TODAY -

My Best Birthday
- Part 1 -

Louriyam Bebica *

Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday :: Pix - Martin Haobam



When my elder sister rang me up in the early morning through our landline phone, I was still half sleep.

-Nanao

-Hao, che...why such an early call in a late bird's phone. I was at the climax of my dream. Your call has paused its romantic ending.

-Really? Is it so? Now stop your dramatic dialogues. It is already 6 o'clock in the morning. I am gonna tell mom to speak to dad about you. Nine pampered you with overloaded love. You need to change now .What will you do when you are married? You can't wake up at this hour when you are married. Ah!

-Che....stop it. If you called up to speak those things I better hang up. I know what you are trying to say indirectly.

-You do?

-Yes che, I am not a baby. But you know well that I'm not interested in getting married. How can I dump my kids and marry someone. It won't be fair on their part right? I don't think they need a father in their life. Even if they do, don't you think none will be there to marry me accepting with all those forty kids as my dowry...ha-ha.

-Nanao, I am not telling you to stop loving them but don't you think you need to have your own life, own baby too?

-Che, you must be kidding. Who the hell told you that they are not my kids? I agreed that I didn't carry them for months in my womb but when they hold my hand with their whole fist and squeeze it tightly, giving me a look in their eyes, a smile on their lips, I knew they are my kids.

-Nanao, be practical.

-Che, what do you mean when you say be practical? Loving only myself, my own babies and my family, is it what you call being practical?

-Nangsidiko, forget it. I can't argue with you. By the way, why did you switch off your mobile since last night? I've been trying to call you.

-Battery might have got over. Why were you trying my number? Was there any emergency? You could've called up on dad's number.

-Hello, I was trying your number to wish you for your birth day. Anyway, Happy Birth Day! Enjoy the day!

-Oh shit! I totally forgot it. By the way, thanks.

-Ha-ha...don't worry its natural, the older you grow the more you will forget your birth day. Its good bcoz you don't feel you are ageing. What do you want for your gift?

-Nothing che.

-Tell me anything .Your Etei will be home next week so I can handover the stuffs.

-Ok, then do you mind sending me some blankets?

-Ha-ha...what kind of gift is it? Don't tell me mom didn't buy blanket for you. Ask me something else like dress...

-No, I want only blanket.

-Sure?

-Yes.

-As you wish, I will send you a blanket in pink color, your favorite.

-Che, I need more than one piece.

-Ok, will two or three do?

-No.

-Then how many you need?

-At least thirty to forty.

-What? But why?

-Winter is approaching. I don't think I can sleep on my cozy bed with warm blanket when they've nothing to cover up their bodies.

-Again? I've been lecturing you for so long and you came to the place we started. Alright I can't promise you the exact number but yes I will surely contribute my share as you wish.

-Thanks che.

-Its ok. Enjoy your day? Any plan?

-I am meeting up my dentist in the morning, after that I am going to the orphanage. I promise them to treat with chicken today.

-Ok. I think I got nothing to say now. I hope you know well what you are doing. Love you and enjoy your day.

-Thanks che. Talk to you latter, bye.

I hung up the phone after a short conversation with my sister. As usual she is the first one to wish me on my birth day. Birth day was not an issue on my mind. The thing that tingle my mind was I'm gonna treat my kids with chicken. Since it's my day I knew that my family will do anything that I wish for. My mom and aunt came in to my room while I was putting on my dress.

-Nanao, are you getting ready for the dentist?

-Yep.

-Drive slowly and come back soon. Your gifts will be ready by then.

-Thank you.

I was very happy not bcoz I am getting gifts but my family understood well what I want even without telling them.

When I reached Nagamapal on my scooty, my mobile was vibrating.

-Hello.

-Hi, where are you? We call up at your home. Your mom told us that you left for your dentist.

-Yep, I am in Nagamapal now.

-That's the perfect place come to Blue Moon Hotel.

-Ash...no way I don't like that hotel. Didn't you see the way they kept curd {lassie}?

-Oi, we are not asking you to deep yourself into that curd's bucket. Just come, stop excusing yourself.

I knew I got no choice. If I disagree or try to give excuses my friends gonna screw me up. So I thought it's better to miss the dentist then facing their anger. I took my scooty to the left side where it was written on a big board 'NO ROAD STOP'. The construction was going on. Like a pure Manipuri I found my way on that 'no road'. It is a distinct feature among us -we do what it says not to do. Ester came out screaming from that tea-hotel while I was parking my scooty in that no parking zone.

-Beb, we are here, come fast.

-Wait, give me a second, and let me park it.

I walked into the hotel to find all my old friends. I was very touch. I didn't expect it to happen that way.

-Surprise!

All of them scream when I set in. There was a beautiful cake waiting for me.

-Hey, thanks but you don't need to do this. Don't you think I am too old now for these stuffs?

-You might think you are old but we still think we are still in our fresher. Come on, Beb it's the way how we always do our birth days, right?

I think Ester was a bit annoyed at my words. I begged her pardon and we began chatting. I am very lucky to have them as my friends. People might laugh to see the gifts they gave me. But I know it's the perfect gift I could ever receive from my friends. They gave me cooking oil, potato, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, umorok, onion and cabbage. The loveliest thing was they pack it along with their names so that I could know who gave me what. We were chatting and I suddenly spoke looking at the cake that was lying untouched apart from the portion I had cut for the celebration.

-Hey, do you guys mind if I take home this cake? I know you won't eat also. So I was thinking of giving it to the kids.

They broke out in a huge laugh.

-What happen why you are laughing?

Rani who was at the corner of our seat replied -

-Till then we thought you are a mother. Now we realized that you are a grandmother too who wants to take home everything she eats for her grandchildren. I hope you won't ask the share of your two knees in luhongba.

-Knee? Shared? What?

-Don't you know the funny story about a grandmother who covers up her both knees with sal to look like babies so that she gets three share of edibles.

-Ash.. loirehe. I won't take it.

-Hey, we are just pulling your legs .Please take it with you.

-Sure?

-Very much. All of them replied together.

To be continued....


* Louriyam Bebica wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition)
This article was posted on September 22, 2012.



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