Saturday, February 8, 2014

A very happy birthday, indeed!

The kitchen lights were on. The sick feeling in my gut returned, sending my mind into a daze. I clearly remembered having checked everything before I left… “Paro, you forgot about the lights again, didn’t you,” Harish asked me, raising an eyebrow accusingly. I tried recollecting things that I did before leaving for work. Balcony door was closed, the gas was switched off, the switches were all off, the taps were closed, the computer had been shut down -- yes, I had checked everything before I left. My mind was whirring with questions. Who was in there? Who had switched the lights on? Robbers?

I unlocked the door, and walked in gingerly. The lights had been turned off. I could feel the chills traveling down my spine like a monorail. Who had turned the lights off? Who was in there? Robbers?

I fumbled for the switchboard and nervously turned the cane light on. I saw two pair of ‘big-foot’ chappals. Instead of breaking into a sweat, I broke into a seepish smile. “Get the buggers out,” I said. No robbers in the house, just friends, two lovely ones.

The floor was peppered with yellow and red petals. The table had a board that wished me, before time. “Surprise”, yelled the robbers holed inside the house. Badey and chotey, hiding inside, after having executed a carefully conspired birthday surprise for me. Harish had excused himself from work, telling me that he had an important assignment to finish. This, the beautiful carpet of decoration that welcomed me -- this was his important assignment. This, after having taken me for a surprise dinner party.

The biggest surprise of the night smelt good, really good. It emerged from the kitchen, attracting me like a magnet, towards its seductive aroma. There it was, in a yellow bowl, looking sinfully gorgeous -- double ka meetha, made with fried bread soaked in the goodness of milk, drizzled with sugar syrup and garnished with nuts fried in a sea of ghee. Chote and badey had made it for me, cleaning the kitchen and doing the dishes too!

The day started with yet another surprise -- loved ones taking time off their schedules to send in their wishes via videos. The birthday celebrations were closed with a beautiful surprise at work. Decorated classroom, beautiful, dark, moist cake and beautiful people to elevate the celebrations to a surreal level.

The celebrations had started a week back with a parcel full of love and goodies from home. I’m richer by three pairs of jhumkas, a necklace, a cloth hanger and tons of love. The baap of all surprises was a Jabong parcel delivered to me -- a parcel of love that came all the way from Pune. Vidya, you managed to bowl me over.

I love celebrating birthdays, particularly my own one...Yes, I like celebrating it, but what I love all the more is the fact that it tells me that people care for me, consider me important enough to spare some time, put in efforts, just to see me smile. All I want, for the rest of my birthdays to come, is for you, all of you, to make me feel wanted. All I want is the warmth. All I want, is for you all to walk by my side, and let me know that I’m not alone. That’s all I want.

PS: The gifts are welcome, too! :P