Father’s Day is around the corner in Australia this weekend. Last time when it was in some other part of the world, I wrote an emotional post. I wanted to write something different this time. My dad (I call him Annu) had a unique sense of humour and he was cheeky in his own way. I feel that I haven’t written much about the fun and sweet memories of my childhood on the blog. This post is solely dedicated to some of the memorable incidents related to Annu that still bring a smile on my face.
Annu would always wear a half sleeved shirt, a white lungi and his million-dollar smile. He only had a couple of trousers that he wore only on special occasions. We had a wholesale agency of a very popular FMCG company, say ABC. ABC once invited all wholesale dealers (WDs) from Karnataka to a 2-days conference in Bangalore. The accommodation was booked in a 5-star hotel, say XYZ. Annu took an overnight bus from Kundapur to Bangalore. He packed his trousers for the conference in his suitcase and travelled in his lungi as he was more comfortable in it. When he reached Bangalore, he hopped on to an auto-rickshaw and asked to be plied to XYZ hotel. The auto driver was flabbergasted for a moment at the proposal of a man in lungi asking to be dropped at a 5-star hotel.
Driver: Sir, where exactly near XYZ hotel do you want to go?
Annu: I want to go to XYZ hotel only.
Driver: Sure sir, I will take you to XYZ hotel. But tell me which place near the hotel do you need to visit. Give me the exact address.
Annu: Don’t worry about it bro. Just drop me in front of XYZ. I’ll manage from then on.
They finally reached the place. My dad paid the fare, got off with his luggage. Before seeing off, he sarcastically said to the driver:
Annu: Sir, can I please request you to stay back for a while. In case the hotel staff doesn’t provide me entry because of my attire, you might have to drop me elsewhere.
Driver: Ayyoyyo, sorry sir! Please forgive me. It was my mistake.
Annu just smiled and went about his business 😀
This incident happened during my parents’ wedding. After the wedding ceremony, when the newlywed couple enter the groom’s house, along with many other customs, they play a fun game. They are made to sit face to face with a big pot in between them. The post if filled with coloured water and lot of flowers I think so that one can see through it. The priest drops a ring into the water and both the groom and bride have to immerse one of their hands in the pot and fiddle around to find the ring. Whoever finds the ring is declared the winner. Amma was a 20-year old shy bride then amidst a crowd of strangers that she was going to call family from then on.
On the count of three, when the priest dropped the ring in the pot, both my parents put their hands in. Annu, being the cheeky groom that he was, naughtily clasped Amma’s hand inside the water and nobody noticed. Amma couldn’t react out of coyness. He did not let her find the ring by restricting her movement. He moved a couple of his spare fingers that were not holding Ammas’s hands and found the ring. He then let go of Amma’s hand and declared himself to victory. We grew up listening to this story from Amma.
Annu was a natural at predicting things. Whatever he said would come true. But this nature of his mostly irked us during cricket matches. While we would all be engrossed in a match, Annu would declare out of nowhere “Six on the next ball!!” and what do you know? The player would obediently hit a six as though following Annu’s orders. We would pester him saying “Annu, please keep saying four or six”. He would say it seldom but whenever he did, it did happen. The worst was when he would announce “Out” and the batsman would promptly return to the pavilion. I remember one instance when he said “Out” thrice before three consecutive balls and the bowler claimed a hat-trick!! We would plead for him to keep mum mostly as he was more dangerous than the players themselves 😀
Once one of Annu’s regular customers came to the shop and bought his routine items and left. Surprisingly, he came back to the shop very evidently distressed.
Annu: What happened? Why are you tensed?
Customer: I had brought a bundle of notes with me but I can’t find it now. After buying items from your shop, I went to another shop to order the stuff I need but then I realized that I had lost my money. I really am clueless what to do.
Annu: Take off your lungi!
(There were many other customers and the staff members around who were astounded by listening to Annu’s comment too)
Annu: I said take off your lungi. Would you like me to help you to take it off?
Customer: What are you saying? I am sharing my problem with you and you are making fun of me.
Annu: Just listen to me and take your lungi off.
Customer (Puzzled, yet trusts Annu and takes the lungi off. The bundle of note falls from his hips onto the ground): Oh my god!! How did you know?
Annu gave the same knowing smile 😀