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  • Going through the family photos, I came across the original of this gem.

    My sister says it isn't but I am sure it is, her father and my step-Dad. It was taken, if it is Dad, either in India or while my Dad was at MIT before or after the war. I am going with MIT and before the war. Certainly, it is a side of Dad NONE of us ever saw.

    Of course, we have seen photos of Dad skiing during his University days. During the war he was a Sapper (Canadian Army) so humped supplies, built bridges, and buried bodies up and down Italy, and then in France. So he was no weakling. But throughout our lives, aside from doing the odd disastrous home renovation project and driving us up to ski hills, "strenuous exercise" appeared to be left somewhere in post-war Europe.

    Somewhere in the collections of letters and official records I have letters from his mother and father, still in India.

    Granny writes increasingly guilt-inducing letters -- "Why won't my Baby write me?", "Come and finish your education in India. I can arrange a job at Tata Industries." and the letter enclosing an itemized list of every penny spent on him since age 5 with the note "Why won't my Baby write me?".

    The one extant letter from Grandpa asks how his schooling is going, what he is eating, and his measurements... including the size of his manhood, presumably to ensuring he is maturing as he should. Dad left for Boston from Mumbai in 1939, when he was 15, only going back for a couple of short visits. The last visit was in 1968, bringing the whole family. Granny still thought that she was going to convince him, at age 45 to throw our lives in Canada away and move back to India. "At least leave the children here to be raised by us!" When it was apparent he had no intention of doing either, she blamed Mom. Her final entreaty of having us stay an extra month was unworkable because Mom was starting a new job and had to be home by the last week in August. "Tell them Mrs. Dubash said you have to stay longer!"

    While that might have worked in India because of her status at the apex of Parsi society, it would have meant nothing to anyone in Canada.

    We left, she disowned Dad, and Mom and I (age 10) became "the reason why" her son "abandoned her".

    To her death she reviled both my mother and myself.... and still begged "My Baby to come home".
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