Daddy Diaries

In this new monthly column Mazda explores the relationship he has with his daughters (and everyone else).

“What would you like to be when you grow up?” I asked my daughters the quintessential question that all parents ask their children eventually at some point. My daughters were on the back seat of our car as we drove in the chimeric traffic of Mumbai to hopefully someplace nice. My elder daughter, Meher, is a little more than 8 years old, and my younger daughter, Khursheed, is a little less than 7. Just like in every other family where children are brought up by the same parents in the same environment, they too are poles apart.

“I wanna become a make-up artist… for dead people,” Meher, who spends a large portion of her day in front of the mirror, said unflinchingly. I screeched on the breaks but not from her answer; that’s how one spends Sunday evenings if going towards Bandra. “Why should people who have died not look pretty?” she wondered aloud. “Plus, unlike with alive people, I can do whatever make-up I think looks good and they won’t fuss!” she made her point. “Alive people have too many issues,” she concluded rightfully amidst all the unnecessary honking that people around us were indulging in.

“Maybe we should get you a vacation internship at John Pinto,” I proposed, “and instead of going for summer camp or learning how to swim, you could learn how to make dead people look good.” “Pinto!” she exclaimed, giggling at the name. “They take such good care of people that some of them look better dead than when they were alive,” I joked. “When someone dies, they clean them up, put make-up, dress them up in a suit or saree, and put them in a fancy coffin where they can be buried looking fresh and happy,” I said smilingly, as I swerved to miss hitting an erratic two-wheeler. “Careful, Dadda, don’t kill him – I don’t have my make-up kit with me!” she joked.

“You could also learn the art of embalming,” added my wife sitting next to me, who is pursuing her hypothetical master’s in ancient Egyptian techniques. “That’s the real make-up!” “What the heck is that?” Meher asked. “When someone dies, the body is preserved by injecting certain chemicals in it to dry it up and make it look fresh for many years, so there’s not much decay. It’s a very tough process to master,” she tried to explain simply. “It’s also called mummification,” I interjected. “I wonder why,” Meher mused. “It’s because all daddies want their children’s mummies to look fresh even after many years!” I added, and promptly got a slap on my thigh from my wife. I did later find out that ‘mummification’ comes from the Arabic word mummiya, a substance that was first used in the preservation process.

“I wanna become a teacher,” said my younger one, looking out of the window as she loves to do every time we go for a drive. “Because all the teachers in my school are really kind,” she went on to answer without even being asked why. “Today in English, we learnt prep… something (her six-year-old self was trying to figure out how to say ‘prepositions’) and teacher made us play a game to learn it simply.” “Give me an example,” I said. “Like miss asked us to put our bags on the table… so ‘on’ becomes the prepopittin or whatever it’s called, she said, smilingly hushing away her struggle. “Then she asked to remove our lunch box from the bag and eat whatever was in it… so ‘in’ is the prepsitition,” she continued, shaking her head and shaking away her inability to pronounce it. “Okay cool, let’s play a game. I’ll make a sentence and you fill in the blanks when I say dash with the precipitation or whatever that word is,” I levelled up. I haven’t seen kids this excited in Mumbai traffic before.

“Tina sat dash Tom,” was the first thing that came to my mind, and they started giggling out loud. I wondered why and only after a few seconds did I realize that their single-digit minds were naughtier than my double-digit experience. “Okay, let me give you a clue: it’s not ‘in’ and it’s not ‘on’!” I announced, suddenly wiping the smiles off their faces. They didn’t have an answer for a few seconds until Khursheed raised her hand on the back seat and said ‘behind’ as though she was still in class. “Thank God, or else, I was going to make a call to your teacher,” I said, giving them a fake stare. “The answer could have even been across or near or besides,” I went on, wondering to myself if these were actually prepositions. The beauty of having school-going children in the first and second standards makes you realize how little you know. But I take solace from the fact that there is no point in knowing so little.

We finally reached our destination. The conversations I have with my kids makes traffic seem interesting and that much more meaningful. I love talking to children, mine and everyone else’s. They are unfathomably wise and I believe we have a lot to learn from them. Their minds are not constrained by the realm of reality and each of them is a fulcrum of wonder. They silence your rationality and make you believe in magic. It’s a pity that they have to grow up. But until they do, stay tuned to this column for more.



23 Comments on “Daddy Diaries
  • Azmin Vania says:

    I find traffic jams fun too (only when my kids are with me).

    Our games include:
    Singular and Plural
    Word building
    Guess the word

    I love your articles and while most are inspiring, kind, thought-provoking, this one has one addition – empathy!

  • Dr.Ashok Kumar Shetty says:

    Ya Doc …the relationship of growing up kids and their Parents are the most beautiful periods of our lives…like you said “pity they have to grow up”….I kept telling my son “why did you have to grow up so soon “….Cheers Doc……Have a Good Sunday….😊

  • Kersi Naushir Daruvala says:

    It is difficult for us to judge or guide our little one for they are far superior in their imagination and we to guide them is greatest history they may create.

