps reading over and over again (Gita) and has also been taking a couple of stabs at recitation.

My brother and I were discussing about his health a couple of days back and somehow the topic went to the new refrigerator Sharmila just jot installed in our kitchen. My brother was surprised that the refrigerators here are connected to water supply. (Back in India, we were and still are used to putting water in the fridge to cool it down or make ice cubes). As I was explaining how we get cold water just by putting the glass in that cubby hole at the door, he started laughing out.

“What happened?”
“Do you remember the dad story at Taj Bengal hotel?”
“Which one?”
“That tap in the bathroom where the water flowed moment you put your hand under it?”
“Oh! Yeah!”

In a flash, I remembered the incident and started guffawing too.

As a background, back in the late 90s, I used to go to India very often for work and on my way out, I used to fly down to Kolkata and stay at the Taj Bengal hotel there. My parents would come down from Durgapur – we would meet for a day and then fly out back to the USA.

There was that one time, when the hotel had upgraded me to a fancy suite. I think we were all sitting around (my brother and sister in law was also there) when we heard dad yelling from the bathroom.

“Ki hollo?”, my brother yelled enquiring what was going on.
“Jol porchhey na”, replied my dad notifying us that the taps were apparently not working.

In a jiffy, I realized what was happening. Quickly went inside the bathroom to see my dad helplessly staring at the tap which had no visible way of being turned. For good reason too. Because it had a sensor and all you had to do was put your hand under the tap – and voila!

“Tap-er nichey haat ta diye dekho”, I encouraged him to put his palm under the tap.
“Jol ta khulbo ki korey?”, he still wanted to know how to start the water.
“Aarey, haathta diye-i dekho na”. I encouraged him to follow my instructions.

You can only imagine what happened after that. He was totally flabbergasted how the tap kept guessing correctly when he had put his hand underneath it and would promptly dispense warm water. He tried the few usual moves to see if it could trick it.

Finally, he was convinced that the tap was fool proof. Then he looked at me and asked “Ei hotel-e emon room aachhey jekhaney kol-er tolaay haath paatle-i, poisa phelbe?”.

So, he wanted to know if the hotel had a room with a tap where if he put his hand underneath it, it would dispense money instead of water!!!

That be truly my dad!!

Posted December 12, 2020 by Rajib Roy in category "Family in India

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