In Focus

Closer to their fathers, this Day!

As the world celebrates Father's Day today to honour fatherhood and the special bond between a father and his child, The Draft Colaba brings you stories of how, this year, the lockdown made Father's Day special for some families in Colaba

TODAY, during Mission Begin Again, at the crack of dawn, Kalpesh and Jayesh rush to check on their father as soon as they wake up at their home at Munshi Chambers in Third Pasta Lane. As the elder son, Kalpesh runs his fingers through his frail-looking stroke survivor father’s hair to check on him, 62-year-old Ashok Manrupchand Jain opens his eyes with a smile. The times have changed. The lockdown has infused a rare responsibility into his sons.

On April 4th, at 7 am, Ashok woke up with a loss of control on his facial muscles. After being unable to take a bath by himself, the family found him unable to eat breakfast properly. “It was scary watching the side of his face slump and being unable to keep food in his mouth. We knew at once that something was wrong,” recalls elder son Kalpesh.

IN GOOD TIMES: Recuperating stroke survivor Ashok Manrupchand Jain with his family before the lockdown
They rushed him to Bombay Hospital where he underwent treatment for two days before returning home. But that was not all. On May 6th, again at about 8 am, Ashok displayed similar symptoms, except that this time around, they seemed more severe. Ashok’s eyes had turned glassy and he couldn’t recognise anyone in the family. “Now, we rushed him to Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital at Girgaum where he remained for treatment, for 20 days at a stretch,” says an emotional Jayesh, recalling the ordeal.

Now, back home, in hindsight, the family maintains the lockdown came as a boon considering, at all times, both sons, Kalpesh and Jayesh would be away at work throughout the day and the situation could have simply spiralled out of control had their father fallen sick then.

BACK HOME: Recuperating stroke survivor Ashok Manrupchand Jain (centre)
got timely treatment because of sons Kalpesh Jain (left) and Jayesh Jain
“Which is why they say, ‘What happens, happens for the best’,” maintains a visibly weak yet positive Ashok, now well on his way to recovery. “Now, both my sons stay more at home, spend time with their children, wake up early and eat healthy. My stroke has scared them into behaving themselves,” he says with a twinkle in his eyes. “Why, for the first time in my life, they’ve even planned an informal family get-together on Father’s Day,” he adds.

Hiya Bonded, Spent Time With Father

First Pasta Lane resident and merchant Navin Jain found himself spending quality time for the entire two months of the lockdown with his 14-year-old daughter Hiya Jain who helped her father put things in order his shop. “Earlier, she would be embarrassed to come to the shop but, this lockdown, she spent so much time with me instead of her friends as has been the case,” recalls Navin.

CLOSER THAN BEFORE: Merchant Navin Jain with teenage daughter Hiya Jain at his shop
For the very first time, Hiya spent time with her father even bonded with him at work. “This time, I realised how busy he has always been with work. Always at the shop, I always complained about how he hardly had time to spend with me. But now, I realise how difficult it was for him,” says Hiya, planning a surprise treat for her dad, this Father’s Day.

Recovering Wasim Rested, Got Quality Time With Kids

Insurance and realty consultant Wasim Khan couldn’t be happier with the lockdown. After having suffered a heart condition that had played up just before the lockdown, Wasim had been advised rest but simply couldn’t afford to stay put at home for long, owing to work deadlines and professional commitments. “The lockdown came as a boon for me,” he says. “I could finally take a break,” recalls Wasim.

From March 25th onwards, Wasim got a golden opportunity to spend ‘days on end’ with his three children and two sons-like nephews, Fizan and Dayan, his ‘Jaans’. “This was the best time of our lives,” recalls eldest daughter and physiotherapist Farheen who learnt to cook new ‘vegetarian’ dishes from YouTube for her father. Farheen, incidentally, will soon be leaving Mumbai “to pursue a post-graduation programme” and stay away from her family throughout the period.

FAMILY TIME: From right - Wasim Khan with wife Latifa, son Atif, daughters
Farheen, Alisha and nephews Dayan and Fizan (extreme left)
Younger daughter Alisha, who “topped her recently-held XII exams,” has been helping her father keep the home in order. Wasim’s wife Latifa is a self-professed cleanliness freak and the father-daughter duo make sure her standards are met. “This lockdown, I realised, she has a serious interest in aeronautics,” says Wasim.

Son Atif who plays cricket for the Mumbai Cricket Association has grown closer to his father, especially after his ailment. “Even today, he comes and sleeps next to me every night. We make sure to have the morning tea together. When he is away, we talk over video calls… the lockdown has brought us closer,” maintains Wasim.

This Father’s Day is special for the Khan family, closer than ever before, who will celebrate it with ‘vegetarian food’, song and dance in celebration of father Wasim Khan’s recovery and more.