I think of you, and I think of stories.
The stories I know. You zipping across town in your small little scooty. Climbing up trees when you had all gone to visit Renu masi’s future in-laws and staying put until they left, hoping they didn’t see you. Evening play-times in Shimla, and spending most of it asking passers by the time because you had to be home at a particular hour, and not before, or after. Nannu getting Afghan Snow creams for you and maasi. Your love for nailpaints and perfectly maintained hands and feet. Baking a rum-laden cake for dad when you weren’t married but keeping Bittu maasi around because it was just wasn’t right to be alone. Getting dogs into the house and then making sure everyone fell in love with them, nani included. You, Renu maasi, and Naani competing to finish embroidery sceneries one after the other, night after night, during lazy summer days in Delhi. Your favourite movie. Your favourite hero.
The stories I don’t know. Your stories about romance, the ones you read in books, the ones you dreamed of, and the ones you experienced with dad. The first dish you ever cooked. The first drink you ever tasted (and I bet you didn’t like). The plans you had for my wedding. Your stories about Anuj and me. The recipe for the cake.
The stories you were still to add to the chapters in your life. Anuj becoming an officer. Visiting him in his unit and him addressing you as Ma’am. Me getting married. And you visiting me and Arjun. Us laughing into the night on how ridiculous husbands can be. And how awesome we are.
All these stories and today is the most important story in your life. It’s your birthday ma, and wherever you may be, I fervently pray God showers all his love, and blessings on you. You deserve nothing but the best. I made suji kheer for you here, and the one wish I have is that you get to savour the kheer wherever you may be. You know I am going to eat your share here :P
Happy Birthday Ma…