Birthday Girl and Her Three Special Knights
August 25, 2009
I don’t particularly like birthdays. I have even come to dread mine since a fairly traumatazing party two years ago.
However, this year, I had decided to shake the ghosts off and celebrate in style.
So I filled my flat with a great bunch of girls and threw a pretty pretty pretty dinner party in a magical garden. Everyone played along, starting with my wonderful entourage of male protectors.
Papaji, my landlord extraordinaire, bowled us over. He rang my bell at midnight, decked up in his finery and flanked by his minuscule wife, to deliver a cake. I was in the shower. My sister opened the door in her leopard printed sleeping mask and hot pink pyjamas. The others watched in awe. They told Papaji I was unwell and asleep. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the cake and they had to show me its box, written in hindi, from a bakery in the old town, for me to believe that indeed, it was from Papaji. We went to sleep quite late, quite imbibed, and swore not to move until 12.
The next day at 8 freaking am, the bell rang again. It was a delivery boy with flowers. Four mingy little fluorescent roses stuck in fake mud. From Papaji. 8am. On a Sunday morning. My first slept in morning in weeks. I threw the flowers and went back to sleep. The girls were horrified when I told them and made me retrieve the funeral bouquet. I refused to have it in my esthetic perimeter but, in a spirit of compromise, put it on the balcony.
They all said it was maybe a little strange but altogether extremely sweet of Papaji and that I ought to pay him a visit. I swore I would.
Then I was taken to Rambagh for what has to be called, although I find the name ghastly, a boozy lunch. We sat under the verandah and drank a lot. The weather was amazing: grey, windy, dramatic.
Abdul the old barman at Rambagh’s Polo Bar came to know it was my birthday and sent a fabulous hot melting chocolate cake and gave me the loveliest present, wrapped and all. I was very touched. And no, it doesn’t mean that I spend too much time at the Polo Bar.
Back at home, it was my rickshaw driver’s turn. Although I had forbidden them to, the girls had told Shashir it was my birthday and he showed up ten minutes later with a framed picture of Radha and Krishna. Shashir is trying to convert me to hinduism and we had, yesterday, a fascinating metaphysical conversation on the subject – I shall share it with you in due time.
So yes, all in all, I was very spoilt and completely amazed by all these incredible presents and gestures. I was made to feel very special, and for the first time in years I enjoyed every second of my birthday.
That is, except the age thing that goes with it.