It was Abbas’s birthday yesterday and I had planned a surprise party for him. Since I am at home with Mantam and he is working, it was easier to buy stuff and hide in the pantry. But I was really scared that Mantam might spill the beans any moment. So, I hadn’t told them that we would have a party. I just told Abbas that my office colleague will visit us. Otherwise it would be difficult for me to prepare some food, keep the house orderly and make everyone wear decent clothes. I had invited Ro and his wife, one of my Mommy friends M, who has twin daughters studying with Mantam, her husband A also is friends with Abbas. I also invited one of Abbas’s colleague S who has become close to him with his family. I sneaked his number from Abbas’s phone and spoke to him. He offered to bring some food along and later his wife also called me to ask if I would like them to get a cake. They have a 3 month old baby and I told her that I would be happy by their presence and didn’t want them to stress out.
I was constantly in touch with these folks and was deleting all the messages just in case Abbas takes my phone to check something. On 1st Jan, Abbas was at home and I had no way of decorating the house without his knowledge. At first I thought I would ask Ro to take Abbas out to the mall with the pretext of buying something but most shops were closed here. So, I thought best idea was to brainwash Mantam that we must do some decoration on Abbas’s birthday as we never got around celebrating their birthday. They requested Abbas and the three of them decked up the house.
Now Abbas didn’t know that Ro knew about his birthday. He casually called him to wish Happy New Year. And Mantam told on phone “Ro uncle, Ro uncle, aaj Baba ka birthday hai” and Ro started emotionally blackmailing Abbas that he didn’t bother to tell him or invite him. He is having some other friends and not Ro. Abbas told that some colleague of mine is coming and that he hadn’t invited anyone. But Ro was happily pulling Abbas’s legs. Finally Abbas told him to come for dinner. Ro again started saying senti dialogues like “Oh now, you are calling me out of pity.” Abbas was actually feeling bad that he should have invited Ro. Anyway, Ro agreed to come (pretended)
Ro and his wife were the first ones to arrive at 6. Abbas seemed a bit confused as they were invited for dinner while my colleague was supposed to come at 6 Then came M, A and the twins. Abbas then figured out that something was cooking. He asked me if my colleague was actually coming or not. I just said that someone is coming. He kept on guessing but never had the faintest clue that I could connect to his colleague S. When they came he was shell shocked.
We had a lovely time together. Although the guests didn’t know each other, they all bonded soon. M had brought Chhole and I made arrangements for Chhole Chaat with chopped onions, cucumber, tomato, lemon, chillies, green chutney, tamarind date chutney and bhujia. I had baked garlicky potato wedges and made couscous salad. Grilled some store bought garlic bread and made microwave popcorn. Served store-bought Hummus and Avocado dips, juice and Coke. After the food, we all played Bingo / Housie. It was so much fun with kids also participating in it. Ro won two prizes and it was a sight to watch all 4 kids staring at him as if he was the villain. We had so much fun playing the game. Abbas even entertained people with his rastachaap dance.
After the game, we cut the cake that I had made. It was a celebration chocolate cake and was liked by all. Once everyone left, we were very exhausted physically but were high in spirits It was a beautiful evening spent with lovely people. Abbas was overwhelmed with so much love and attention and he felt very special for it was the first time that he had such a celebration where people brought him presents