Goodbye daddy…the Late Marzban Jal Bilimoria

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I still remember the first time we met.

This was at the now shut Just Around The Corner at Churchgate thirteen years back. I was nervous. This was a meet the parents moment after all. We sat facing each other. He tucked into a sandwich, over the years I learnt that this was his favourite food. After a while he looked up at me, serious discussions and grilling by my to be mother in law over, smiled and said, “so how is everything else?”

Yes, that is the man who became my father in law for you. One of the most noble, gentle, non-interfering, patient, soft spoken and peaceful human beings that you could come across.

Our first meeting set the tone of our relationship, We would always meet over meals. He would always ask after my well being. See that I was fed well. If it was a special occasion, make sure I got a ‘cover’ (gift envelope of cash). This would be given along with a big kiss planted on each of my cheeks, his moustache tickling me. Followed by a million kisses to smother his daughter. Every farewell signed off by a signature “do come again”.

In the years that I have known him, I had never seen him ruffled, irritated or lose his temper. Whatever life threw at him, the latest being a fracture which confined him to his house, he would bear with equanimity. Soft spoken, patiently playing chess, not questioning why fate would test him. If he had uric acid and the doctor told him to give up his beloved red meat, he would without a protest. If suddenly his sugars shot up and the doctor told him to eschew the chocolates that he just loved after dinner, he would without a protest. If he was told to lose weight he would quietly have an apple for dinner night after night.

He was the dream patient. A loving father. A husband who doted on his wife. He had the sort of spirit which one can only envy. Even when hospitalised after an operation for a fracture we were all struck by how the smile never left his face. Giving us strength even when he was indisposed and when he was the one who actually needed cheering up.

This is not how this story was supposed to read.

Last Sunday was his anniversary and we were supposed to go over to their place in the evening to meet my mom in law and him for dinner. This post was supposed to be about the new Parsi caterer we were checking out that evening. It was supposed to be about the mutton sali boti he had made sure was part of the menu. Kalyan likes it, Kainaz like it, he had said. The truth is that so did he! He liked brown curries and not white ones after all. He had also loved the kebabs our cook Banu had made and which I had taken for him earlier that week. “Delicious kebab. Can’t make out it’s fried. No trace of oil on finger. Thanks for making my lunch edible” he messaged me later. This post was supposed to be about the mutton kebabs we had ordered for the dinner and whether they would given him as much pleasure as the kebabs Banu made. The post was supposed to be about the pulao and daal we had ordered and whether it passed muster for he was not a big fan of rice dishes.

This post was not supposed to be about the untimely and sudden death of the Late Marzban Jal Bilimoria on 24th November 2013 Sunday afternoon.

This post was not meant to be the emptiness he left behind. The memories we all cling to.

This was his favourite spot, this is where he would lie down and talk to me, this is what he told me, this is where he played chess, this is where he listened to music, this is where he played the piano, this is where he would sit and sort papers at home, this is the route he used to follow to the market, this is the bookshop he would go to every Saturday and Sunday earlier, this is the dog he would always pet on the way out, this is how he was marking the days till he could get up and walk again.

Finally all that one is left with is a set of memories unified by that of Buddha-like smile which never left his face. 

Rest in peace daddy and keep smiling….you are sorely missed.

Comments

Neeta said…
Deepest condolences to you and Kainaz and all the family...and thank you for writing this touching piece that has brought tears to my eyes and made a stranger, a beautiful human being, come alive in my heart...
IshitaUnblogged said…
I am sorry Kalyan. Reading this post made me feel like I knew him too. I am a daddy's girl so my heart goes to the daughter and everyone else in your family.
Anurag Mehrotra said…
What a sweet obituary!
Joseph Eapen said…
Deepest condolences.., a perfect tribute.. we now know him..
kaniska said…
i'm sure he is smiling as he no doubt is reading your mind if not the post. you guys shared a special bond and that is timeless. take care. my thoughts are with you and k. see you soon.
Amitabha Ghosh said…
Deepest Condolences Kalyan ...
Truly touched. Its rare for a son in law to write such an obituary for father in law. Condolences!
SnehaM said…
Sorry to hear about your loss Kalyan. My condolences to you and your family.
BombayJules said…
Condolences to you and your wife Kalyan - that's such a wonderful parting message, it brought a tear my eye.
Anuradha Roy said…
Fathers never leave. They just become omnipresent....always around......always......
Manchi Jagadish said…
Heartfelt condolences.
Manchi Jagadish said…
Heartfelt condolences.
Anonymous said…
A lovely tribute Kalyan - my condolences to you and your family.
Kurush F Dalal said…
RIP MArazban uncle ... you were a good man who touched the lives of all you met ... you will be missed and remembered well by all those whose lives you touched ... RIP
Elson said…
DEepest condolences Kalyan
Sayantani said…
deepest condolence to you and your wife. A beautiful post to dedicate and remember a very good human being. May his soul rest in peace.
Farriemist said…
Deepest condolences to you and Kainaz.
Shreya said…
Deepest condolences to you and your wife.A touching tribute.
ashoksoft said…
The most touching tribute I've ever read. Deepest condolences to you and your wife.
Pia said…
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Pia said…
Kalyan, his spirit is so alive in your words. I'm sure it would've made him smile his smile.
My deepest condolences to you both.
evolvingtastes said…
Very sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and Kainaz, and the rest of the family.
The knife said…
Thank you for your messages. Each and everyone of them is like a balm on a very deep wound. Thank you for your prayers and support...Kalyan
Anonymous said…
Terrible loss that just cannot be put in words. And heart wrenching, beautiful ode to clearly a very special person. Lots of strength to Kainaz, you and the family.

Anchal
vispy said…
Heartfelt condolences again, and again, and again, to you Kalyan,to Kainaz and everyone at home for whom this sudden loss must be so unbearable to face. Hugs to all of you. And yes, a very touching tribute. A good man like him will always carve a permanent space in your hearts. May God be with you all. I am sure Marzban Uncle will always be there watching over the family.
sassy Fork said…
What a special bond you both shared! Marzban Uncle was a wonderful man....always smiling and so soft-spoken! He will be watching over you always
Pallavi Punmiya said…
Hello kalyan,
The day began with a sad news coming in.I can share the void ,emptiness and feeling of helplessness that comes with the loss of a parent at any stage in life.Its like an amputation. we survive but we are less than what we were before.
I haven"t personally met K s father but from what I have learnt he was the quiet most member the family.I really envy his courtesy and tranquility. I wish I had it in me.
For K , the loss is permanent , still, she will come out of it.Her daddy"s loving memories will bring a smile back on her face. She will be so glad for having a dad like him.
BYE.
SC said…
Dear Kalyanda,

I'm really very very sorry for your loss. I've been meaning to write to you for a while now but something or the other kept coming up. Today I happened to check your blog after quite a long gap and this is the news I find... My deepest condolences to you and your family.
Sheikha said…
Deepest condolences, Kalyan.
While nothing can replace the void that the passing away of your father in law has left in the hearts of his loved ones, I pray to the almighty god to give your family and you the strength to accept his will.

I hope that over a period of time, his loving memories and the support of your loved ones will reduce the pain you feel.

May his soul rest in peace

Piyali
Shobita said…
Sorry for your loss K and K. What a lovely lovely tribute to your dad! Tears running down my cheek. Big HUG to you both..Shobita
Debjani said…
Deepest condolences to Kainaz and you. I was shocked to see this blog post.
The knife said…
thank you for your wishes...we are trying to pick up the pieces
May such a wonderful soul RIP.. God bless the family to bear this irreparable loss.