Now– I opened the door and a well decorated table took my breath away. A pleasant, unexpected treat on our Wedding Anniversary, many of which had come and gone by. But this one was different. Simple. Elegant. Thoughtful. Loving. Our only progeny who is a year younger than our Anniversaries had chosen to surprise us when we returned from our respective work places. How lovely! The woman in me stirred at the sight of flowers, aroma candles, card, delicious chocolate cake et all. The mother in me was grateful, quite a bit. Had done some things right, hadn’t I? It reminded me of the good old days when special occasions meant cards of the paper kind-handmade or Archies. I can brag of a stack of them collected over my growing years till they stopped coming by post. As years rolled, the hand delivered ones too went redundant. Currently E-cards are in, but they can’t be me-cards, can they? Can they exude the emotional fragrance of yesteryears? Could they offer curled and cocooned memories that tumble out as the bag that has kept them safe all these years is opened. Such timeless treasures all hand-written cards and letters.
To return to the current year- it had begun differently and continued to remain so! The thoughtfulness of the young man in this couple’s life had added sparkle to a regular work day. Candles, cake, wine, good cheer, warmth- what else could one ask for to soothe the mind muscles. Tranquillity helped me amble down memory lane to a glorious celebration that had taken place a few years back. Another unexpected one. This one had left me speechless too. Well in a happy sort of a way. A decade ago.
Then-Ushered up a flight of staircase from my staff room cubicle, I was unprepared for what was to come. A sea of students burst into the birthday song as one of them lead me to this gigantic cake lit with a million twinkling diamond candles. Flabbergasted, I did not know what to say. Tears of joy clouded my eyes. Couldn’t fathom how despite being strict, I had come to be so loved by the children. The entire middle school was around me, wishing, shaking hands, giving me cards and this one very huge card with signatures from most of them still holds the centre of pride in my collection. My day had been made. It always does when pure love flows freely & simply. No ostentations. No grandeur either. Just raw, pure emotions.
How had these teenagers pulled this off without my knowledge? I had to approve all such confection emerging from the refectory as their hostel in charge! But I had not a whiff of it! No inkling. No clue! It slowly emerged that a few enterprising ones had met the Principal, taken his approval and sworn him to secrecy so much so that when he stopped by at my desk to greet me that morning, nary a ploy could I sniff. Etched in my memory as one of the best celebrations of my life, I realised how valued I was. Feel buoyant even as I write this blog about both these incidents of pure love.A tribute to those who offered so much joy.
Two celebrations, a decade apart- soaked in love. How wonderful if each moment of life were to become so-unadulterated, untainted celebration!