Friday, May 30, 2014

Happy Birthday



The candles flickered in the cool breeze which came in through the open window. With a look at the gathered throng, of close relatives, she blew the tiny flames and made a cut in the chocolate cake which lay in front of her. With a feigned smile, she nibbled at the pieces offered to her; each one burning a path through to her stomach. Thanking them all, she walked up the stairs and retired to her room.

At 50, Shraddha was a widow who had a couple of daughters, the older of which was soon to be married. It was not even a year since her better half, Akshay, had passed away, but here they were, celebrating her birthday. She still couldn’t understand how her hands had worked with the knife on the cake, and she had even managed to smile.

Tears dripping slowly from her eyes, she settled into her armchair, and her mind wandered to the day 30 years prior.

She sat next to him in the car as he drove silently. Blinking back tears, she looked outside the window and stared at the scenery going past them, and fought down the urge to fight with him. He had forgotten to wish her, on her birthday. He had never forgotten when they were friends, but now that they had crossed the barrier and become more than friends, he did the unthinkable.

“Hey princess, why are you in such a bad mood,” Akshay asked, breaking the silence.

“Nothing Akshay, my head’s aching badly,” Shraddha replied in a forlorn voice.

“Cheer up sweety,” he said, giving her shoulder a squeeze as she grimaced. “Let’s get you some medicines if it’s serious.”

“No, I’ll be fine. Let’s not stop.”

“Okay honey.”

“I wish she likes what’s going to happen as soon as we reach home. It hurts to not wish her on her birthday and that too on the first one we are together on. God, life is tough,” he thought to himself, as he saw her sad face from the corner of his eye.

As they turned into the driveway, she thought, “Why doesn’t he wish me? Have I done some mistake or has he just forgotten? If he doesn’t wish me then I’ll fight with him and remind him. He just can’t forget my birthday like that.”

She got down as soon as the car stopped and with a brief good bye, she began walking towards the door. Akshay got down and looked on as she fumbled with the key, as she always did, and then slowly pushed open the door. Knowing what was about to happen, he began walking towards her.

It all happened in a flash. As soon as Shraddha pushed open the door, the darkness in the room transformed into a sea of light and glimmer. In the background began a Happy Birthday song, and the gathered crowd shouted out loud and came forward to wish her. Her friends, and best friends, and family.

“Now where did this idiot go,” she wondered, her eyes searching for him in the tsunami of people.

There he stood alone in the corner near the door, gazing intently at her, a smile on his face. As she looked at him, he mouthed an apology to her, and she just bowed her head in shame. Here she was, thinking of fighting with him, and reminding him of her birthday, and he had done this for her.

Cutting through the crowd, she went and stood beside him, placing her hand gently in his.

“Happy Birthday princess. I’m so sorry that I didn’t wish you earlier, but then you would have known of this plan. I can’t lie to you, can I?”

“Thank you so much. It’s good that you didn’t wish me. It magnifies the happiness I’m having right now,” she said as she threw her hands around him.

“I love you Shraddha. We’ll spend all your birthdays just like this, grand and beautiful.”

“I love you too, but hey, my gift?”

“What gift? Isn’t this enough?”

Seeing the appalled look on her face, he took her hand and began walking towards the car. There it lay, wrapped in red, her favorite color, and as soon as he unlocked the door, she lunged for it. Tearing the wrapping paper and throwing it on the ground, her eyes dampened as she glimpsed what was inside. He just stood beside her and smiled.

Beside her, the red table clock announced midnight. Breaking her trance, she looked at it, and cradled it like a baby. She remembered the day he had given it to her, and today was the 1st time he hadn’t wished her. Keeping the clock back on the bed stand, she just murmured, “I love you Akshay, I so wish you were here with me.”

A cool wave of air blew through the room and she savored its feel on her skin.

4 comments:

  1. Birthdays are always FUNNN
    Well written post !
    http://www.ananyatales.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes they are :)
      Glad you liked it Ma'am :D

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  2. Birthdays and Memories always go together.. !!!
    Nice post :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Birthdays are always great memories :)
      Thank you Ma'am :D :)

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