23rd May'10, 6pm, Boat Club:
Kids (Pooja, Priti, Mahesh, Irfan, Sham, Chandan) waiting for me. Trying to hide something. Trying to act as if things are just as usual. Enters Sumeet. Priti goes with him. Pooja keeps me engaged with some random talk. Enters Priti with Sumeet. All of them gather. Priti gives me one HUGE dabbaa filled with a super white delicacy! Rice kheer! Made by Pooja-Priti-Mahesh! They made it! They actually created it! For me! I am all choked! I'm just so overwhelmed! As if this isn't enough, they give me two lovely cards too...
We (Sham, Chandan, Pooja, Priti, Mahesh, Irfan, Sumeet, Zarna, Nivedita, Hemant) play kabaddi et al for the rest of the hour. We talk. We quit for the day.
The complete story is revealed later: Zarna asks kids on Saturday about what they'd want to do on my birthday. They respond saying "Let's 'make' something for Rubydiidii!" Together they decide that they'll make something at Zarna's place on Sunday morning. They disperse. But Zarna's life's full of surprises. She receives a phone call at 6am on Sunday. Pooja-Mahesh-Priti are all set to go to her place! At 6am! The series of phone calls end when Zarna reaches Patil Estate at 7:30am. The party gets back to Zarna's place. Mahesh and Pooja start off with the cards and Priti with kheer! Sugandha and Zarna are taken aback, looking at kids' skills! Sugandha comes up with an amazing poem on the card made by kids. The party moves back to Patil Estate at around 11am. With kheer and cards. I receive it all at 6pm.
This news spreads till Chopda. Daadii calls me. Her words: "Ruby, I have now realised that you already have everything that one would long for. Your life is already so full. I won't ever ask you to get married."
Amazing Zarna. Amazing kids. Amazing Sugandha.
23rd May'10, 9pm, my home:
Me and Zarna are having lovely hot chapatis with aamras and loads of ghee (believe it or not, I made all that). She's receiving too many calls. It is evident that Shrikant too, is cooking up something! She stays back.
23rd May'10, 10:30pm, my home:
Enters Shrikant. Along with Nivedita. Along with 2 bags. One having a lovely chocolate cake. Another having something from FabIndia. I don't like gifts, especially, expensive gifts. I try expressing this. But I understand soon enough that there's no point in doing so. :-) And thus, a lovely green coloured kurta greets me. We talk about kids for an hour or so. Then, as per the pre decided rule, I have bath and wear the new kurta and complete the 25th year of my existence!
Had we been in the US, the fire alarm would have gone out. There are so many candles on the cake... At this point of time, there enters yet another chocolate fantasy, along with Hemant. Life goes on dipped in chocolate for the next few moments. Shrikant shows the guts to dip my face in some of the chocolate. (I still don't believe he actually can do it!) He recieves kicks in return. 'Caking' ones face is against my morality. So is kicking people. But alas. I am forced to do it. Others are laughing out loud while all this is happening.
Someone msgs me and asks me to find a gift inside my own bag!! Strange! It's 'The Blue Umbrella'! Along with a very sweet letter.
Someone asks me to find in my bag, a poem filled with love and blessings, written by someone else...
It is useless to start your tour to the other part of the world at 1am, isn't it? Thus, Nivedita and Shrikant are stopped from going to Viman Nagar. So is Zarna. All stay back. We watch "Up". Hemant leaves to pick up Asim at the station.
Enters Asim. At 2am. Along with 'Putreku'- the famous rice sweetie from Hyderabad! We hear a lot about Shatabdi food. Eventually all reach a stage where anyone can travel any place anytime anyhow. Sleep.
At 6:30am: Day begins! All rush to their respectable homes and offices!
