Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Thanks Dad, for beating the crap outta me

If I am the man I am today ( i know, I'm not much of a man, but it could've been worse), it is because my dad beat the living daylights out of me every time i went astray. Why, you think am i digging up old graves? Well, basically because of two reasons: 1. I saw the Russel Peters "somebody gonna get a hurt real bad" sequence once again a few days back, and 2. This weekend, during the regular booze session with friends, this topic of how-my-parents-beat-the-crap-outta-me-when-i-was-a-kid came up, and i realized i had wayyyy too many stories to narrate compared to the other guys. To socha kyun na blog mein chipkaa diya jaaye.

Well, before you set off judging my dad as stone-hearted, let me tell you something about myself. I was a difficult kid. I'm sure had any of you been in my place, my dad probably wouldn't have laid a scratch on you. But I...oh boy, I was a piece of work. I virtually asked for it. Like painting your face red in front of a bull, poking its ears with a straw, and then doing the "mukkala muquabla" dance in front of it. Anyway, with that cleared up, we shall continue( I really wouldn't want to show my Dad in bad light here... i mean if he reads this and doesn't like it, he still has the capability to kick my ass to the moon)

Now you say what's the big deal? This is hardly something to blog about. everyone get a few knocks from their dads. Except everyone's dad is not a Para-commando with 29 years of service in the Army, trained to kill with his bare hands and eat snakes for lunch when Mc'Donalds is a bit too far away. You see, there's a difference in getting bitch-slapped by an accountant and getting roundhouse-kicked by a paratrooper. My dad's old now, but in his prime, he was the Alpha and the Omega of manliness. he was Walker-Texas Ranger, John Rambo, T-1000 and Shahenshah (the "rishte mein hum tumhaare baap lagte hain" dialogue actually fits here) put together. He was so goddamn manly, that this is what he looked like 15 minutes after he shaved:

To be fair to him, he always used to give me an advance warning that a thrashing was-a-coming. He'd say "very bad, Barun" nanoseconds before i found myself flying across the room like a table-tennis ball. God, how i feared the three words. "Very bad, Barun". very bad indeed.

Anyway, here are some random memories about the very well deserved thrashings that I have received over the years:

He used props a lot. I've been whacked, among other things, with a hawai chappal, an Army belt ( The Ashok Chakra that was on the belt was engraved on my ass for weeks), a bottle of frozen pepsi, a TV antenna, and even the Sunday Times ( my face had the front page printed on it for the next two days.. people would look at my face and exclaim, "oh.. India lost, kya"). Actually he whacked me with whatever he was holding at the exact point of time when i pissed him off. Sometimes, when i was really really lucky, he would be holding a pillow. But most of the times, he would be repairing his car with a spanner or polishing his DMS combat boots or admiring his collection of golf clubs.

My mum loved it when my dad beat my ass, and I would be a good boy for days to come. She would actually say " Awww Barun, you're such a darling till two weeks after the thrashing. Why aren't you so well-behaved all the time?". I would reply with a sheepish grin. Some sense of humour she has, I tell you.

Of all the 57,342 beatings I've gotten from my dad, it is surprising that the reasons for the thrashings were only one of these two: 1. Lying, and 2. treating my brother like shit.
It has taken me 57,342 beatings to learn just two things. No wonder I'm in the IT industry.

There was one really cool side-effect of the beatings. You see, the next day i would go with a swollen lip or a black eye to school. And all the kids would pester me wanting to know how I got it. And I would cook up some story like there were these four guys misbehaving with a girl at that corner and i went and saved her. I did take a few blows as they were all seven feet tall and professional wrestlers, but I did manage to rip their heads off and sacrifice them to lord Shiva, while the girl couldn't stop kissing me. Then all the kids would go " whoa man, you're such a badass.... we wish we could be half as brave as you. Autograph please?" The black eyes, the swollen lips and the dislocated shoulders gave me a total Super-Commando-Dhruv image at school. Thanks to my dad, no one messed with me in school.

I think this disciplining jackass kids with a well-deserved socking is common with many Army officers. I had a friend whose name was Gaurav, who was a bigger jackass than me, and his dad was like three of my dads put together. Gaurav wasn't really good at maths. At a particular unit-test in school, he scored zero out of 35. Following my advice, he buried the test copy in his garden. Ten days later, on a fine evening, it so happened that i had just gone to his house to ask him to join us for a game of cricket. The gardener was doing the garden, and suddenly started digging out pages from mother earth with a lot of crosses and zeroes and comments like "you imbecile, i need to meet your parents" in red ink. He showed it to Gaurav's dad. I saw this with my own eyes, and I shit you not, his dad was so angry, that the sheets of paper that he was holding in his hands caught fire. This brief conversation followed:

Gaurav's Dad: Barun, go and play cricket.
Me: But uncle, Gaurav has to come. Otherwise we have no one to bring the ball back when it falls into the gutter.
Gaurav's dad: Gaurav, tell your friend that you won't be playing cricket today (while muttering under his breath... and probably for the next six months. You need two hands to hold a bat)
Gaurav: Barun, go. You really shouldn't be seeing this. It's gonna be disturbing.

Well, as i stepped out, i saw him flying out of the rear window, and promptly being dragged back inside. Their neighbours later told me that they saw the same thing happen about 27 times that day.

The last time my dad beat my ass black and blue was about 6 years ago, when I was in my 1st year of engineering. Yes, my CATP ( Cut-off Age for Thrashing from Parents) was as late as 18 years. It so happens that I had just come back from college for vacations, and my driver picked me up from the railway station. The driver was a chutiya, and I somehow convinced him to give me the wheel. Please note that i had never driven a car before in my life. I hadn't driven 10 metres when i banged in onto an incoming Tata Sumo. Major tamasha ensued. Parted with a lot of hard-earned pocket money in order to pacify the Sumo owner. But what i did next, was a stroke of genius. I knew my dad wouldn't be back home until late evening. So I gave the car to a mechanic, and told him to undo all the dents and fix another head-lamp while i begged/borrowed/stole money to pay him off. Got the car fixed, borrowed enough money to pay the mechanic off, and got the car back home before dad was back. Yeah! Game,Set,Match! Except the mechanic left one dent uncovered. And my dad spotted it. What happened next is too graphic to describe, but if you ever happen to meet my neighbours, ask them about that night in December 2002 when they thought that a jackal had strayed into our colony and was howling because it was full-moon.

Ahh.... sweet memories. But you know what, I'm glad my Dad beat my ass. He didn't do gay things that today's parents do like ground me, or send me off to my room to think about what i had just done while i could just close the door and shag. He beat my ass. Like a man does to a man. And thank god for it. Had it not been for the discipline that he taught me, I would probably be peddling dope in Allahabad Railway Station today.

So, I close this post with a thank you to Daddy dearest, who, apart from teaching me 57,342 ways to discipline my future kid, taught me many more things about life. Today, as I have grown up to be a fine young man ( i know this is debatable... but just go along with me for now, won't you), he has become a true friend. Hell, he even opens his favourite bottles of single malt whenever I go home and pours me a drink twice as large as his own. Thank you dear Father, I owe you big-time.

Note: People who do choose to comment on this piece, kindly give your CATPs as well.