Oh! Its International Men’s Day on the 19th of November, and our much awaited weekly, ‘Parsi Times’ is celebrating it with a contest! …Asking you to let them know why your hubby, pappa, son, brother, gran-pappy , friend, uncle, teacher or mentor fits the description of that ‘complete man’ and your ‘favourite Bawaji’ in the whole wide world.
While the list to qualify may be relatively simple, the competition, I’m sure will be fierce. If you know a Bawaji who consciously, subconsciously, advertently or inadvertently follows the dictates of his Bawa- infused genes, you may already have a winner on your hands!
My ‘Mr International Bawaji’ title holder should be someone with some or all of these traits: Quirky yet cute like only a Bawa is; Eccentric but lovable all in one adorable package; loves his choy and dhansak, Sunday siestas and potlucks like all Parsis should… but here are a few top-of-the-list qualities every bawi yearns for in her favourite bawa:
1) Warm-Hearted and Benevolent: Must display that at all times and in all he does. Did your fella pay big bucks and go out of pocket, without a thought in the world, only to help that poor desperate Bawaji, who needed to do away with that old ramshackle of a vintage car, occupying valuable space in his spotless garage? Bringing home with him a derelict piece of machinery, guilt-free with a conscious riding high at a heart truly believing all seeped in altruistic endeavour! (More to do with that beat-up car, I suspect, than anything else.) A glean in his eye and a skip in his step, waiting to polish those years off that old car, tuning it up to its former glory of perfection all in the vain hope of that vintage piece of broken-down machinery winning at that Vintage-Auto- Rally taking place a couple of months later.
2) Passion Driven: Your Parsi fella is nothing if not passionate! Bawas are passionate about most things in life… about his food, his drink, music and sport. Have you visited a Parsi Baug during their inter-Baug matches? The atmosphere is electric, the participation intense, and competition fierce, on and off field. The IPLs and the world cups have nothing on these playoffs and games. Passion-driven Bawas everywhere! The 3 B’s of the Baug culture – ‘Bikes, Babes and Biceps’ – displayed and flaunted everywhere. The players display their skills, talents and worthiness, showing you how a man can stand a bit of rough and a tumble here and there. Your man, whether he’s a player or organizer, participant or helper, sponsor, donor or owner of the team, yells harder with every broken bone – in his body or another’s. And yet you can swear he’s lived more in those moments than any before or since, by that crazy grin plastered on his face through the evening!
3) Sense of Humour: Corny as hell, but you just get it and love it! You will certainly have heard the following from any female friend enumerating the charms of her new male squeeze – “He’s really so cute, and he’s so good with my friends, and he is so smart, knows all kinds of stuff, and he’s so funny….” Now there’s the catch, if your beau happens to be a Bawa that quirky, slap-stick, rib-tickling wit gets you every single time. Funny? Not a word usually associated with men and certainly not with the serious, stiff male specimens one tends to meet outside our community, but meet a Bawa and his boisterous charms, jovial disposition and crazy anecdotes will have the lady laughing in no time. Your regular Bawa boyfriend with his witty quips and humour can stimulate laughter in the house-akin to a stand-up comedian! I am talking about that real, head-back, open-mouthed, out-loud, deep-throated chuckle followed by that shocked surprise peal of delight, falling in love all over knowing that combination of wits and comic – a formidable combination and one beyond compare. After all, for a woman to say a man is funny is the equivalent of a man saying that a woman is pretty!
4) Genuine: He is the ‘real deal’ – that one of a kind. In today’s world, the word ‘Genuine’ is reserved for objects and artefacts more than people or sentiments! “This is a genuine piece,” or “Oh! It’s a genuine collection!” But if your man is a genuine person, you’ve landed the real deal. A genuine Bawa is someone who is a rare combination of the traditional, blended with the modern. He is as smooth as the scotch he drinks but has the swag and groove of Eninem! He will listen to Mozart and Bach while articulating the joys of Ed Sheeran and Cardi B. He is dapper in his suit, irresistible in his Dagli, but carries off those cargos and lounge PJ’s with just as much panache! He may not be adept with chopsticks but pretends to enjoy Chinese and the occasional sushi almost as much as his mom’s Sunday Dhansak, just to see you enjoy and pack it in. He is genuine in his thoughts, words and deeds – even those richly layered ones, levelled against someone who stole his parking spot or managed the last two seats at that now sold-out concert at the NCPA! He is candid and frank, honest and true, the epitome of a ‘real man’. Watch his actions… hear his words. He is a gentleman through and through. You may fall for his looks but you’ll stay for his genuinity!
5) Real Men Are Straight-shooters: He is candid yet compassionate. He is decisive and tough, and not afraid to take the lead – be it on the dance floor or any place else. Real men wear the pants in the relationship, even if they all are picked out by his woman! He is never one to be indifferent or unkind in their treatment to others, especially his girl. He treats her as his equal and respects her opinions and choices, save only the one that puts her in the driver’s seat of his wheels.
A real man is not defined by his wallet or the cut of his suit. He is marked by his manners and the content of his character. So have you picked your Bawaji yet? I know I have mine!