Shehnaz, My first Parsi Affair!!

It was my first day at TATA Motors. Devika, my colleague and the only female member in my team was given the responsibility to introduce me to everyone in the department. And that’s how I met Shehnaz Mistry, the first Parsi of my life. When I looked at her, she was completely different from others. A woman white as snow, curly hair, spectacled eyes, smile larger than life and absolutely comfortable in her skin.

Our friendship grew on tea/coffee breaks where I use to have my green tea while she use to have a cup of hot water. She has got nothing to do with things which are healthy. They simply do not exist in her menu. She is a foodie and can talk to you about food for hours and that too non-stop. Now, you know from where the extra pounds on my face are coming from. When I started knowing her better, I simply fell in love with her. She lost her parents at very young age but has managed to fight against all odds and has done very well in her life. Circumstances have never let her lose her charm in any possible way. She is a great wife, a great sister and a great mother and a sweetheart friend. She has made sure that all the true values of life are properly induced in her daughter.

For the last three and half years, the amount of food I have shared with her, I doubt I have even done it with my sisters. She has made special dishes for me and bringing it on my preferred days. (There are particular days when I don’t eat non-veg). She knows what I like and what I don’t. She has slipped all the things which I don’t like into her plate and never made me realize that. She has understood my mind before I say anything to her. She has never returned without a gift for me from wherever she goes for her vacation. She can listen to me the entire day without judging me and with immense patience. There have been times, when she has spoken for me and stood very strong with her words by my side. We have opened our hearts to each other.

She is a great motivation and a great support of my life in many ways. She is my soul sister and has given a beautiful meaning to this relationship. Her unconditional love and support has made my relation with my sisters very strong.

Now, she is taking a shift in the role and moving to a different location. It is difficult to believe that there would be no one saying “Chal” when I call 210. It is difficult to believe that there would be no one getting special parsi food for me. There will be no one kissing and hugging me after every success at work and return from a trip. But, I am happy for her and I know, there will be a new extension in my life connecting to Shehnaz mistry and I have a home at Parel where I can go any time of the day and there will be opens arms to welcome me. I wish her luck and Loads of love to her!!

Mothers are Gift from God!

I was a little girl. My father had a school where he would educate the underprivileged kids, who could not afford to go to expensive schools. But, that was not enough to run a family. So, he used to take private tuitions and go to people’s house to teach their children. We use to stay in a small house and could only afford the basic amenities in life.
My father use to go for his tuition on a cycle and I would request him to take me for a ride like every other child. To make me happy, he would sometimes take me to the houses where he was teaching on weekends. Almost every Sunday, he would take me to Chaube Uncle’s house. His daughter Priyanka was little elder to me. She use to play with loads of toys like cars, dolls, puzzles and sometimes, she would share with me on her mother’s request. I loved playing with them. I would eagerly wait for Sundays to play with those toys as I never had one.
One evening, I was watching TV at my neighbor’s house and my mother called for me. She washed my face, brushed my hair and told me let’s go to Chaube Uncle’s house. I told her but it’s not Sunday. She replied today is his daughter’s birthday and they have invited us. I was very happy. We reached their house. It was beautifully decorated with lots of balloons and colored papers. There were many kids around who were dressed very well. All of them were wearing birthday caps. There were many toys kept on a table for everyone to play with grabbed my attention but I was too shy to pick them up without anyone’s permission.
Then, Mrs. Chaube announced for cake cutting. Priyanka, the birthday girl was dressed like an angel. She looked very pretty. When she entered the room, it seemed that suddenly there was a bright light all over. She had worn lovely accessories, shoes and a crown. Then, Chaube uncle came with a very big cake. It had flowers, toys, chocolates all over it. The cake looked delicious. All the kids started gathering towards the cake. My mother tried to push me as well I was pushed back. So, I stood behind holding my mother’s hand, the safest place in the world. Priyanka blew the candle, and everybody started singing the birthday song. People around started wishing her.
My mother too insisted that I should go and wish the birthday girl. I was already not happy with the kids pushing me back from the cake-cutting but somehow I took my little tiny steps toward her. But, she completely ignored me in front of her well-dressed friends. I felt hurt and tears started rolling out of my eyes. I remember I was wearing a pink frock which my mother stitched for me. She embroidered little blue flowers all over it. But, it was simple and not that flashy and expensive as other kids. She was the same girl I use to play with but today she pretended as if she didn’t know me.
My mother could understand what was going on in my heart. She lifted me in her arms and I dig my face into her shoulders and started crying. She gave the gift to her mother, grabbed me tightly and left immediately from that place. On the way, I remember her sobbing and telling me “Darling, you are my little princess and you will forever be for my entire life” She was hurt more than me. Today, years later she is still the same and fights for her three princesses for their good. She has always supported us to achieve our dreams and has made us what we are today. It’s true that God can’t be everywhere with us and that’s why he has sent “Mothers” for us.

