CELEBRATION TO REMEMBER

Celebration to remember
The Sun arose in the east as usual today morning but the heart was not the same. It seemed
more alive today with pleasant expectations. Saying a quick prayer, I grabbed the phone. I
could not wait to start reading the birthday wishes. How nice it felt reading and rereading
those wondrous words. I felt like a balloon being inflated deliciously slowly.
Then it just plopped off all of a sudden. This was by the prick of sudden remembrance of the
‘To Do’ list of today morning.
I rushed through the usual chores of making breakfast and lunch, pushing the kids in the
bathrooms for a reluctant bath and then coerced them to come out of it so that the piping
hot breakfast did not become frozen. Meanwhile the clock continued to race. As I gulped
down some breakfast and made my way to the hospital, I prayed that I would not be given
too many serious and dying patients to be dealt with today. Even after being for years in this
medical field; any patient in distress still sends my heart racing. In spite of all our efforts,
some patients will just not survive. We can never conquer death.
My prayers were heard. We got a string of accident victims, medico legal assault cases,
alcoholics and drug addicts but none were really serious. Retracing my steps back home, I
felt spent. I just craved for some rest. My enthusiasm has dwindled over the years.
I came back to an empty nest. Children were away for classes. As I put on the lights, the
whole house seemed to be twinkling. My kids had used whatever material they could lay
their hands on to dress up the house. Long circuit banners made with different coloured
papers of their scrap book, cut painstakingly in triangles, hung stuck to thick cotton strings
of garments from the ceilings. Interspersed were different hued balloons placed
strategically. A small placard hung, held down properly with a set of dividers from the
‘geometry’ box!
‘Let’s Party.’
I had had no wish for it earlier, but I felt differently now. A little later, they bursted in
overflowing with enthusiasm, along with a couple of neighbouring kids.
“We will get a cake for you!” They ejaculated.
I did not have the heart to restrain them. Coming back with loads of bags they restricted
my entry to their room until called upon. I heard the loads of laughter and hushed whispers
emanating and could not help smiling.
Soon I was called in, the lights went on, balloons burst sprinkling tit bits of papers, songs
were sung and I was led to the table to cut the cake.
But the cake looked like a big ‘DHOKLA’!
“It is alright Mamma. The cake shops were closed on account of it being Sunday evening. So
we brought this instead.”
Among the sounds of ‘Happy Birthday’, I cut the Dhokla and while we shared it, I must admit
that I did not miss the cake in any way.
The kids are now dancing. Chips, Momos, Rossogollas and soft drinks are doing the
rounds. My son in his enthusiasm has dipped a potato chip in red spicy momo chutney by
mistake. His elder sister is stuffing sugar in his mouth. The others are roaring with laughter
at this faux pas.
I just let them be. Life is after all a celebration. Celebration in little things. How seldom we
forget it.

DHOKLA