Dew drop, Sunshine and a Blade of Grass..! (Episode -8)

Chapter 7

On her birthday

(Haven’t read the previous episode? click here to read it)

(Click here to read the first episode)

Past

A year had passed by, after meeting Anahita in that film workshop….

In spite of pitching my restaurant idea with wide variety of flavours, I wasn’t able to convince my dad and his business partners about its prospective profit.

Taking orders and limiting my creative freedom was something that I despised, hence stayed away from corporate jobs.

Unlike my other friends, I didn’t have an affinity towards higher studies.

The cricketing talent in me had failed to earn me a spot even in a third division league.!

But when your dad is someone who owns a business, that fetches him about fifty million INR a month, you are never jobless and insecure about your future.

Hence the asset of the nation had to park his ‘ass at’ one of his dad’s electronic showrooms in BTR Nagar.

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Anahita was in her final year now.

For some, there will be a sharp spike in emotions, where all of a sudden they feel that they are in love. Till their one last breath, they will remember that one moment where they had fallen in love.

For others, there will no such moment of realization. Over a period of time, they learn that they are in love. I belonged to the latter category. If I were asked to pin point any such moment, I would either leave the paper clean or litter it completely!

After eight coffee corner sessions, two hundred good night messages, occasional phone calls, six Bollywood movies in theatres and two commercial street shoppings, I was convinced that I was in love with her.

The next thing to do was the obvious – to propose her.

There are two ways by which you can let the person know about your love for her – confession and proposal.

While there have been enough discussions and debates on their definitions and differences, the most satisfactory description could be summed up to this:

‘Confession is a process of telling your prospective partner that you love her.

 On the other hand, With proposal; you are in fact placing a legitimate request in front of her to be your partner.

Proposal could also be considered as a validation process, wherein you can ask your person of interest to confirm if she has feelings towards you.

A proposal would always start with confession. But a confession needn’t be followed with a proposal’.

I had to choose between confession and proposal. Irrespective of the choice that I make, I wanted to play it the romantic way!

magical-proposal

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I checked my watch again. It read eleven fifty five. Apart from my double dozen friends, half a dozen street lamps and a pack of street dogs, there was no one on street. Five more minutes and I would call her up; ask her to come down stairs.

I quickly dialled a number.

“Yeah Sir.! Everything okay?”, he asked after answering it on the ninth ring. I had woken him up from his deep sleep.

I had called him for the thirteenth time during that night. Every time, I had only one thing to ask.

“Just wanted to make sure that everything goes perfect. The green button would play the birthday song and the red one would light the candle and turn on those lights on the castle. Right?”.

By now, he must have mentally certified me of obsessive Compulsive disorder.!

“Yes sir.! And the orange button would turn on the chocolate fountain”, he replied.

I had ordered a custom made cake, one and half feet tall and built to resemble a castle. It was wired with electric circuits and plugged with motors and rotors. There was a remote control in my hand and I had to make sure that I remember what each button is supposed to do.

“I needn’t check the chocolate tank right? I mean, what if the chocolate gets dry and fountain doesn’t work?”, I shared my concern.

“Don’t worry sir. When the motor in the tank starts, it makes sure that the chocolate turns into fluid”, he tried hard not to sound annoyed.

I wished him a good night and mentally reiterated the steps.

First, I should press the green button and the birthday song would play. Anahita would then start wondering from where the song is being played. I will then lift the wrapper and surprise her with the large beautiful cake.

While the surprise is yet to sink in, I will press the red button. Candle in the hands of a fairy made out of cake, should get lit and so shall those little LEDs plugged into the castle. Anahita would definitely be mesmerized by the beauty of it.

I will then press the orange button and the chocolate fountain would play. Now, which girl wouldn’t like to see a chocolate fountain!

After about twenty seconds, I will press the yellow button and a small princess resembling Anahita will come out of the castle.

It was the craziest cake that one could ever see. It had taken them 4 days to build the cake and I had personally overseen the entire work.

While many of my friends had found this whole idea to be filmy, I had only one answer to silence them all – ‘you watch those larger than life scenes in movies and found joy in them. What stops you from recreating it in real life? Doing something filmy might appear stupid, but it doesn’t matter as long as the purpose of making your loved one happy, is met. And nothing is artificial until you do it from heart’.

The final and the most important step was to wish her a happy birthday and go on knees to propose her. I had strictly ordered my friends (there were about twenty, including girls) to stay behind the big water tank, until she accepts my proposal. They shall then burst paper crackers, followed by celebrations.

The minute hand kissed the hour hand and I went up to the gate. It was a ladies PG.

“Kaanchi re Kaanchi re.. preet meri saanchi..

Ruk jaa na jaa dil tod ke”

The old Gurkha, who was busy listening to the song from a local FM station, stopped me from getting past the gate. Neither the purpose, nor the Indian currency helped me gain an entry.

I had to ask Sheethal, to bring Anahita downstairs.

When she returned alone, I knew that something was wrong.

“What happened?” I asked.

She told me that Anahita’s mom was in Bangalore for two days to celebrate her daughter’s birthday. Both had booked a room in Hotel Galaxy and were staying there.

I tried hard to not look disappointed.

“What about the cake now?”, Rahul asked.

“No idea! The cake will be spoilt by tomorrow. Can’t keep it in freezer, batteries of those motors will be dead. Can’t replace them without breaking open the cake’s base. So that’s it, I guess!”, I let out air of despair.