24th May'10, 9am onwards, office et al:
6 huge Swiss chocolates are here. All the way from Switzerland. Office follows an open economy with Ruby and rest of the world. Sumeet greets me with 2 packs of "chinchechii golii", one for me only and the other for the rest of the world. Given a boyfriend, I would love chinchechii golii more. It is that amazing. At lunch, 2 big chocolate truffles from CopperChocs compete with each other. One for me, one for the rest of the world. Then comes THE piece of art along with 4 other pieces of art. Rushikesh Mukharjee's 4 movies topped with Dimple's poem in Marathi!! Ohh my my my my! I am spellbound! If I inspire a non-Marathi girl to write Marathi poetry, then we really need to get married!
This too has a history. The CEO comes to my place to investigate, 2 days prior. My small little DVD library is thoroughly scanned. Me and my family are thoroughly looked down upon as we do not know much about Rushikesh Mukharjee. Thus comes the grand gift.
At 2pm, I leave office for one of my darling's wedding. She has decided to get married on my birthday. I realise that I have no gifts for her. I give her chinchechii golii. She lovvvves it. :')
I rush back home. Within minutes, the doorbell rings. Courier. From Bombay. Sweet card and sweeter letter. From another of my darling. Within minutes, the doorbell rings, yet again. It's that another of my darling herself! Along with Abhi!! Along with many more earrings and IITM tee shirt. And along with home made gulaabjaamun! All the way from Bombay!! Dipped in sweetest ever friendship! Chinki, you are just so exceptional!! We talk and cook and eat and laugh together for 3 hours, also joined later by Samresh Sir and his chocolates!
24th May'10, 7pm, my home:
We are almost leaving. Enters, like a flash of lightening, Asim. Along with Hemant. Along with Niranjan. And I come suddenly face to face with --- Baraf golaa machine. Yes, an actual, real life baraf golaa machine. Something which I can touch and feel... Something which makes baraf golaas... Life comes to a standstill. There isn't anything more that I can possibly wish for. My life is complete now. I own my own personal baraf golaa machine. Words fail me...
But there's more... Life is also filled with rainbow flavours and huge ice blocks and 3 lovely people fighting with the machine to make me my first ever ice fruit. Asim's ideas, Hemant's tips, Niranjan's looks and Abhi's skill... 1... 2... 3... Bingo!!! Skhrrrrpt skhrrrpt skhrrrrrrrrrrrpt...! And there it is! Thick black current extract flowing on top of super white ice... Sukhad nidhan!!!
Asim! Hemant! You guys just made yourselves jump to number 2 in my list of most favourites. The baraf golaa making magic beauty now tops the list!
24th May'10, 8pm, COEP:
Instrumentation department terrace. Pratiksha, in spite of being so unwell, is running up and down for the keys and security guards and the likes. Shrikant, Hemant, Asim, Niranjan are bringing kids from Patil Estate. 2 telescopes are being readied by Tushar and Abhishek. Zarna, Nivedita, Yogesh, and so many more are working hard at their respective positions. Some 30 kids arrive. They enjoy the night along with moon craters, Saturn rings, Ursa, Swati, Pole star, Mars, et al! We enjoy with them! Our lives are star studded!
Something totally surprising happened. Swati called me and told me that she's going to attend the classes from now on!!! I was... well... SHOCKED! The Swati project is successful afterall!! Amazing!! Bravo! (More about the Swati project can be found under the label "ClassesInBrief". :'))
I do not approve of public celebrations of personal events. Especially when kids are around. I don't like to impress upon them that birthday is all about blowing candles and cutting cakes. If their own Diidii does it, they'll be encouraged to do it as well. Anyway. Some things are beyond ones control. Thus there's a cake, a candle and a knife. I cut, I distribute.
Pack up. We thank and bid goodbye to all. And move towards Modern Cafe. Shrikant, Nivedita, Hemant, Asim, Asif, Niranjan and Ruby place the last order of the day, at 11:17pm... As if this isn't enough, me, Hemant, Niranjan, Asim go to Saras baag for coffee after dinner! I anyway cannot think of anything edible beyong baraf golaa...
Finally, we get back home, talk about the day, sleep.
The day that it was...
Does any of you know of anyone who has already lived a life at 25??