Monday, January 15, 2007


Never in my life (which is approximately 14 yrs) did I imagine that I would face so much embarrassment in front of so many people. The story goes this way…………….
13th May, the day of my birth, also the day when my father finds his wallet more pitiable than that of a beggar’s tin of alms. This was my thirteenth birthday, when I would enter the magical years of teenage (my thoughts when I was 12yrs old after which they have changed drastically). The preparations were at a high, the terrace above my house being the venue of the celebration. Though my mother was the whole and sole organizer (my father only sees himself as an ATM on such occasions), I knew quite a lot of things that were going to take place. First of all, this birthday bash was supposed to be a surprise for me (ha! what do they take me for?????). Secondly, I had come to know that at least 50 people had been invited. I also knew that the cake was about a foot long, with an icing of vanilla over a thick layer of chocolate. What I did not know was that the stage mom had set up (the stage on which I would stand and cut the cake) was faulty and could break quite easily on application of force.
I had spent the entire day pretending to be all innocent and happy. I also beamed when I received a beautiful dress from my mother (and here there wasn’t any pretending, it was truly beautiful). All the while I was thinking ,’oh come on! Spit it out!!!!!’ The afternoon came and still there was no mention of the impending birthday party. The time passed and along with it also my peace of mind. Was my mother going to blurt it out at the last minute??????? Didn’t she understand that I required some time to prepare and look nice???????? Life is but a cruel joke.
But my problems soon left me after my mum revealed about my supposedly secret bash at 5.30 (thank God! An hour before zero hour). I made all the right noises of surprise and delight (oh! how I wish there was an award for the Best Child Artist at the Oscars!!) after which I went to my room and started dressing up.
The guests started arriving and I, with my confident smile and fluent talk (if I may say so myself)did not fail to impress them. Finally, the time for cutting the cake arrived and I with all the panache I could muster, hoisted myself gracefully up the stage. At that time, I felt a faint vibration under my feet but I did not pay any attention to it for I was feeling blissfully happy with my life. I could sense Mrs. Patel thinking, ‘Oh! What a beautiful dress she is wearing!’ and I could also sense Mr. Khanna thinking, ‘she is indeed confident and intelligent for her age.’ And with such warm thoughts buzzing in my head, I stood at the centre of the stage (where the cake was kept), gave a cough (of the false variety) to catch everyone’s attention.
And I did catch it…
CRACK!!!!!!!!.............and the world around me dissolved into a series of colours out of which brown seemed to be the primary one. In that constricted position under the stage, with my body parts threatening to separate from each other, I was able to think clearly and ascertain that the stage had given out under my weight and that now I was going to be the biggest joke of the year.
I started praying that my life would end right there so that I wont have to face the cruel world ever again. But after some time when deliverance did not come and when I had had enough of being uncomfortable to the extreme, I ventured to pull myself out of the hole. This action of mine was accompanied by loads of screams and anguished cries for God which seemed to come from all around. The sensible thing for me to do in such a situation would have been to announce that everything was all right and that there wasn’t any need to worry. But sense (a word found in the dictionaries but nowhere else) avoided me and I decided that my uncomfortable position under the stage was better than this din and so went down again.
My father later told me that when I had disappeared under the stage the first time everyone had thought that it was a bad joke on my part. One person even went so far as to tell my dad that teenage is always like this and that he will have to be prepared to experience more of such things in the future. And when a vanilla and chocolate covered lump (my head) appeared out of the hole in the stage, the thin line between sanity and insanity was crossed and screams had resounded from everywhere.
After going down again, a loud cackle of laughter was heard amidst all the screaming. It was my dad. Trust him to laugh in a situation like this. He had realized what had happened. Still laughing, he came over and pulled me out. By this time my brain had given up thinking. Apparently even the guest’s brains had done so for there was a total silence as I emerged out of the ruins. Dad escorted me back to my room and instructed me to wash up, change and then come up again. Then my dad went upstairs. I heard him explain to the guests about what had actually happened. Everyone started laughing.
I cleaned myself, changed into something different and then locked my door. I planned to never emerge out of that room again.

-the hobbit

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