I had a birthday yesterday. Some people loathe birthdays, I love ’em. My parents always made a big deal about our birthdays when we were young so that’s probably why I look forward to mine. I’m one of those sickly happy people on my birthday. I have no inner turmoil or musings about the years gone by or what lies ahead. I just enjoy the day. Annoying to some of you I guess…but this year was full of surprises that even the most bah humbug of you will lend me a smile.
When I was living at home, my parents would wake up really early on the morning of my birthday and set up a table next to my bed with flowers, presents and cards. The idea being you’d awake on the morning of your birthday, your eyes would pop open to the sight of a table bursting with presents. Magic! I don’t know where they got the idea but it’s been a tradition in our family for as long as I can remember. I hope they still do it for each other.
My first two birthdays after I got married were a bit of a disappointment in that there was no table of presents from my husband. Perhaps my parents had set the bar so high all these years. Also my husband hasn’t really had a birthday celebration since he was probably 17 so it’s just not in his normal paradigm of thoughts. You learn many thing when you are married. One of them is that no matter how brilliant you think your wife or husband is, she/he cannot read your mind. You have to educate your partner on what you want, how you want it and when you do. Some say that that is not spontaneous, ie. not romantic. That’s a lot of bumpf I think – this birthday being a case in point. So after two birthdays, with no presents on the table and no major celebration I decided it was time to educate him. So on his birthday I arranged all his presents on his table while he was sleeping and when he awoke, he was like a little kid, all excited opening his presents. After the total surprise and excitement over his presents, I gently told him that he had to do the same for my birthday: family tradition, and because of how good it feels. One year later and I did wonder whether he had remembered. Clearly, the experience was special for him
We decided to celebrate my birthday on Saturday being the weekend. Monday morning is always a rush, work blues, pack the lunch and such. So I got a weekend all about ME. On my husband’s birthday he gets a weekend all about HIM: where he wants to go, what movies he wants to watch, control of the remote, food he wants me to make for him. Saturday morning and I awoke to a table full of beautifully wrapped presents. He remembered! To top it all off, flowers and a cake appeared! How on earth did he get all that in to the house without me seeing? I’m always home when he gets home from work…
Yesterday evening my dear husband (from here to be referred to as DH, as suggested by a reader) said that the Big Boy, the Gypsy, had broken down at a very prominent junction, while he was giving a sailor and his family a lift. It had broken down not far up Dolphin Hill so I hopped in to the Nano with Abroozi to pick him up. It was quite dark, had just rained and the street lights were out. I couldn’t see him anywhere. There were not many people around as it had been raining and I had left my cell phone at home. Big mistake when you’re going to pick someone up. Anyway, I drove around, got stuck on a steep downhill and had to reverse my way out up hill. The Nano’s teeny tiny turning circle was a welcome feature to get me out of the small hilly road. I went to the Navy Police Station to use their phone to call my DH’s cell phone. “Neeru call chesthi mobile coverage area le lethu.” Not within signal coverage” the annoying automated woman told me in Telegu. And because of the rain, the landline at the police station was also temporarily out. I couldn’t see the broken down Gypsy anywhere so enough was enough I thought. So I made my way back home, assuming that the Gypsy had breathed life into itself or that someone had spotted my DH and had given him a lift. I drove home rather confused, to find the Gypsy in the drive way. The Gypsy had re-started.
Little did I know that all of this was just a ruse to get me out of the house so that he could bring in the cake and the flowers! The whole night he was hovering in the kitchen, being most helpful fetching things from the fridge while I prepared the dinner. Little did I know he was trying to prevent me from spotting the pale yellow cake box that was artfully camouflaged behind the similar coloured mangoes. He did all the clearing of left overs so I had no reason to open the fridge the whole night. The chocolate truffle cake was a HUGE tasty surprise. Actually, a wonderful surprise, especially since I was going to bake a cake for myself on Sunday. HA! That cake barely saw 24hrs. My mother suspects that all this cloak and dagger stuff has been honed during the simulated war games my DH organises for the Navy, and has been cleverly adapted to real life.
You are probably hating me right now for my smug happiness. Reminds me of fellow blogger Heather Christina saying, “she hates those people that are so infatuated with how happy they are, together we shit rainbows and fly to work on unicorns” But if you are my mum or mum-in-law you are probably beaming with happiness and relief that we are happy. So surely, this has to be love. We’re not shitting rainbows but I wouldn’t mind that unicorn…A little bit of direction to your partner and you can be truly truly surprised with the initiative they run with. I mentioned the fabulous table of presents…well here’s what I got (I do love presents)…
A cute little batter dispenser gadget for turning out perfectly round donuts, pancakes, vadais. No doubt this was bought not just to please me but so that more vadais and donuts will emerge from the ktichen.
An Avatar-esque, Mountain Banshee or Ikran very goth looking pewter candle stand.
This is the rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock Big Bang Theory T-shirt. As Sheldon Cooper explains, “It’s very simple. Scissors cuts paper, paper covers rock, rock crushes lizard, lizard poisons Spock, Spock smashes scissors, scissors decapitates lizard, lizard eats paper, paper disproves Spock, Spock vaporizes rock, and—as it always has—rock crushes scissors”
Another surprise was the silk sari he gave me, in the Baluchari style with panels from the Mahabharata including some rare ones you don’t see on saris, like Draupadi’s sari being unravelled during the game of dice and karna fixing the chariot wheel at the fated hour of his death, in the Mahabharata. This is when he appeals to Arjuna’s sense of honour in war and the dilemma Arjuna is then left with – to kill the enemy or to abide by the rules of fair play.
I also got lovely books from my mum in law, and a very large number followed by zeros on a rectangular piece of paper from my parents. So thanks to the DH, I was thoroughly pampered and much fuss was made of me. I guess I was so touched by how much thought he put in to it and although over the top birthdays are not really his style, he knew it’s what I wanted. A great birthday, but now it’s time to start looking for presents for the DH. However, nothing will top his birthday present in the first year of our marriage, our little puppy Abroozi.