Cake less Birthday
Manjri got upset. Oh no. Her father had some urgent work in their hometown village. Manjri was also required to go to the village alongwith her parents. But her birthday was also due in this period. No bakery, no Birthday cake, no internet , no WhatsApp, no ballons, no friends. But there was no choice. All of them went to their village hometown. Manjri was very upset and silent during the train journey. Anyway they all reached. On her birthday , she saw unique arrangements organised by her grandmother. Her grandmother and she went to the temple in morning. She planted a small plant in the kitchen garden. At home, a puja was performed and everyone put tilak on her forehead. Everyone gave her some cash as blessings. No sealed envelopes. No packed packets. Mami gave her a beautiful hand made simple frock which she stitched herself on the home sewing machine. In the afternoon, about ten families came and they ate homemade puri, aaloo subzi and suji halwa. There was no maid servant. No pizza. No chowmein. But simple home prepared dishes were so much tasty that Manjri was surprised that simple aaloo subzi can be so tasty and suji halwa was definitely more tasty than kaju katli of her city sweets shop. Everyone gave her cash as Birthday gift. Grandmother had previously prepared besan ladoo one day before itself. She gave four ladoos to each family as return gift. Manjri was surprised to see all these and tears appeared in her eyes. An unique Birthday. Her mother was looking nice in saree. She also tasted besan ladoo. She could not imagine that besan ladoo can be so delicious. Whole environment of house was live. No formality. No tension. Grandmother gave besan ladoo packet to her for distribution to neighbouring families for her city. After work they all returned from village to their city , where her father was in service. During return journey her father told Manjri — Sorry Manjri. It was cake less Birthday. In our city , I will arrange a formal party for your friends with cake. Manjri replied — No need Papa. Please plan a trip to village on my future Birthdays also so that I can enjoy cake less Birthday with Dadi and Mami. Thanks a lot Papa for such unique simple Birthday. Her mother was just smiling.
Dileep Bhatia —– Retired Nuclear Scientist from Atomic Energy. Motivational Counsellor for students. Writer of booklets on time and career for students.