“Tomorrow is my mom’s birthday ! ” , exclaimed my sister, Sneha. Weekends at Chithi’s home in Chennai were always fun, with my siblings’ pranks, Chithappa’s hilarious jokes and Chithi’s ghee-glazed delicacies… So hoping to give her mom, my Chithi, a surprise party, we donned our thinking hats and started plotting her special day.!!
The plan was very simple : we would buy a chocolate cake and a birthday card, hide them until midnight and then have the party .! Not wanting too many cooks to spoil the broth(actually the cake), the two of us,Sneha and I were discussing the plot secretly, in hushed voices, in the bedroom.
Now, Sneha’s curious little brother, Abhi,(aged 7 then) hates being left out of any conversation,irrespective of its relevance or its participants. He thought we were actually gossiping over a pile of books and notebooks and the curiosity of the cat started killing both of us. He cajoled us, with sincere promises and oaths, into telling him the truth.So ignoring Sneha’s serious warning, I let him into our little circle of trust… Of course, no one keeps secrets as well as a child does..! He was so excited, but still assured us he would keep his word.
Being the ever-watchful and “understanding” sister that Sneha was, she easily foresaw the disaster knocking at our door. ! Her fears were not unwarranted, because Abhi was very young,and on top of it,a mom’s boy ! Not even our generous bribe of cookies and candies could keep him away from her. Our hearts were pounding hard everytime Abhi went near his mother. 😦 .. Every time we looked at him with a warning stare, he winked at us and made us all the more nervous.. 😦
It was already 6 pm and seeing how miserably we were crafting plans to get to the cakeshop, God gave us a chance to get out of the house 🙂 Yes we would tell everyone we were going to the temple and sneak away to the cakeshop and the gift shop.
But it wasn’t a “cake-walk” as we had expected. Abhi also wanted to come out with us and wouldn’t let us go otherwise. After a lot of wailing and yelling, he finally made Chithi tell us we were not to leave him out. So now it was the 3 of us and thus Part- I of “Operation Surprise Birthday” was beginning to get “crowded” .!!