Bharat Shah, the Professor

It was my first day at college and we had to select our Majors for our graduation. This was one of THE decisions of our life and going to decide our future. Only few people knew what they wanted to graduate into, rest of us were clueless. After welcome session, we were all called in turn by turn and had our admin guy asking us the choices in his typical South Indian accent. Depending on the choice we made we were classified into batches. Section A for those who wanted to graduate in Finance, Section C for who those in marketing and Section B was a mix of both. My father who is a financial advisor wanted me to opt for Finance and that’s what I put as my choice for majors. But as soon as I stepped out of that room, I overheard my seniors talking to all those who opted for finance. They said if you are going for it, then get ready for the ride of your life with BHARAT SHAH.

Bharat shah, the finance professor was a kind of terror for everyone who opted for finance. He is simply a master in his subject and he can teach finance to even a layman. He can teach you entire day till you get it and that too without taking a single break. He is strict and very particular about the concepts. And the fascinating part of all is that he is a brand ambassador of Bhagat Tarachand, a pure vegetarian joint. He made it so popular that the entire crowd of my college would go there be it birthdays, placements etc. (it is economical too and for people who are students especially finance and want higher returns both tangible and intangible; this worked out to be the best place)

Next day the week’s routine was up on the notice board. The juniors started taking a note of it while the seniors started making plans keeping finance class as constant. It was our finance class on the third day and I could hear whispers around. Then, we saw a simple man with grey hairs and hazy eyes walking into the class. He introduced himself as Bharat Shah and asked everyone to introduce ourselves. After the introduction, he asked us one question. Why do you want to take finance?? Many people started giving him answers as if they were asked why we should take you in our college. This was a common question asked during the Personal interviews while selecting students for MBA. Not satisfied with the answers, he said if you are still not sure, you may like to opt out of it. It’s about your future and may be because of him I decided to take marketing as my majors.

When it was time for his class, there was an invisible announcement of him arriving any time. You can actually see no movements in the class. No one would go for a break. The attendance was 100% because no there was no room for proxies. He would call for our names and look at our faces and then move to the next one. The assignment submissions were never postponed. Everyone was in the class before it started and those who could not, got punishments. The punishments were as cute as he was. Either we had to sing, dance or tell a joke but he would let anyone take their seats until they entertain the entire class. May be that way he uses to break the monotony. Many of us were shy to sing or dance and always use to be in time.

One day I went to see my friend Mouparna in marketing class not knowing that it was time for Mr. Bharat shah to enlighten them. By the time, I could realize he had already stepped in. I tried hiding away and taking an exit, but he caught me. And the same rule applied. So, either I had to dance or sing to let him leave me and go out.  So, this time I thought why can’t I dance with him?? So, I grabbed his hand and pulled him up for a ball dance and Oh boy, He was a sport. He danced with me gracefully and took a bow with me in front of the viewers. That was one of the moments for me. Then, time passed and we had new students coming in and it was our time to be seniors. Once, I went to see him in his class. When I entered, he looked at the class and said, do you know who she is?? I make everybody dance but she is the one who has made me dance. I can never ever forget this introduction in my life. It’s been years now and I haven’t met him for long but still. I always remember him and I guess he will one of those professors who are registered in your mind forever!! He has been instrumental in making us take right choice in our life and I know that all my batch mates will agree that we owe a part to him for being wherever we are.