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Seven Times Seven

Me – at 28

As I sit back and reflect (yes, I do that a lot!), experiencing nostalgia and great memories of past birthdays, (yes, it is my birthday on Sept 27. And I share it with none other than (gasp!) Google! Did you know?)

I am thinking of one particular birthday. My 28th. Okay, sit back and put your feet up. I’ll tell you about it.

It was a long day at work – what with September 30 (half year ending) around the corner. I worked in sales, and had a quota to meet and excel to be eligible for the various incentives I coveted. Yeah, performance pressure. In a good way – as it had long term positive cascading effects. Since I worked the industrial belt, after I finished with my last and satisfyingly successful customer visit for the day, I headed back home, happily sooty from the grime and dirt and pretty much souled out. I also patted myself on the back for remembering that customer once mentioning his wife’s birthday was on Sept 27 and making a mental note – AND taking action. So, all sorts of exhilaration hit me as I biked my way home. Yes, I was a bit of a speed demon that evening.

There was no stopping me

Predictably, the traffic back into the city from the industrial area, in the outskirts was pretty thick. Yet I hummed. It was my birthday, wasn’t it? So what if only a few more hours were left! I had had a great day! 
But as I approached the area I lived, a feeling of dread filled me. Why? Because it came home to me, before I reached home – that I had to face my Mom and explain myself. See – we did not have a telephone at home back then. (Really). No mobile phones, no pagers. If Mom had to get in touch with me, she would have to call the office and leave a message. If I wanted to reach her, I called my neighbor (yes, wow! he had a phone). So there I was, shaking with anxiety.

Was everything okay?

I rolled into our parking space, hoisted the bike on its stand and looked up at the first floor where we lived. It was in darkness. Darkness? Why! I knew I was late – but that did not mean the lights should be off at … um… 9 pm! We slept late anyway. Now, this panicked me. Was everything okay? Was Mom okay? Why would she turn the lights off? She usually sat reading, in the living room with the door open on the days I returned home late. Oh gosh!

Well, never one to drag my feet (unless they were physically hurt), I ran up the staircase and banged on the door. For some reason, I would never use the doorbell. Crazy, I know. What was crazier, though, was the door just swung open and I grabbed the frame to stop myself from falling into the room. Controlling myself, I quietly pushed it open a little more, realizing I was holding my breath,  a little scared, very anxious….

….and……

…became almost deaf and blind – as the lights came on and the noisiest crowd I’ve ever had the pleasure to know in my life screamed and yelled “happy birthday”. I think I died a little from shock before I was shaken alive. I am pretty sure I cried. Tears of joy, naturally. Mingled with relief. With a torrent of profanity racing through my mind, I opened my mouth, only to shut it when I got crowd-pushed into the kitchen. Ah, Mom was in her element! Busy cooking and laughing and having a whale of a time. I could see my dearest friends perched wherever there was space, eating, drinking and generally being merry.

I was in a bit of a haze – and escaped to shower. I was surprised they recognized me in spite of the layer of carbon I had somehow accumulated during the day. When I got dressed and joined the others, my best friend came and covered my eyes with her hands and walked me to the living room. I opened my eyes – and lo! There, before me, was a massive chocolate cake. She had baked it for me. Oh, and then – the evening, still rather young at 10 ish – began. Lots of singing, laughing, eating, joking, teasing. And a whole lot of love. So much that my heart felt like it would burst.

And so the memorable day ended..

Around 1 am almost everyone had trickled off, My best friend stayed over and of course, we sat up all night, to be shocked out of our skins when the doorbell rang. We wondered who it could be at this hour – and it turned out to be the milkman. Oh well, the hour was 6 am already. Time to go to sleep, because you see, I am a Friday’s child and the next day was a Saturday, and a holiday! Yay! Enough to give me a happiness hangover!

Mmmm. Those were the days of real birthday cards, much thought out gifts….and I was overwhelmed that almost everyone had given me something I would like. There were packs of blank audio tapes, music compilations, a handbag, a purse, a set of beautifully printed letter-writing paper with envelopes, pressed flowers (yup!), dress material, tshirts, costume jewelry, books, a pair of leather gloves, a sari – oh, it was so lovely.

I still have many of these things. And as I turn 48, I happily anticipate the poems Sury and Vidur write for me, as they do, every year. What surprise have they planned for me? My friends’ phone calls and visits. My virtual community’s wishes. My Mom’s spirit with me.

