My daughter in law Manjiree’s mother had been out of Pune and was returning by train on Monday morning. On Sunday night Ranjan asked her in my presence as to what arrangements had been made to receive her at the station. She said “Dad will pick her up and take her home.” Now this was the first time that I came to know that I was supposed to do that and so asked for details of arrival time, platform etc, only to be told that Manjiree meant her natural dad and not me. Phew!
Manjiree calls me Dad or Baba and also calls her father the same. I call Ranjan Baba and that adds to the confusion. At least to solve the problem of identifying between two Babas, she has decided to call me Baba Kalyani and her father as Baba Apte. The logic is that I live in Kalyani Nagar and her father’s home is on Apte Road. There is a problem with this also because Baba Kalyani is another person who is our neighbour here. In fact, our locality is named after his late father Neelkanth Kalyani.
42 years of calling Ranjan as Baba is difficult to give up but I am trying to. When Manjiree talks to our help and mentions the name Baba, both tend to get confused as for them too Ranjan has been Baba for the past twenty three years. Now, Baba has to suddenly become me, who for them has always been Papa.
Can you picture some of the hilarious situations that can arise because of such confusion in calling people within two families now connected through a wedding and sharing common addresses?