REMINISCENCES ON THE DAY AFTER.
Ooohf! What a birthday it was! So many messages, so many calls!! Today I feel like Cinderella at the 12+th hour after the ball. The only plus point this morning was I got to munch two wedges of the birthday cake before the cereal at breakfast. I am really grateful to everyone for making my day.
Well, coming to the birthday itself I can see that it divides into different phases- breakfast, calls and messages, celebration and musical.
Breakfast at Vasudev Adiga’s used to be de rigueur on my birthdays. Ramu would not let me make any breakfast on that day. This was one program that I missed badly this time. Someone suggested that I should have taken an auto and non- chalantly walked into the restaurant and had my dosa But the fact remains that it was not just the ‘eating of the dosa’ that I was missing. That early morning car ride, the affectionate and protective arm encircling my waist gently guiding me into the self-service restaurant, the balancing of the plates while bringing them to where I would be sitting, the solicitous offer to get me a second helping of chutney/palya, the hot coffee made to my specification – all these which I used to get from my Ramu, would they be there if I were to go alone –a la ‘Queen’ and order the ‘dosa’?
Well, anyway I thought I would make my own favorite breakfast_ Akki rotti (Rice flour roti) before the calls would start.. I put all the ingredients- coconut, cumminseed, green chillies, fresh coriander, hing,salt (Onions were sadly missing) into the rice flour and made them into two balls. One of them I patted flat on a tava , put it on the stove with one teaspoon of oil, all the while my mouth watering imagining the tasty result of my efforts. Trrriiinnng….rang the telephone. There they were –my eldest sister of 98 years and her son wanting to wish me. After disillusioning them that they were not the first callers, I had a fairly long chat. When I rushed back to the kitchen after the call, my lovely rotti had turned tan, brown, black and super crisp and highly carbonized. I removed it to the plate and made the second one to the standard temperature and crispness. Wallowing in self pity like a tragedy queen, all alone at the dining table I had my birthday breakfast of burnt akki rotti generously smeared with homemade ghee and orange marmalade followed by the good one. What the heck! Carbon has antacid property.
Coming to the calls and messages, my first e-letter wishing me came from US at 1.45 am. Since I sleep with my I-phone next to my bed, every ping it makes wakes me up. After going through the letter from 1.45 to 1.50 am I went back to sleep to be woken up at 4.30 am by a ‘Happy Birthday’ message from my friend Sneha in Bombay. I cancelled my morning exercises and Pranayama to keep myself ready to receive the calls and messages. I took my bath also early with the same purpose keeping all the phones and a wrap-around close at hand. By the time I could soap myself, I had three calls, one international and two local.
My daughter who could never visit us on our birthdays if they fell on working days, had brought me a cake and a few pieces of pastries and we had had an advance celebration 3 days prior to the birthdate. On my birthday, I arranged the cake on the dining table along with cutlery and paper napkins ready to be served to anyone who would drop in.
But alas, I was all alone and did not have the heart to cut the cake.( My grandnephew and his wife who stayed upstairs had left the previous day with their parents to the latter’s place for a seven day stay). Imagine my surprise when I heard a knock on my door and I saw my GN standing there wishing me a Happy Birthday. I believe they had come the previous night itself to pick up some stuff and they had all along been there in what I thought was an empty house. Overjoyed, I snooped on them, forced them to share the cake with me (as they were getting late for work). Later in the day, though no visitors came, I treated my caterer and maid servant to thick wedges of the cake and felt satisfied that I did have some sort of celebration.
Lunch and dinner were the usual mundane stuff that my caterer provided.
The musical part of the day was provided by the animated e musical card, a feline boogie by Dr. Decker in Hawaii.
My mood lightened up as the day went by and as I kept receiving the calls and messages throughout the day and even night. People would ring me up as and when Oct 27 dawned in their particular time zones. So much so, I felt I had a wonderful birthday and went to bed grateful to be blessed with caring friends and relatives.
cartoon courtesy cliparthut.com