Thursday, September 27, 2007
It was his first birthday post marriage. We hadnt seen one another in ages. We decided to go straight to his office to celebrate! but yes, we wanted to surprise him. So, tripleR befriended the HR of the company where Lucky worked and arranged with her to keep him in office at a decided time, so we can barge in and surprise him.
8 of us met in a common place and started towards his office in Mylapore. We had also taken an eggless bday cake, drinks and snacks. We set up the cake with candles and other food and drinks on tables and Lucky's HR (I forget her name, but I am sure TripleR would remember ;) brought him in and we sang the birthday song. Lucky's eyes popped out!
He cut his eggless cake as we sang happy birthday.
Actually, we ended up surprising more than just Lucky that day, his colleagues and his boss. It was a super success.
Another memorable one was Suresh's birthday treat. There were about ten of us, and we made Lucky and Asha drink spitfire(a pungent, infact spicy orange drink) at the Greams road Fruit shop. Of course, I had helped them with the order assuring them it was an amazing drink :)
Lucky nearly spit it!
So that was that, a regular day at work - or so I thought. It turned out to be a really joyful day! For starters, my colleagues in the Belgium office knew it was my birthday, I had not expected them to. When I came to office, my PC was already on and had 'Happy Birthday' on it, I thought that was so sweet of the colleague who did it.
Then, Linda gifted me a home baked cake with lots and lots of hazelnuts(from her parents' garden!) in it. It was so yummy. now i know why those squirrels in the cartoons are so crazy about hazelnuts! Later, I went around the city buying a lot of hazelnut chocolates! Anyway, I didnt miss my mom's cake :) Her son who was studying to be a chef had made it. I thought that was so terribly sweet of them!
Since I had been in Belgium for the past 10 days, I had been having totally bland food everyday and that killed the life out of the joy of eating. anyway, I had tried many of their dishes and actually liked them, so no regrets. Today, my kind colleagues decided to feed me spicy food and took me to a Thai restaurant! And the food was REALLY spicy and toooo good! It was another colleague's wedding anniversary so we celebrated jointly.
Lunch done, we got back to the office after a quick stroll. To our curiosity, there was a huge cardboard box standing at the door and it was carried upstairs to the office and stripped. Imagine my surprise when it contained colourful flowers addressed to me! My friend was nice enough not just to remember my birthday, but also to send some customised flowers abroad. now, thats a surprise!
Ashwin was a model boss. He was always the first to get to office everyday, at 7.30 or 8 in the morning, worked real hard, treated all his employees importantly, AND encouraged us to plan everyone's birthday surprises. So, it was going to be difficult to surprise him, but we badly wanted to..
For days we toyed with different ideas and plans and finally came up with a fool proof one ;)
The night before his birhtday, Shobz and I went birthday shopping and bought his gifts, a cricket book by Steve Waugh and a smiley stress buster rubber ball - He was crazy about cricket and had wanted to get the book himself. We got chocolate cake, glitters, balloons and other decorative strings and papers. We came back to office and did up his room till i think 9 or 10 in the night.
The next morning, at 7, all of us huddled inside his small room in the office. The plan was to stay locked in his room silently and surprise him by singing happy birthday and bursting the balloons, just as he opened the door to come in. Everything was perfectly arranged. We heard his car and waited breathlessly. He was on the phone when he came up the stairs and opened his door. All of us screamed "Happy Birthday", balloon bursting, glitter flinging et all! He dropped his bag, almost dropped his O2 phone on the hard floor.
I saw more shock than surprise on his face! :D but then, we did manage to genuinely "surprise" him :) ha ha
One of my own bdays- It was my first year in college and I was not fitting too well -either into the course or into the crowd. But life was going on, in its own pace.
In the college facility, the staffs' room was among the PG (Post graduate) area and I had to go there to submit an assignment. As I was getting back, a senior girl who travels with me in the college bus took me by my hand and started talking animatedly. I was wondering what was wrong with her, she never even used to smile at us kids (UG first years). She deliberately pulled me into a class room where there were few more seniors, taking a break. Then I got the hint..
I started getting very nervous. I had thought ragging was practically non-existent in the college, as the previous year there had been a death related to college violence and punishment for ragging was very severe. I was already preparing in my mind what I would complaint to the college Principal when the girl suddenly presented me in front of a guy and left in a whiff. I was paranoid standing before him. This senior guy looked completely laid back and cool and he waved off the other guys who tried to join him in the fun. "So!"he bellowed, making himself comfortable on the bench "can the baby sing?". I shook my head furiously. "Liar! I heard you sing on the bus day!" Silence "Ok, then dance for me". What nerve! I thought to myself.
The break was over and the classroom started getting empty, much to my horror. In a few seconds, there were just the two of us in the room. I was close to tears. I told him I wanted to leave and started to, but he stopped me. "You are not going anywhere" he said firmly. I finally sang a song in a stupid voice and then he smiled and said I can go. I was so relieved! I almost ran out, he stopped me again. He brought out a huge chocolate bar, Cadbury's Fruit & Nut and extended it to me saying "Happy Birthday"! I was completely surprised and I broke into a wide smile and thanked him and off I went with my thrilling birthday wish!
We bumped into each other many times later that year and he turned out to be the one to show me the ropes in the college. We did keep in touch even after he left the college, but slowly lost contact. I hope to bump into him again in the future, but whenever I remember the first encounter, my heart pumps faster! :)
One of the best was Asha's. She was engaged to marry Naren a few weeks ago and it was her birthday that day. Our gang usually tries to meet up to give the bums (pun) on all of our birthdays. That particular day was a weekday and it was crazily hectic for me. I could not spare a minute and was certainly gonna work late. but i so wanted to surprise her. I knew she would expect me to meet her. and she was not even allowed to meet her fiance' before marriage-the usual story..
So, after a bit of positive conspiracy, we traced Naren's phone number through his colleagues - none from the gang knew him personally, all we knew was he was working in Infy. I phoned him up, introduced myself, and asked him if he wanted to meet her, but of course they were not permitted to see each other. I told him that I would call asha and tell her that I wanted to meet her and that he can go in my place and surprise her. Another gang member got Naren even a flower bouquet!
So, I called her and told her that I was going to pass by and wanted to see her to wish her. She fell for it and agreed to come out of office and we fixed timings and all that. Imagine her surprise when her fiance' hopped out of the car, complete with flowers to wish her Happy birthday ;) - that time I was in a high tension meeting and didnt even pick up when she called!