Can you tell I am blessed? Can  you? Love y’all!

Pearls of Peace

I’d like to share something very special with you today. My friend Joy Holland, of Facets Of Joy, who invited me to collaborate on her book “Cultivating your Voice” earlier this year, in March to celebrate International Women’s Day – once again offered me the privilege of being a contributor to her wonderful complimentary ebook “Pearls of Peace” to celebrate International Peace Day on September 21, 2012. I share space in this lovely book along with 35 other blogger friends I know and love. In this book, you’ll find inspiring affirmations and energy. I am grateful to Joy, who radiates love, encouragement and peace, for being my friend and for brightening my life.


And have a great what’s-left-of-the-week!
 
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Cheers!

Vidya

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45 Comments

  • Reply
    Harleena Singh
    September 26, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Wishing you a very very Happy Birthday Vidya and all the happiness you are so deserving of. 🙂

    And is that you in the top picture…no wonder you still look ever so young. Who can make out you are 48! The heart is what should always remain young as they say – isn’t it?

    Ah…I’ve experienced the same on my 18 birthday, though wasn’t late nor was I working that time. But yes, I had to attend classes and when I returned Mom too had arranged a surprise party which took me by surprise! It was awesome to see everyone there with all their goodies and gifts. Such is a mother’s love…I’m sure like me, you too must be missing her – more so today.

    Congratulations on the wonderful contributions to these books…feathers in your cap indeed.

    Hope Vidur and Sury had something nice planned for you today. 🙂

    Have a wonderful time whatever it left of it. 🙂

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 26, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      Thank you, Harleena! 🙂 Birthday’s tomorrow – Sept 27. Watch out for Google’s doodle tomorrow 😀

      It means so much to me that you are here today. 🙂 Yeah, thats me – at 28 (see caption). My heart is around 24 years old and always will be.

      Yes, I miss my Mom more than ever today. I am writing a post over at my other blog – I have a strong feeling my Mom’s watching me, loving me.

      I am pretty thrilled about those books! 🙂

      It is a weekday tomorrow – but we’ll have one thirds of the day together – so I am very much looking forward to it. I know they’re up to something, and I am stunned I haven’t yet figured it out. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Harleena Singh
    September 26, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Sorry! Keep the same wishes for tomorrow 🙂 I got lost in reading your post and thought it was today. 🙂

    All the best nevertheless. 🙂

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 26, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      😀 No need to be sorry, Harleena!I am very grateful for your good wishes 😀

  • Reply
    Galen Pearl
    September 26, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Happy Birthday tomorrow! My daughter Grace’s birthday is today, so she is in good company. Wonderful story–thank you for sharing it.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 26, 2012 at 5:51 pm

      Thank you, Galen! Happy Birthday to your daughter, today! 🙂

  • Reply
    Betsy at Zen Mama
    September 27, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Happy Birthday, Vidya!
    You’re one year younger than me! Loved your story of the surprise. I had two surprises in my life – my 11 year old birthday and my 30th birthday. How fun!!

    Do you have either of my books? Because I’d like to send them to you as a present.
    xoxo
    Betsy

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 1, 2012 at 6:42 am

      Which means, Betsy, you’re what – 27? 😀 Hugs! I am so honored to be gifted your books! I’ve emailed you! Love you!

  • Reply
    Elle
    September 26, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    You are such a great story teller Vidya…and happy happy b’day for tomorrow. I’m imagining another one full of loving surprises. 🙂

    Love Elle
    xoxo

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 1, 2012 at 6:41 am

      Thank you so much, Elle. I had a great day!

  • Reply
    Victor Schueller
    September 27, 2012 at 2:45 am

    Vidya,

    What a wonderful story, and such a wonderful memory. I can just tell by reading it how fond of a memory it is and how precious and dear it is to you. I truly enjoyed reading it!

    Have a very happy birthday tomorrow! Enjoy! 🙂

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 1, 2012 at 7:50 am

      Thank you, dearest Victor! 🙂 I had a lovely birthday!

  • Reply
    Rahul Bhatia
    September 27, 2012 at 6:50 am

    Many happy returns of the day Vidya and have a lovely time ahead! A post full of nice nostalgia:)

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    September 27, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Happy, happy, happy birthday to you, dearest Vidya. Trying to call you …

    You-know-who 🙂

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 27, 2012 at 10:17 am

      Had to go out in the morning around half past noon, da. I’ll be home tomorrow or late tonight! Hugs!