  • Dr Shanti Narayanan says:

    Loved to read your blog especially on a Sunday morning

  • Sunita Jimmy Masani says:

    What a fun experience !
    Thank you for sharing!
    Reminds me of –
    Children (as peace builders) on my mind :
    Children are innocent.
    Their innocence keeps them free.
    Freed of prejudice, they are incapable of hatred, essentially pure.
    Therefore fit to be emulated
    And worthy of reverence..
    A life in Poems.

  • Bikram Shakya says:

    Lovely, beautiful and charming daughters!!!
    Childrens are very intelligent these days —> better nurtured by environment they grow…
    Wishing for the best of future ahead!

  • Sunita Jimmy Masani says:

    Also , both your daughters look beautiful 😍 God’s blessings 💞

  • Laina Emmanuel says:

    I loved it 🙂 Your daughters are wise beyond years

  • Anjali Patki says:

    Bless them both , your daughters are angels..guess all daughters are… imaginative, talkative, fun, full of stories, always thinking and no pretenses…..we adults need to learn a lot from them..

  • Diana Mistry says:

    I hate reading since your daughters were part of this I had to make Tashaan read as also whenever we pass your building he has to point and say mamma Meher & Khurshed stays here next year we all going to travel together in our school bus.
    what we do in traffic we read all the boards like if I read out a car number he has to tell me which car where is it or someone is wearing so and so who is it so we are looking at everything and finding stuff lol thanks for sharing he enjoyed reading.

  • T George Koshy says:

    U r very right abt how little children make u realise u really don’t know much..God bless ur family

  • Neelam Ahuja says:

    Excellent n such different thoughts by lovely Meher. I was stunned that this generation children think so differently. All the best for your lovely daughters

  • Meher Medora says:

    Ahuramazda’s blessings on your sweet daughters Striking resemblance your Meher has with our Tia and also your sweet Khursheed. Enjoyed reading your article as usual . Children can certainly make you think of the unusual things. Stay blessed all of you dear ones 👍❤️👍❤️👍

  • Meher Medora says:

    Ahuramazda’s blessings on your sweet daughters Striking resemblance your Meher has with our Tia and also your sweet Khursheed. Enjoyed reading your article as usual . Children can certainly make you think of the unusual things. Stay blessed all of you dear ones 👍❤️👍❤️👍

  • Meher Medora says:

    Ahuramazda’s blessings to both your lovely daughters.There’s a striking resemblance between your daughters and our Tia .especially Meher.
    Congratulations!! You have very sweet and smart kids .👌👌👌Enjoyed reading your article as usual. Stay blessed all of you dear ones 👍❤️👍❤️👍❤️🙏🙏🙏

  • Eusebio Aranha says:

    Our favourite was”Name, Place, Animal, Things”.

  • Martha says:

    Hmmmmm, first time to hear ‘makeup for the dead’

    I love your honest relationship with your children, worth emulating.👏🏻 🙏🙏🙏👏🏻

  • Sushma Sowraj says:

    It’s not every day that we get to read about dads and their kids having fun in Mumbai traffic.As a parent myself, I know how difficult it can be to keep kids entertained during long car rides. But you managed to make it fun and memorable with your witty banter. Your daughters are so cute and funny, and I could almost hear their laughter while reading your story.Beautiful journey! Waiting for another Daddy’s Diary adventure!

  • Manaz Zainabadi says:

    Doc u sure are fun loving n fortunately u are blessed wth 2 lovely daughters..waiting eagerly fr yr next article!!blessings to all..big n small!!

  • Dr Hema Ratnaparkhi says:

    Sir,i enjoy your writings whether they are about the patient or family
    You are so down to earth.

  • Rita singh says:

    Dear doctor ,like u ur daughters too r far more intelligent and knowledgeable for their age.Never heard of so much feeling for the dead.I too have granddaughter and grandson of around same age group. We ask them to count the number of cars or twowheelers they have past, or sometimes how how many traffic lights, while navigating the delhi roads. Very interesting topic and very well put to pen.

  • Zee Pasta says:

    The song from The King and I came to mind…

    Getting to know you
    Getting to know your girlies too
    Getting to like you, liking your lil gals too

    Getting to know you, you write in such a wondrous way
    So nicelyyyy
    You are precisely
    Our cup of tea


    Daddy Diaries – fine mood booster dear Dr Mazda!!!

    You make tortuous traffic
    Sound thrillingly terrific
    With all that
    and Precipitation

    Life with you n your family
    is one howlarious joyride
    of absolute amusation!!!!

    God bless our Daddy Diarist Dearest 💜❤️💜

  • Pinky Mistry says:

    Simply delightful… as always


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