A melodious father-daughter relationship
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A melodious father-daughter relationship

He has been more than just a father, Baba is my friend, philosopher and guide

A melodious father-daughter relationship

New Delhi: The first time I learned about love was from my father whom I call ‘Baba’. I was born in the year 1998 on November 27, in Calcutta. Baba was in Delhi when I was born, he being a teacher couldn't leave the students in mid of exams. Baba says, “My responsibility towards my students was my first child.” Baba saw me for the first time almost a month after I was born. That year, he travelled to Calcutta by train, Rajdhani got late due to winter fog and baba met me right at 11.59 pm on Christmas eve. He has become my real life Santa Claus since then.

Baba is the only man who says, “The happiest moment of my life was probably when my daughter was born.” Baba and I are friends. I nestle my head in Baba's chest whenever I feel low just to hear him say, “What's bothering your shoulders, don't weigh it with unnecessary thoughts.”

Behind every great daughter is a truly amazing dad. Baba has taught me the most essential lessons of life while he took me on expeditions. I remember when I was in second standard I refused to read my EVS textbook for a class test just because I was in a playful mood. Baba didn't scare me in the name of result, instead he took me to the park we played for a while, after which we observed the flowers when baba told me did you know flowers turn into fruits?

I couldn't hold my curiosity, I asked him many questions like how plants make food, how they produce oxygen, difference between plants and trees; Baba answered them patiently while we ate freshly plucked mulberries from the tree. While going back home, we collected different types of leaves. Baba asked me to spot the difference between the leaves and club the leaves that seemed the same according to leaf venation. I enjoyed this new game a lot.

Once we came back home I realised that I had spent the whole day playing and didn't prepare the chapter for my class test. Baba saw my tensed face and sat with me with the EVS text book and opened the chapter “Our Plants,” this was the chapter that I had to learn for my test. Baba told me to read the chapter and assured me that I know everything that's there in the chapter. I obeyed and to my surprise I already knew everything that was in the chapter before I even read those lines in the text book. Reading never seemed so much fun. I could understand and relate what was written in my text book. I didn't have to memorise the chapter. While I read about parallel venation and reticulate venation, I recalled the leaves that we collected and that game made the concept easier for me to grasp.

From that day I spell “father” as “teacher.”

Baba said, “You learn from nature more than you learn from textbooks,” when I was five. He said, “You must read books to know what you have missed to explore,” when I was fifteen.

This made me realise that he has equipped me with the right things at the right age. He has been more than just a father, Baba is my friend, philosopher and guide.  He changed how I see life with a slight twist in a nursery rhyme.

“Twinkle-twinkle little star,
how I wonder what you are,
up above the world so high,
did you come to the world only to die?”

We all are born with a purpose, we all live for our own selves. We all are stars of our own story but did we come to the world only to die?

Baba rightly taught me to find the purpose of my life, sometimes with his own musings and sometimes with meaningful songs.

I recall Baba singing me a song sung by Mukesh from Dharam Karam movie:

“Ek Din Bik Jayega, Maati Ke Mol,
Jag Mein Reh Jayenge Pyare Tere Bol”

This song utters the absolute truth in melodious tunes. One day we all shall be gone, and all that shall remain behind is what we said and the deeds we did.

“Dooje Ke Hothon Ko Dekar Apne Geet
Koi Nishani Chhod, Phir Duniya Se Dol”

All that will be left in the world will be what you have said. This song encourages people, to do good, be the legend in someone's story and pass the legacy before they leave the world.

Baba and my relation is like a melody that we cherish melodiously.

Once I asked him how can I make you feel special Baba?

He replied, “You make me feel special every day just by calling me Baba, for rest of the world I am Manosij Banerjee Sir"

During my childhood days, Baba narrated stories to me. Stories with morals, stories of adventure, humorous stories and what not. Gradually, he introduced me to reading story books and watching films with good story plots. Later when I was in my late teens, Baba started writing letters to me. He tells me that life is a diary where one can write innumerable stories, each day and each moment is an opportunity to start a new story!

Baba has always been an adventurer, we have trekked and climbed mountains together. I don't know what else could make him more cool as a travel loving daughter. As a girl grows up, men will come in and out of her life, but the one man who will always be there is her father.