  • Reply
    monu
    September 27, 2012 at 8:54 am

    That was nice 🙂

    Am sure this birthday will also be a memorable one 🙂

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 1, 2012 at 5:50 am

      It was, Monu! Thanks so much for coming by!

  • Reply
    Jodi @ Heal now and Forever
    September 27, 2012 at 11:57 am

    A beautiful birthday to a beautiful person!

  • Reply
    Ken Wert
    September 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Happy birthday, Vidya!

    Yes, I can tell you’re blessed. And I can tell I’m blessed for knowing you.

    There’s not much in life that’s better than being immersed in the love of people you care about.

    We will all be celebrating the birth of a dear friend, a gifted writer, a soul that lifts and inspires us all!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 1, 2012 at 5:44 am

      So delighted to see you here, Ken! I feel the same way too, about being loved. What more could I ask for? Thank you for such uplifting words. I am taking up permanent residence on Cloud 9!

  • Reply
    Lesley S. King
    September 27, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Thank you. Beautiful story!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 1, 2012 at 5:43 am

      Welcome, and thank you, Lesley!

  • Reply
    Unknown Mami
    September 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Happiest of days to you! May you always be blessed!

  • Reply
    Bill Dorman
    September 27, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Wheeee, happy birthday m’dear. I hope you have a fabulous one.

    I was invited to my Indian friend Mahesh’s 50th bday party and can tell you it was quite the party. The place was literally jumping…..

    Congrats on being in the book as well; I’ll have to check it out.

    Have a good one!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 1, 2012 at 5:42 am

      Thank you, thank you, Bill! It was fantastic and more than I wished for! I hope you enjoy the book! Love, Vidya

  • Reply
    Lisa @ Grandmas Briefs
    September 27, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    You are indeed blessed, as are all who know you. I hope your birthday was wonderful and held for you another “happiness hangover.” Love that!

    PS: You’re the same age as I. Well, I have you beat by a few months, but only a few. 😀

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 1, 2012 at 5:41 am

      Lisa! (Hugs – So happy to see you here!) Are you saying you’re 28 too? Gosh, I could have sworn you were 24! 😀 Hugs! Birthday was just great! 😀 Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Emily Sovich
    September 28, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Oh, you had me so scared! It sounds like a wonderful party though.

    Happy Birthday, Vidya!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 1, 2012 at 5:40 am

      Oooh, Emily I was scared that day, too! 😀 It was a fab party and yesterday, when I chatted with the author of that mischief, we had such a good laugh!

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    September 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    You are definitely blessed my friend.
    xoxox

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 1, 2012 at 5:39 am

      Blessed to know you, Kim! Hugs!

  • Reply
    Terri Sonoda
    September 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Hello lovely Vidya! Hoping you had a beautiful birthday. This was such a special post. Thank you for sharing with us. My life is so much richer with you in it. HUGSSS

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 1, 2012 at 5:39 am

      Thank you so much Terri – your wishes mean the world to me! I am so glad we met. Same time last year, right? 😀 Hugs!

  • Reply
    afterthekidsleave.com
    September 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    We wish you every possible happiness on your special day! Hugs and loads of happiness in the next year and beyond…
    Karen and Wendy

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 1, 2012 at 5:38 am

      Hi Karen and Wendy! So good to see you here! Thanks!

  • Reply
    My Inner Chick
    September 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Vidya!

    You. Are. Beautiful.

    Inside & Out. The world became MUCH MORE Sweet the day you were born.

    Love you more than 5 hummingbirds 6 butterflies & 6 white tigers in Kenya.

    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Reply
    Nikky44
    October 13, 2012 at 3:29 am

    I know I’m late:(

    Happy Birthday!!!

    • Reply
      Nikky44
      October 13, 2012 at 3:38 am

      Thank you so much Vidya!! You are very special too and I have missed you. Lots of love <3

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 13, 2012 at 3:36 am

      Dear Nikky, but you’re special. I am happy to be wished today – because I get to relive the nice day I had…and that’s wonderful. Love you. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 13, 2012 at 3:47 am

      I missed you too! <3

  • Reply
    Encouraging Creativity
    June 8, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    […] a fantastic writer, Fran is a gardening expert. I get all emotional each time I see the fabulous birthday card she sent me last year! I’ve had the pleasure of being featured in one of her posts […]

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