Never knew that Baba could be so efficient at home. All my life I’ve seen my Dad plunging himself neck deep in his office, without a thought as to what was going about at home. When he came home for lunch on weekdays, Ma and I could clearly see that his mind was still in office and when he gobbled insipid food without complaining, we knew that he was dying to get back to work. When he forgot to do the groceries, or take us out for dinner, we didn't know whether to laugh or get angry. That's Baba for you; love him or leave him.
But things changed since Ma left for Delhi three weeks back. Baba has been the model of conscientiousness. He makes sure I get my breakfast and that my lunch is packed and that when I eat dinner, the food is actually warmer than room temperature. He has been doing the groceries and keeping stock of what's running out. He's been managing the helping hands at home and his department in the factory; amidst 60 phone calls a day that start at 6 in the morning and end at midnight.
When I reach home at 9pm at night, I am exhausted and so is Baba, but he never lets me know that. Always ready to clean up after dinner, so that I do not have to do it. The metamorphosis is complete.
This morning was Neel Shosthi. Mothers are supposed to fast for their children and put a doi-er tip on their foreheads. When Baba did that for me, I realized that he had finally discovered the mother hidden in him.