For: Birthday Bash Blog Relay. Excited to win Second Place! Now Media Prompt entries, too.
Richie Krueger ~ Bald Lil' Bro
Trickful Sonali Hey Halloween!
Entries to be judged:
"Day #1: A Pandemic-al Birthday."
"Day Four: SCARIEST BIRTHDAY EVER"
"Day Seven: AN INCONVENIENT BIRTHDAY"
Thanks! "2021 Blog Relay Winners!"
"Note: They came, they ran the race, they conquered! ..."
|All Words: 949
Day Five: MUCH ADO ABOUT CAKE
There's a black-and-white photo of the moment somewhere. A photo that'd make you go 'aw' if you're the sort to go 'aw' at a photo of a seven year old girl hugging her two year old cousin.
The seven year old girl is now fifty-three years old and can confess, though rather shamefacedly, that it wasn't an 'aw' moment at all. You see, she (me, that is, as you've guessed) wasn't hugging him out of a rush of love or something.
I was hugging him purely for attention.
So here's what it was.
In India, we have two birthdays, one by the regular calendar that you know of (by which my birthday is Oct. 11) and one by the lunar calendar (by which my birthday is the day before the Duserah festival). The birthdays fall a few days apart, and every 19 years, they coincide.
Now for us so-called 'modern' kids, the calendar birthday, Oct. 11, was what was 'cool'. The traditional Indian birthday was considered old-fashioned.
Imagine my chagrin, then, when my parents, aunt and uncle decided to have a joint birthday party for my two-year-old cousin and me, which fell on HIS calendar birthday and my Indian birthday. How could I invite my friends on a day that wasn't Oct. 11, when all of them knew my 'real' birthday? I'd be the butt of all their jokes, being beaten to the celebration by a mere toddler of a cousin!
To add insult to injury, it was further decreed by my Grandma that since it was my Indian birthday ...
Instead, I'd have an Indian sweet, 'peda', which comes already in pieces and doesn't need to be cut.
"Won't I get any candles to blow out, either?" I pleaded, wiping my tears after my Nanny had broken the news to me.
"I'll put some candles on the plate of 'peda', darling," she replied.
At school, I handed out invitations to my classmates with deep apologies. It was on the wrong day and there was to be no cake, I warned them. At least, not for me. They'd eat my cousin's cake, not mine. They'd have to eat my 'peda'. They accepted the invitations with pitying looks. One or two tried to ask if they could trade the 'peda' for cake, but I said if they were planning that, I'd take the invitation card back and they couldn't come.
The day of the party arrived.
The table was all set.
One cake with three candles (two, and one for luck) and one plate of 'peda' with one candle in the middle. Apparently, Grandma had said the Indian sweet would spoil if there was too much heat around, so eight candles were not allowed. ONE candle. On my seventh birthday. Grown ups are cruel people. The table also had the customary sandwiches, chips and some short-eats that didn't interest me much.
Nothing interested me much. It wasn't my 'real' birthday and I wasn't going to be cutting a cake.
My friends started to arrive. I got presents. I wasn't allowed to open them at once, they were kept in the bedroom. His friends started to arrive. Family members. The place grew crowded. There were some games. Games for us big kids, games for those babies and a couple of combined games.
In spite of everything, I started having fun. He and I have an uncle in common who is really creative and loves kids, so the games were unique, lively and absorbing. My friends forgot to pity me and started envying me for having such a nice uncle. I was allowed to open TWO select gifts and was soon strutting about carrying a big doll in a green frock and green cap, and a huge box of crayons. Fifty shades, those crayons had. The biggest box money could buy back in those days.
Then – Grandma called everyone to attention. "Time for the snacks now!"
My heart sank. That meant cake and (shudder) 'peda' time, too.
Everyone gathered around the table. They sang to me first. I blew out the one candle and everyone clapped.
Then it was his turn and all eyes turned to the cake.
But (remember what I told you early on?) I wanted attention. I chose that moment to distract everyone from the cake. I yelled HAPPY BIRTHDAY to him, stuck a fake smile on my face, and gave him a bear hug. - Click - There's a black-and-white photo of the moment somewhere. It was me, trying to take the attention AWAY from the cake. His cake.
His Mamma came up. She tried to get him to hold the knife, so she could guide his hand to cut the cake. But he got scared of the shiny knife and looked ready to burst in to tears.
"There, there," his Mamma soothed him. "You don't have to hold the knife. Your big cousin can cut the cake for you."
Unable to believe my luck, I was carried on to a chair. My aunt gave me the knife to grasp and carefully helped me cut the cake. Everyone clapped. Hey, this was me and I was cutting cake after all! The smile in that pic was real, I can tell you.
The cake tasted good. The 'peda' tasted good. One of my friends actually remembered to come and tell me she liked it (urged by her Mom I guess) and it was good I hadn't let her trade it in for cake.
There are two black-and-white pics somewhere, one with a fake smile and one with a real smile. Much ado about cake.