Lessons from Bawaji

Those of us who are lucky to have had grandparents in our lives know that its one of the biggest blessings we will ever have. Good friend and ace chef and entrepreneur Perzen Patel, famously known as Bawi Bride writes about her “Bawaji”….maternal grandfather and the lesssons he taught her that have become stepping stones on her life journey


Bawaji passed away a few months ago this year. Even though he had been sick for a really long time and didn’t recognise or respond to any of us anymore, the first time I heard the news, the words “Walkeshwar na Pathra” silently formed in my mind. I was distraught that I’d never hear him say his signature phrase again.

Being the first grandchild, I was lucky to have had his undivided attention for seven glorious years until my cousin Delna came into the world. I was his ‘Kallu’. He’d pick me up from school if I forgot to get down at the right stop and we’d go have a packet of Potato Shells, just the two of us. And, even though he hated grating coconuts, he’d grumble and grate one for me so that Mamaiji could make me her signature red curry. Sigh! The pleasures of being the first grand-child!


Buy that fish

Mamaiji and Bawaji didn’t have much to spare after taking care of their three children. Mamaiji used to sew all her childrens’ clothes to save some pennies while Bawaji often worked overtime. While Mamaiji wisely watched her pennies, her one weakness was her love for fish. She could never resist the call of the fish monger and his prawns or walk past a basket of fresh pomfret in the market. Bawaji told her that she didn’t have to. If you want it really bad, then just buy that fish he’d tell her! I’ve learnt not to deprive my intuition in a similar fashion. After getting married, I wanted to start a blog so I just started. I always wanted to have my own business so I saved up for the initial capital and then just ‘bought that fish’. Somehow your gut knows what ‘fish’ is really good for you and you’re not benefitting anyone by ignoring your gut.

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