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     Volume 4 Issue 17 | October 15, 2004 |

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Slice of Life

The Big Bang

Richa Jha

My birthdays come and go without a bang. This time The Hubby decided to add some twang to it.

"Your birthday is here. We'll celebrate your big day girlie"

"My birthday comes once a year every year dear. How come we didn't think of celebrating it earlier?" We have been married for ages (the only other thing that seems to have been around for slightly longer than that is that never-ending monthly cycle that most of you men are happy to be without) and we've never really had birthday parties at home, or even outside. Something wasn't quite natural about The Hubby's urge to celebrate my birthday.

"Just like you. To kill the fizz inside the soda bottle even before we've opened it. Now listen, we'll do it this time because this will be your final goodbye to your youth."

"My what! What'll be happening to me from tomorrow onwards?"

"A lot. You'll turn 30, and will start getting counted as one-of-us than one-of-them. All of us middle aged fogies, I mean."

"Excuse me? 30 isn't middle age. And even if it was, I feel just as I felt on my tenth birthday, or on my twentieth." The Hubby walked up to the mirror and examined his face closely in it. I wondered what for.

"I feel fine, really," I added. He shrugged half-heartedly with an expression that said he wished I knew what I was saying, and what I was unwittingly stepping into!

"But since you mention a dinner, the last thing I wish to do is to step inside the kitchen on my birthday. I've thought of more interesting things to do," I said.

"Tell me it is going shopping. Is there anything else you can think of?" he sounded vexed.

"Actually, I had thought of accompanying you to the Golf Course. Haven't you been after my life to do so? But since this is your attitude towards things I like, or don't like, I don't see why I should be wasting my forenoon with you. But remember, I am not cooking tomorrow. If, by any chance, you have invited people over, tell them this surprise party will be a dry foodless party. Or better still, arrange something outside."

"Oh Wifey! Don't be so short with me. Sorry for presuming things. Please. Let's forget the party, let's do this golf round. Boy, I've been waiting for this day for so long…"

"I'm afraid your wait may be longer. You've lost your chance for this time, at least."

"Is there no way you'll relent?"


"Okay, then we'll have the party."
“Your wish. But I've told you the conditions."

"You don't worry dear. We'll have it here, you shall sit back and relax like a queen, and you leave it all to me."

"Ahem. Suit yourself. How many people have you thought of calling over?"

"I've already told about twenty five people; have told them it is a surprise surprise for you, so please act that way tomorrow please. I have about ten more in mind."

"Hah, already invited them, and you were ready to drop the party all together for golf? Is that how you treat your guests?!!"

"Chill wifey. I would have told them something."

"Sometimes I really don't understand you. Okay, show me your list. I'll add a few of my friends to it. I bet it may not have occurred to you that for surprise parties as this one, you usually invite the close set of friends of the person whose birthday it is."

"Don't underestimate your soul mate…have a look at this list," he got up and handed me a sheet of paper.

"Am I impressed? You've done a near thorough job!"

"At your service, ma'am. And now that that's settled, what shall we give them to eat?"

"My sweetest pie. The dinner is in less than twenty four hours from now, you've sent out the invites, and you haven't thought of the menu?!!"

"Worry not wifey. I will manage every thing."

"Which you will, I'm certain. But please keep me out of it, okay? And one more thing, please make it clear to all our friends: No Gifts at all. Idea should be to get together and have fun."

"Whatever you say. It's your day, celebrate it the way you want to. I'm a mere facilitator."


After much deliberations, he settled on organising a chaat party. It sounded like fun. I am okay with anything that sounds like fun, so I agreed instantly. He drew up a menu that looked like more fun than anything else to have come from him ever! I rubbed my palms gleefully, and could barely wait for the real fun.

You all know enough about The Hubby to be able to fill in the gaps yourself. Should suffice to say that I have had a rocking first half. I went to the parlour this morning and got myself thoroughly pampered, watched two rib tickling comedies back to back, and have just had the most relaxing bath of my life. I have barely had a chance to see The Hubby in action, and much as I would have loved helping him with the preparations, I was happier doing nothing.

Time is about 5pm, when The Hubby sheepishly comes up to me and says, "Wifey, do you know of some good chaat places? I was just thinking if it wouldn't be more interesting for our guests to have tasty grub from outside. We all like dirty street side food, and frankly, what is a good chaat that has been made with mineral water and in a sanitised kitchen. Let's have an authentic chaat party. Don't you think they'll enjoy it better?"

Our guests have been asked to here at 7. I am livid, but I understand this is no time to lose my cool. I've had the most perfect birthday so far. I nod, pick up my hand bag, and rush out. In the car, I ask him, "so have you thought of what all the items you wish to buy?"

"Yes wifey, you leave it all to me…I am there, right? You just sit back and enjoy this outing…I have it all smoothly planned out!"

For me, nightmares are few and far between, but they do happen.


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