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The last time I wrote about the surprise birthday party of my daughter, she said,” Mom, That’s not fair! We also give your surprise birthday parties and successfully manage to keep the surprise element. Why don’t you consider that?”

“Sure!” I thought, "Except that I am fully aware of the surprise!" I started recalling the surprise birthday parties arranged by my family for me.

 I recalled my birthday few years back, when my family was preparing for a surprise party for me and I was fully aware of it. How can a lady not be aware of the activity going on in the house? More so, it’s a simple guess when the “Jani Dushman” kids talk to each other in whispering tones and the irritated father is trying hard to abstain from scolding the children for stupid ideas! The kids demanded their long overdue pocket money to which I readily agreed. Even my husband demanded two thousand rupees, to which I thought,” only two thousand rupees! Can’t he bring a more expensive suit?” But the surprise dharma stopped me from expressing my emotions!

On the D day (sorry, Birthday), I had barely left the office rehearsing in my mind as to how to appear fully surprised on entering the home, when I got a call from my husband. On knowing that I had already started, he told me,” please don’t come just now!”

“Where would I go now? I am already in the car!”

“I don’t know, but please delay your arrival!”  

I asked the driver to stop at a departmental store and spent some time in unnecessary shopping. After buying some useless stuff when I headed back home, I again got a call from my husband requesting me to delay my arrival. This time I didn’t pay any heed to his request and told him plainly that I was about to reach. Upon reaching home, I was dragged into my room by my husband to gain some more time for preparation. Ultimately, when I was called in the decorated drawing room, I managed to show the expressions of surprise and thanked all. All the high calorie stuff was served with full excitement and the kids kept seeking confirmation from me again and again that I had no idea about the party and was totally surprised.

As kids grew up, the level of surprise also had to be higher, so the midnight surprise birthday parties came into picture! As a kid I always considered myself to be a great actor, but never got a chance to prove it, which I get on my birthdays now.

Now the tragedy about these birthday parties starts when the trio tries to manage all the things without my help. I am sure leave apart small stuff, if we even had an elephant in our house, my husband and kids would not be able to locate it without my help. So, its fun watching them struggle in an effort to manage things without my help.

This year, I was sure that they had forgotten it, until the previous evening, my son told that he needed some maps for his homework, which my husband agreed to bring without any fuss. “Thank God, they at least remember!” I thought. After some time, my son came and told me that Papa had called to tell that the maps were not available in the nearby market, so he had to go farther. “Perfectly normal!” I thought,” it takes time to go to Nick bakers, and I appreciate him for not being lazy bringing it from the nearby bakery!”

I made it a point not to step out of my room, though I noticed the sound of telephone ring followed by opening of door without the door bell ringing. After few minutes, the doorbell rang and my husband came acting being irritated upon being troubled to go to the market to bring the maps.

While acting to sleep, I noticed that it was already 5 minutes past twelve and there was no “hulchul”. I tried to feel the sounds but there was no sound except the sound of snoring of my husband. I felt confused whether my jaasoosi mind had failed and they actually didn’t remember. My fears were not false but were deep rooted from the past, as it had happened few years back, when actually all of them had forgotten my birthday! Though I was not expecting midnight party at that time but nobody wished me in the morning. It was only when my sister’s call was picked up by my son who was totally shaken on being asked whether he had wished happy birthday to Mom. All attempts for seeking my kshamadaan by the trio were killed by me as my mood was totally spoilt. After hours of pleadings, I had accepted their apologies and celebrations were made in the evening. I am not sure, but may be, these midnight parties might be the repercussion of the Raudra roop shown by me that day! “Do I again need to show the same Raudra roop tomorrow, if they don’t wish me in the morning!” I started thinking.

Ten minutes past twelve and I even considered of checking the refrigerator for the cake. After all, why stay awake if there was no surprise party? (Later, it was revealed that all of them had actually fallen asleep while acting to sleep)

Suddenly the sounds of snoring stopped and my husband went out of the room proving that there still was hope for the surprise party. But he came back after few minutes and lied down. Then there were sounds from the kitchen making me believe that the poor girl was assigned the task of arrangements for cake cutting. I felt like going and asking her if she needed any help. Suddenly there was a big sound and I  feared what if she had dropped the cake? My Blood pressure started rising as I imagined the scene of messed up floor. I wondered if the surprise party had to start with the scolding Mom and weeping daughter! I even felt like telling her where the half lit candle was kept, which had been fulfilling its duty for the last so many surprise birthday parties( during these surprise parties, though one of the most important things, the last thing we remember to bring is the candle)

But I kept on playing my part and asked my husband,” go and see if there is a mouse in the kitchen!”
“The sound is coming from the top floor flat” he assured me.

I kept on killing time by rehearsing my lines until finally at 00:30; the discordant chorus singing happy birthday song entered the room and woke me up (????)

During cake cutting ceremony, all of them boasted about how perfectly they had planned without giving me even a hint of what was in for me. The situation started getting tense as now all could talk openly and started blaming each other for the delay.

The party ended happily with cake cutting ceremony followed by vote of thanks by me. While delivering vote of thanks I told them,” I agree that I feel upset if you forget my birthday, but it is equally difficult to lie down guessing about the party! Also watching you people committing mistakes after mistakes and still keep silent! So, from next year, make me a part of your plans and tell me if you need any help from me for my surprise birthday party!”


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