My dad was one of the coolest, politest, friendliest and most charming gentlemen you’d ever meet, and my close friends would vouch for that. But if you messed with his daughters and he was aware…you would know how potent can be the rage of the coolest man. Just as “hell hath no fury as a woman scorned,” so too, hell hath no fury as a man whose daughter is scorned.
One day, when I was in college, I was home while my parents and sister were out. Our neighbourhood aunty – a senior IPS officer’s wife, sent a group of 4 cops to our house, in quest of a carpenter who was working at her house and ours. He had supposedly robbed her money and absconded. When my parents returned home that evening, on the stairs itself, I told dad how the lady had sent the cops, who troubled me over the whereabouts of the carpenter. Mom who is the reactive one didn’t but dad immediately rushed down the stairs, before I could tell him the details and I ran to the balcony, to view the enfolding of the most shocking scene of my dad’s life.
As I watched on, dad was ringing their ground floor bell in anger, even as he held on to the bell switch and it screeched away, till the lady opened the door and he thundered at her…”Mrs…How dare you send the cops to my house, when my daughter is alone and how dare they harass her? My house is not your husband’s police station, that you can send your cops to ransack it.” Imagine how loud, he must have been screaming for me to hear it all few houses away, though I don’t recall exactly what he said. Then suddenly, I heard the lady who was half my father’s height, burst out crying, even as dad continued to tower over her threateningly, shouting aloud some more. Mom and I looked on shocked. Then what was more shocking was after sometime dad brought the same aunty back home for drinks…and she was so apologetic, much to my amusement, as I handed her a glass.
Another incident was when dad, very ill by then, and his left side was almost paralysed from a massive stroke, in a burst of sudden rage caught hold of one of my boyfriend’s collar roughly, in our house, shook him hard just with the right hand, as the guy had been really troubling me emotionally for long. My sister and I pulled dad away, worried about his health, even as he cursed “If I were younger, I would have killed you.”
Then the night after my father’s death, this boyfriend got into a severe street fight, was beaten up bad, by a gang of guys, very close to our house. When we learnt of this, as he told us the next day, my sister remarked very philosophically, “That was Baba, completing what he could not do in life.”
Luckily I got married only a year after my father’s death (obviously to another man) or god knows – the writer husband would be dodging him around – even if not with some broken limbs; but surely not daring to write parody on me and mother in his books and columns as he tends to.😋 😀