Khushru Bacha, Vice President IT, Runwal Group, on his favourite childhood memories, friendship, maturity, and unconditional love.
The technological and strategic leadership experience gathered over three decades has helped Khushru Bacha successfully plan and execute major IT and business transformation projects to create the maximum business value. He has worked in various verticals like FMCG, Service, Retail, Manufacturing, and Real estate. This has included tenures at Bombay Dyeing, Marico, Colgate Palmolive, Kansai Nerolac Paints, Emerson Network Power, and Kalpataru among others. Here, he reminisces about the best parts of his childhood.
Friendships that last a lifetime
“My childhood friends were all tapori types, and after school we used to spend time playing games like hide and seek and football. When we were a little older, it turned into volleyball and cricket with a tennis ball in our society. Best friends also fight a lot but even that was fun. Some would be physical fights, but even while fighting we knew that we would hug each other the next moment. We also loved organising annual picnics and sports days in our society. All these taporis are now successful leaders in their own fields, living in different places and busy in their own lives. But even after more than three decades we still stay in touch and meet at least two to three times a year. During all our meetings we love to recall those moments which were the best moments of our lives. We are all around 50 years old now, but we still call each other by those familiar pet names and refuse to believe that we have outgrown our childhood. No one in this world is rich enough to buy his own childhood back but friends help to recreate those moments from time to time at no cost.”
Wishing vacations would never end
“Then there is another set of childhood memories of my native place, which is very close to my heart. I used to look forward to my school vacations because I used to go every year to my native place, to my dear maternal grandmother’s house in a small town called Navsari in Gujarat. At that time, Navsari was full of houses lined up in small streets, which were called mohallas. What fun we used to have in our mohalla, playing all kinds of games, running after lambs, catching them, lovingly cuddling them. I still remember an old uncle who used to sit in his easychair outside his house door in the moholla, reading the newspaper and shouting at us whenever our tennis ball used to go anywhere near him. We used to eagerly wait for our favourite vendors who would come daily at a fixed time to sell their wares in handcarts. I learnt cycling as a child in that mohalla. In the evenings we used to be off to a nearby club where I learned to play table tennis and chess. School vacations were so much fun. I always used to cry when it was time to come back to Mumbai and the hangover used to last for at least a week after returning to Mumbai. Those vacations were some of the best moments of my childhood. There was such joy in being carefree and fearless. As adults we have to look for happiness, but as children it was around every corner! ”
Of missed opportunities
“The most special memories of those days involve my beloved maternal grandmother who used to stay in Navsari. I was her life, and she used to shower so much love on me that it’s impossible to express in words. But I remained oblivious to that love. I was not mature enough to appreciate that love and I never reciprocated it. Of course I used to love her but I never bothered to expressit. She died many years ago and now when I recall all those moments I realise how much she loved me and I curse myself for having lost those opportunities to reciprocate it. How I wish I can get just one more chance to hug her tight and tell her how much I love her. As someone rightly said, grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts forever.
“Life turns a full circle and ironically I can see the same thing happening with my parents. Both my parents dote on their only two grandchildren—my two daughters who are nine and seven years old. My mom’s life revolves around her grandchildren. She pours out all her love on them unconditionally, doing so many things for them. But it all goes undervalued, unreciprocated and taken for granted. I know her heart aches for their love but they are too small to understand or care. We need to tell the people we love how much they matter to us before it’s too late. Don’t wait for the right time to appreciate what you have been given. Whether it’s childhood friends, family, partners, children, or colleagues step up and show you care. Life is too short for missed opportunities.”