Shanta Noble Remembers “Daddy”

On January 23, 2010 at 1:06 am Shanta Noble Said:

I would like to share some of my memories of my grand-father-memories bring the person remembered to life. ImamBux Bawa was my mother’s father & we called him “Daddy” He stayed in a little cottage, not far from us & he spent a lot of the day with us. I was about six years old when Daddy passed away, so my memories are those of a child & may not be accurate & factual, but he did make a deep impression on me-it is amazing how much a child sees & learns from an adults life.
Daddy was small-built,fair with delicate features,& though blind he was always meticulously groomed-his soft silvery hair was never overgrown or out of place & I don’t remember him ever having a stubble on his chin. He used to dress in a cream colored three-piece suit, with a Braille pocket watch, & never left the house without an overcoat-Indian heat notwithstanding! Which reminds me of a funny story. When Daddy walked over to our house with his Bearer, he wondered why the dogs along the road kept barking. Bearer thought for a moment & replied, “Sahib, I think the dogs think you may be a buffalo in your black over-coat & so they bark” Though irritated by the Bearer’s response Daddy remained graciously quiet.
He was wonderful with languages-spoke English like a Britisher-besides this, he spoke fluent Marathi, Hindi, Urdu, Gujarathi, Katchi-I apologize if I left some language out of this list. When I watch with pride our grandson, Gaelan speak Japanese, Spanish, French with such ease, I smile & think Gaelan must have got Daddy’s linguistic gene!
He was up on current events & I was fascinated to see him read the Newspaper in Braille & do correspondence on a Braille type-writer.
He wanted to stay independent as long as possible but was very present in our lives. He loved to invite Dada, Leela & me for lunch or Samosa parties. His little cottage was neat & clean, the table set with a white table-cloth & serviettes held in silver napkin holders. Little as I was I knew I could not use the back of my hand to wipe my mouth in Daddy’s home! He’d serve delicious Kabobs & fresh cucumbers & radish & for dessert we’d have cantaloupe-so sweet & refreshing! After lunch Daddy would regale us with one of his stories. I don’t remember the stories, but I do remember the magical world he spun for us with his eloquence, the cadence of his voice-I didn’t want the story to ever end! I tell my grand-children stories at their Bath-Time-usually, Bible stories-& I am not as skillful as Daddy was-but I try to convey the same love that Daddy gave us.
Daddy had many good friends who came to visit him-Mr Dhalwani,Mr Joshi, Brother Deshpande, our Pastor. daddy & the Pastor spent hours praying. Once on such an occasion, Papa came home from work; he tip toed to take his bath & have a cup of tea before joining the two in prayer-they were still going strong.
We had a friend I’ll call Mr M. He tells the story of how Daddy trusted him with a large note of money to make change. Mr M by his own account was “slick of hand”-but when he realized Daddy’s faith in his integrity, he lived up to that expectation & brought all the money to Daddy.
When Daddy was nearing the end, he came to live with us. It was a very trying time for my parents,as Leela was critically ill in the hospital with Typhoid & Daddy on his Death-bed. As he was sinking, he kept checking his watch & remarked that it was getting late for Dada & me to come home from school-that day we decided to visit Leela before returning home-alas! we came home too late! He had waited as long as he could! I have heard that Pastor Deshpande was at Daddy’s bed-side & offered him Holy Communion-Daddy responded by saying that he will be communing with God shortly & didn’t need the last rites.
I am so grateful to have such a rich legacy. Daddy’s life left a deep impression on my sub-conscience & the lessons that lay dormant all these years have sprung to life! I learned that age does not allow one to slack of on good grooming,being up to date on current events, being enthusiastic about things that interest one. I have learned to be present & generous with our time & love with our grand-children. I have learned that Daddy’s Faith was not just Doctrine & Creed,but a vital, vibrant relationship with God.

Published on January 23, 2010 at 1:54 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. How fascinating
    How I would love to know his other descendants and family members
    of our clan.

    Karam Bawa

    • Dear Karam,
      I have already replied to your other comment on this site. I would request you to send me a mail at and I would be glad to put you in touch with other family members of the Bawa family.
      Best wishes,
      R R Kelkar

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