Few of them suggested me to cut the cake on her behalf. Few others also suggested that it be video recorded and the recording would be a perfect gift for Anahita. I had to comply.

Karan switched on his Panasonic handycam and grinned. He had finally found an excuse to flaunt his new gadget.

I adjusted my thin volume of hair and took a deep breath.

“Anahita..! I was always looking out for reasons to make you feel special. And I have found one in your birthday”, I started speaking- looking at the camera. Samarth had written down the speech for me and I had rehearsed it for hours.

“Celebrating a birthday is like a biggest headache, I tell you. Because, you have to make sure that it is like.. hmm.. memorable, filled with surprises etc. Buying gifts takes even more painstaking effort”. I gave a brief pause, expecting that few of them would laugh, but no one did.!

I continued.

“Dress can either turn tight or fit loose and when it fits perfect, color plays the devil. Jewelry is very expensive. A gift Card is too main stream. Gifting a book is a tricky trade; you can never be sure that the reader will like it.

A Show-piece is not useful and something like a make-up kit is not too memorable. Cheaper watch would look bad; however an expensive one makes you feel that something else could be bought using that money.

Gifting money will make one feel offended and a photo frame is something that you have in numbers”. I stopped for breath.

“Every gift has its shortcomings. However, I am not denying the fact that there are people who are good at buying a perfect gift. To your disappointment, I must admit that I am not in that talent pool. But, before gifting you and celebrating your birthday, let me teach you an important philosophy today”. I played a well-rehearsed pause, again.

“It’s about gifting and being gifted, celebrating and being celebrated. I always believe that one should never force himself to like every gift that she gets. But, she should make sure that she identifies the effort someone has put in, to find a perfect gift for her.

I want you to understand the nervousness of that person, when you open those gifts. I want you to value his thoughts of making you happy and get you surprised.

Gift is never important Anahita. Nervousness in the person when you open the gift is and so is the affection behind it. Those are the greatest gifts in disguise”.

I slowly held out the controller and pressed the green button. The melodious birthday instrumental started playing.

“Today, while we celebrate your birthday, I want you to understand that nothing gives me us more joy than seeing you smile.

I want you to understand that the greatest gift that you are going to get today is the efforts put in by my friends to see you smile and my sincere hope that you will like this celebration.

I want you to know that, if there are people who want to be see you happy, count me amongst them. Many more wishes on your birthday Anahita. Happy birthday !”.

It was not one of those memorable speeches that they had ever listened, but everyone clapped. Of course, they had to.!

It was time to light the candle and then I would go on knees to propose her, I thought. I slowly pressed the red button. The next thing I know was a big spark and a loud bang.

Girls present there, screamed. There was a short circuit inside the cake !

I pressed the red button couple of more times, and while doing so, the orange button got pressed. A wild sound, resembling an old rotating fan started building, slowly.

I knew that something bad was going to happen. However, not everyone who can sense danger, can turn into a savior.

In no minute, the sound turned uglier and it was followed with something worse. The fountain started to dance wildly and began splashing chocolates all over us. Our faces and shirts received thick deposits of chocolate.

“Not bad! If Anahita was here, this would have saved our efforts of dumping cake on her face”, said Sheetal in a tone laced with sarcasm.

I felt good that Anahita wasn’t here. Else, it would have been even more embarrassing.

“You had plans of proposing her, didn’t you?”, Raaghu reminded me.

I touched my pocket and felt the velvet ring box sitting inside it. I stayed quiet and helped others in clearing the mess.

Now that the opportunity was gone, I couldn’t think of any other ways of proposing her. Going on knees and holding out a ring would always be there, but choosing the right moment was difficult.

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“It’s not going to work this way”, I said while driving back home.

Ritu and Samart threw a questioning look.

“I am going to start my restaurant”

“How come all of sudden?”, Ritu asked.

“When I propose her, I don’t want her to look at me as a loser, a guy who has no job, who couldn’t achieve his goals. I don’t want her to see me as a good for nothing guy, looking after one his dad’s showrooms. Anahita knew how badly I wanted to build that restaurant. A man turns his ambitions into reality; nothing can beat the dignity in that.”

“But, you said your dad isn’t ready to pump in money”.

“Yeah! I know”.

“Then how are you going to gather so much money?”, Amit asked.

“By starting another business”, I replied with no second thought.

“And what would that be?” all three of them jumped at once.

“I think I will start a company that would..”, I started in a determined voice when my mobile beeped.

There was a message from Anahita .I opened the inbox.

‘Sry.! Forgot 2 tell u.!

Its ma bde. Dnt call m nw. Mom’s here.

V shall meet afta 3 days.

You better have smthng to surprise me

Gn 🙂

When a girl expects you to surprise her, it’s understood that you have found a place in her zone of special ones. I read the message six more times.

“Hey you were telling something… about the business”. Amit reminded me about the half-finished speech.

“You know what ..!”, I said.

“What?” they asked.

“Never mind! Forget the business plans for now. Let’s gear up for the proposal day, 3 days from now”, I winked.

This time I had to come up with something better, something beautiful and something memorable. Something.., that would earn me a promotion from ‘special ones’ zone to ‘the one’ zone.

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To be continued

Click here to read the next episode

Thank you for reading. I have two more episodes to be published, before the series ends. I would love to hear from you, things that could be improved ( avoided) etc. It would only help me write better. 🙂

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