A Forgotten Birthday

by Lakshmi Menon
(Bangalore)

After a hectic day in the office, squeezing into the heavily crowded bus, which took her almost an hour in travel, and picking up some vegetables from the roadside vendors, Hema reached home exhausted with a fond hope of relaxing some time, listening to the amusing stories of her daughter.


Hema lay on the sofa with a newspaper in hand, after a cup of tea and snacks provided by her maid. As her eyes eagerly passed through the headlines on the paper for which she had no time even to have a glance in the morning, in the midst of her busy household chores. Pinky, her daughter, appeared after her bath and angrily snatched away the paper from her hand.

"Let me read the paper, darling," Hema pleaded, suppressing her anger on Pinky's unexpected interruption.

"No, I won't allow you to read," pouted her seven year old daughter.

"What's the matter Pinky?" Hema demanded.

"I'm angry with you."

"Why should she be angry with me?" Hema wondered.

Without glancing at her mother, she demanded, "Why didn't you tell me yesterday that tomorrow would be your birthday?"

So that is the matter with her darling daughter! Only then even she too remembered she had grown one more year older, which usually ladies (and now-a-days men too) are reluctant to accept. In a way, Hema was happy at the thought of her grandmother's saying that "One will live longer if birth days are forgotten."

But here is her daughter reminding her of her birthday which was accidentally forgotten. Usually her husband would greet her with a hearty birthday wish in the early morning. This time he too seemed to have forgotten.

Hema's gaze fixed at the wall clock. Her husband would be back home in an hour's time. She decided to surprise him with his favorite dal payasam and accuse him for not remembering her birthday and wishing her in the morning, as he always did.

For a moment, she was immersed in her childhood memories. She used to look forward for her birthday weeks in advance, reminding her mother on and off so that she would have to prepare her favorite jack fruit payasam and wouldn't forget to collect her frock from the tailor.

"Do you think I will ever forget your birthday, molu?" asked her mother once when Hema expressed her apprehension. "You will understand it when you become a mother." Those nostalgic memories brought a smile on Hema's face.

"Mummy, close your eyes," said Pinky with a mischievous smile on her cherubic face. "I'm going to surprise you with an important birthday gift."

Like an obedient child, Hema closed her eyes and wondered what would be her daughter's present.

Pinky left a small closed envelope on her mother's hand, and said, "Okay, now you can open your eyes."

As Hema slowly opened the envelope, she knew her daughter’s watchful eyes were there on her with great amusement, to see her reaction. Hema picked up the two chocolates from the cover and was about to turn to thank Pinky’s thoughtful gesture. Suddenly, her attention was grabbed by a neatly folded pink paper in the envelope, which she carefully unfolded.

"I will never again forget my birthday - say this ten times." It was written in her childish handwriting, using a green sketch pen.

Hema followed her daughter's instruction like a school girl, and enjoyed the amusement created at her cost.

When Pinky heard a scooter sound outside, rushed to open the door and welcome her father back home, and whispered something to his ear.

“Happy Birthday to you, Hema!” Viswam handed a thick polythene bag to his wife, as soon as he saw her.

As she was opening the bag and taking out another packet from inside the bag, which was wrapped with a beautiful cover, Viswam kept one more bag in her hand and said, “I’m sorry I didn’t wish you in the morning. I wanted to give you a surprise in the evening.”

Pinky took the second cover and found a chocolate cake there, with “Happy Birthday to you, my sweet heart”. Seeing the cake, she frowned upon her father. “You gave me a smaller cake for my birthday, and now for mama you’re giving a bigger one.”

Viswam carried her in his hand, and gazed at Hema to hear something from her.

Hema didn’t say anything, as she was still admiring the maroon silk sari which she was always wanting to buy for herself. “It’s good once in a way birthdays are forgotten”, she said to herself.

Comments for A Forgotten Birthday

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Nov 09, 2011
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Thanks
by: Lakshmi

Thanks Isabel for reading the story and leaving your comments. It has a special charm if birthday is forgotten and then you're surprised by a gift.

Oct 30, 2011
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Feb---Oct
by: isabel

I'm one of those who does not like to celebrate birthday's on the exact date :)
Just like what you've said... It's nice not to remember ones birthday and be surprised once in a while.

Really enjoyed reading this heartwarming story...

Jul 30, 2011
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Thanks
by: Lakshmi

Thanks Ezakky for your visit to this site and reading the story. Also thank you for leaving your valuable comment. I'm glad to know that reading the story made you feel good.

Jul 30, 2011
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ezakky
by: Anonymous

simple touching feel good

Jun 25, 2011
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touching
by: Mini Blessy

Interesting

May 04, 2011
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Thanks
by: Lakshmi

Thanks Avinash for reading and commenting.

Thanks Safia.

May 03, 2011
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Touching.
by: Safia.A.R.

Nice one:-))

May 03, 2011
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Touched me
by: Avishek Gupta

Hi Lakshmi,
Your story is so touching. It makes me emotional. Keep sharing more in future.
Regards,
Avishek

Apr 14, 2011
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Thanks Kaval
by: Lakshmi

Thanks Kaval for pointing out that error. I've corrected it now.

Apr 13, 2011
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family story
by: J.Kaval

'A Forgotten Birthday' reminded me birthday celebrations of yesteryears.Sometimes it is good to forget one's birthday. While enjoying the narration I was stuck up for a second at"Why didn't you tell me yesterday that today is your birthday?". I am afraid that sentence is correct. How about "Why didn't you tell me yesterday that tomorrow would be your birthday" Never mind. There is sweet and serene flow in telling the story.good family story

Mar 29, 2011
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Thanks Shishir
by: Lakshmi

Thank you Shishir for experiencing the same what I went through while reading the story. It is also a great feeling to have such a forgotten birthday to become a memorable birthday. Please send in one of your interesting birthday stories.

Mar 29, 2011
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Thanks Sneha
by: Lakshmi

Thank you Sneha, for reading my story and commenting. It is a page of my life when my elder daughter was that small. The forgotten Birthday finally turned out to be one of the memorable birthdays!

Mar 29, 2011
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Heart touching
by: Shishir bile

The story is well written
when i was reading i can actualy imagine each and every word of story. It is a heart touching story in which u ll have small tears in your eye with a big smile like me

Mar 23, 2011
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Nice story
by: Sneha

Beautiful story, Lakshmi. Very interesting indeed. Its a great feeling, I'm sure to have a daughter and such a loving husband as in your story.

Mar 22, 2011
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Thanks Tanuja
by: Lakshmi

Thanks Tanuja for reading and commenting. I'm glad to know that you liked my simple story. You're very true - surprises are surprises. Surprises make our life more colorful.

Feb 26, 2011
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Holding on to moments of surprises for ever!
by: Tanuja

Hi! Surprises are surprises! They kindle memories for a life time, don't they!They vanish with equal swiftness as they appear. But surprises are surprises! ,,,And we all love them. A fond memory written with equal fondness. Liked it for its simplicity and natural effervesence.


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