Happy Father’s Day to Baba

Growing up in a small town in India during the 70s and the 80s, I did not have arguments with my parents because I never knew that was an option. Both my brother and I were expected to obey our parents. Not arguing was particularly difficult with Ma because she was a strict disciplinarian and I had a curious mind. Not surprisingly, despite our many good and loving moments, Ma and I sometimes collided in our ways of thinking and I, not allowed to protest verbally, became upset with her more often than not. Ma never asked what was wrong because she believed in giving me time to cool down.

Baba, on the other hand, simply could not stay away when I was distressed. He lingered around me just to start a conversation. Sometimes it worked, and I started talking to him. And sometimes it didn’t. One of those times, I was lying down with my face covered, and he started to pat my back affectionately, which made me more annoyed. I told him “I don’t want to talk to either you or Ma. So don’t touch me.” He did not stop caressing and calmly said, “I am not touching you. I am patting my daughter.”

We did not observe Father’s Day in India the way most families do now. In fact, I learnt about Father’s Day after I came to America. I wish there was a day called ‘Father’s Day’ back then so that I could have told him, “Thank you for your unwavering love, unyielding support and unbelievable patience. They made a world of difference in my life.” I did not get a chance to tell him then, so I am telling him today, “Happy Father’s Day, Baba!”

Sharmistha’s Book

Published by

Sharmistha Das

Sharmistha Das, an Indian immigrant engineer and entrepreneur, is the author of "From Hindustan Cables Limited - Journey of a Small-Town Indian Immigrant Woman". Every South Asian woman who has immigrated to America will identify with the adventurous journey of Sharmistha Das. Born in a small rural company town of Hindustan Cables Limited in Bengal, India, Sharmistha grew up with her brother, mother and father in a simple home without running water or furniture, but with a great amount of love. Supported by her parents, she left her hometown for Kolkata and became the first female engineer from her community. After her marriage, she moved to Bangkok, Thailand and finally to America, the land of opportunity and heartache. While working and bringing up her daughter, she got her Masters in Business Administration and started her own business. Unthinkable for a girl from Hindustan Cables, she got divorced in 2012 and adapted to a new life as a single woman and as a single mother. Sharmistha’s story will inspire any women to dare to live her dreams.

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