Shraddha’s Birthday

Later in the evening of 24th September, I received a call from Niha, one of my school friends.

“Tomorrow is Shraddha’s birthday and her friends have arranged a surprise party for her. Are you coming?” I mean what kind of beginning was this? she didn’t even give me a chance to say ‘Hi’. And without even confirming that I’m on the other side of the phone, how come someone can directly shoot something like that? coming to the present, I asked her about timing. She said it will be around 7 in the evening. It was possible for me so, I was definitely in for the celebration.

“Don’t tell her, okay? It’s going to be a huge surprise for her”

Like, if I was going to call Shraddha and give her a spoiler alert? No way. Not my policy dear. I had to reply something, so I said, “No, I won’t”

The conversation ended there. Yes, right there. Very small. Hardly few minutes.

A sunny morning followed. And with lightning speed (as usual), there came the evening. According to our plan, we were ready.

The total headcount was six. Niranjan, Niha, Priyanka, Akash, Akshay and me. Five of us were going for the celebration whereas, the only reason I was going, was cake. Celebration is just a mission cover up, you see (just kidding). After number of phone calls and follow-ups, we finally reached Akurdi, where it was all set. We parked our bikes. The Café was in front my German class apartment, which, once upon a time I used to attend. Just when I thought of talking about it, something happened. I saw two strange faces staring at our group, standing alongside the wall. ‘Who were they? Why were they staring? What do they want?’ My mind wandered around for possibilities. Then, just like a flash of light, it came to me. They must be Shraddha’s friends who have arranged the surprize! Then I kept quiet and tried not to look there at all. We opened the gate, and started ascending the stairs. Those two strangers, ensuring that they were not in Shraddha’s gaze, followed us.

As we went upstairs, these two strangers hurried and met Shraddha in midway. She looked amazed! Those two hugged her with little chitchat. Moving ahead, we saw flower petals spread all across our path. We had to step over them (Sorry Shaktiman) and in no time, as soon as we entered in a room, a loud music from the list of Birthday songs began. Loads of cheers and wishes followed the music.

The room had well décor. The entry door itself looked like old fashioned two way opening door with square design on it, which in turn was very contrast to the room decoration. Number of bulbs with multiple tungsten filaments glowing in pale yellow, were projecting ambient light in the whole room. Around those all bulbs, were tied red and white balloons. Not only the ceiling, but also the floor was decorated with lots of balloons and a path was created with petals leading to a table. The wall behind the table, had lots of photos of her pasted on it. One of the sides of the wall said ‘Happy Birthday’.

She? She looked really surprised. She had no time to react at all. She hugged her friends for this beautiful gift. Then came the Cakes! Everybody sang ‘Happy birthday’ to her, when she cut the cake. Everyone wished her a happy birthday. She argued that it was her 23rd Birthday and not 24th, but the argument was dissolved periodically.

Later in the party, we all danced. Of course, dance was followed by Cold Coffee, Pizzas, Sandwiches. She only introduced one of her friends named Gaurav. We all sat together, talked, ate, and laughed for considerable amount of time.

Everyone looked happy, smiling, laughing, enjoying. The ambience of the room looked perfect to me. It was now filled with, most importantly, a person’s emotions of joy, amazement, laughter, & happiness.

©Gaurav Sutar

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