13-Feb-2012

Birthday goosebumps

On Friday evening, I could barely keep my excitement down. I had been informed by D earlier in the week that we were travelling in the weekend to celebrate my birthday on Sunday. I would know the destination on Friday evening on the way to the airport and all I had to do was pack a suitcase.

Anyone who has known me for a while now knows that I really love celebrating my birthday. While most people have the standard birthday parties in childhood, with cakes, chips, gifts and friends, advancing age scoffs upon full-scale birthday celebrations.

Not me.

Somehow the charm of having one special day when everyone remembers you and is super-nice to you has never worn off. (And before you roll off your chair laughing, please remember that there were greater freaks than me. Like King Akbar who had the whole kingdom celebrate his birthday)

I was secretly hoping that nothing hectic was involved and we would just chill out. As it turned out, that is what D seemed to have planned. On the way to the airport, he said we were going home to Chennai. I was thrilled and promptly asked what further plans were. D looked uncomfortable and said that he assumed I would be just happy going home. Er...I was hoping to chill out but not so much.

I immediately called up various friends to make plans to meet on Saturday night. Most of them seemed to be busy with something or the other. I rounded up exactly one person and even she was free only for an after-dinner drink.

Never mind. I was going home and I was happy with that. D told me that my sister knew (the master actor had been cribbing all along about a busy weekend with work commitments) but not my parents. It would be a surprise for them as well.

So we landed in Chennai and reached home at 11 p.m. and rang the bell, waiting to surprise the folks. Instead when the door opened, I was the one surprised to see mom, dad, sis and bro-in-law all smiling and standing in a room decorated to the hilt. My birthday was turning into a whole weekend of being treated special.

Saturday was pleasantly spent in the Sis’s house, eating and playing cards. On the side, I tried to persuade a couple of more friends to meet me but no luck. Besides, we were scheduled to go for a family dinner and I was not sure how enthusiastic I would be afterwards.

Come evening, my normally ‘we shall get ready atleast an hour before we are to go to any place’ family seemed to be lazing around. My dad was strutting around looking quite pained with an important courier guy who was scheduled to come and was holding up our plans. Sis and bro-in-law had landed up with a mysterious packet that definitely contained a cake box. Aha, I had caught them smuggling the cake into the house for my birthday the next day.

Around 7.30 the bell rang. I appeared at the door and lo behold. Standing there, smiling was a whole bunch of my Chennai friends.

I gasped in surprise, barely registering the happenings. Everyone gave me a hug and then busily proceeded to chatter and laugh while I sat quite stunned.

I had been cribbing for a few weeks now about missing Chennai and not meeting my friends and not spending any time with the Sis (Atleast the parents had visited me quite recently). And D had come up with the wonderful idea of whisking me off home for a cosy, little celebration.

The evening wore on with everyone chatting and catching up. I felt like a little kid all over again, sitting in her parent’s home among streamers and cakes and chips (albeit with wine instead of mango juice). I excitedly opened up the cute gifts everyone had given. Electricity played spoilsport. Yet, our talking continued unabated in candle light. Dinner was served in candle light as well, providing an unexpectedly charming atmosphere.

When I hit the bed that night, I slept with a grin on my lips. And when I woke up the day of my birthday, I was still grinning. Who couldn’t after such a lovely surprise party? I could not have asked for a better birthday gift. Especially after having spent the last few months annoyed by minor health irritants and unable to just enjoy the moment.

Perspective dawned huge and wide – when you have such a thoughtful spouse, a wonderful family and great friends, nothing else really matters.

The rest of the day went into chatting with family, catching up with friends who called and generally eating more than one should.

So a memorable birthday it was. One that will linger on in my mind and put a grin on my face long past the celebration.

9 comments:

Archana said...

See - this is exactly why you are the perfect recipient of surprise parties! You are soooooooooooo enthusiastic about the whole thing that everyone involved in the planning winds up feeling warm and fuzzy and happy as well :-D. So glad that you enjoyed everything and even gladder that you did not try too much to use your Sherlock detective-ing to sniff out the surprise(s)! Waiting for the next opportunity now :-D.

SK said...

Many more happy returns of the day! Surprise bday bashes are always fun!

Aparna said...

That is one fabulous celebration!! Awesome family to have planned a special day/weekend for u :)

hAAthi said...

Oh shoot, birthday happened?
Happy birthday yo! From the sound of it, it was excellent. I hope the rest of the year is just the same. Full of surprise, travel, fun and family togetherness :)

Anita said...

Archana - ha ha, if that means more surprise parties bring it on :)

SK - Hey thanks

Aparna - Seriously. Really cool of them

hAAthi - Thanks!

Priyanthi said...

I must say we had quite a stressful time keeping the secret from you. And it was so worth it to see the expression on your face. All credit to D.

Musings said...

So happy that it went well. In fact when I'd messaged you I was hoping the surprise had gone well and that I was not putting my foot in.

Glad you enjoyed the evening. To many more such birthdays girl!

Bharathis said...

We had a lovely time celebrating your birthday at home. Kudos to D for making it a memorable occasion for friends and family! All the behind the scene preparations by Arch and S, and including us in the suspense, made it very hard for us to keep it a secret in our daily chats!

Sonal said...

i totally agree with archu...it was so nice to see you gleefully absorbing in everything! i only hope D has many more ideas in his head for future birthdays :))