Every day is a new day. There are days that pass by. Days that come and go. Days that you remember, days that you forget. Some days are special, like your birthday, anniversary, days when you achieve something, buy something special, get a new car, a new house, etc. Those are special days.
Then, there are days that are more than special – like the day when you proposed, got married, had your kids…Those are memorable days.
Such a Memorable day for me was on my 40th Birthday. It was special, because it was my Birthday. But it is memorable because Pallavi made it a very special occasion. It was all about me!
I knew she can not keep it a lowkey birthday even during Corona times. If it was not for COVID, I knew I was in for a lot of big surprises. But even after all the social distancing and no-party restrictions, she made it a day that I’ll always remember, in her own special way.
A lot of people, including me, would probably take Covid as an excuse and not worry about making it a big deal. Even I had made up my mind that its okay, we can celebrate later. But not Pallavi.
I started getting surprises from one day earlier. A box delivered with my name on it from Macy’s. Ofcourse, that was not the only box. Over a course of 3 days I got around 40 different gifts – a personalized mug, Tshirts, Scarf, sports coat, hat, sweatshirt…and so on. She had went full swing with her shopping. Well, I thought that was it. Then on the day before my birthday, she made me clean our garage…that made me suspicious…hmm, what are you planning? But she won’t tell me. It just routine “fall/Diwali cleaning”… Anyways, I went along.
At 10 PM in the night, Pallavi asked me to go for a stroll. We came outside for a walk. And to my surprise there was a giant 12 feet wide, 4 feet high sign in our front yard, that says “Happy Birthday Ashish!”.
On the day before my birthday she started baking and made a beautiful cake with lots of love and sugar 🙂 It was delicious. Kids and I loved it. Next day, the morning started with bed tea, another set of cards and gifts. These gifts kept coming at surprising moments.
Whole day she has something or the other to surprise me – including videos and messages from our family and friends all over the world!
At 4:30, she hands over a personalized T-Shirt – that said “My 40th Birthday. The one where I was Quarantined”. And she said, “Get ready by 5:45…some friends are coming to wish you”. I was thinking of two families that we have been meeting recently as they were staying quarantined too, so I was okay.
At around 6, I started hearing honking outside the house, and Pallavi asked me to open the door. I opened the door to my biggest surprise! As I stepped outside the door, Aahan, Aayra, and Pallavi following me, a buzzing sound hits my ear. A flying drone is staring at me, right outside my front door. As I turned my gaze towards the main road, there is an array of cars honking, with our friends waving at me. There are a few strangers with remote and cameras in their hands to control the drone. Instinctively, I started walking towards the cars, following the drone as its filming us. A surprisingly, shockingly special moment indeed. THIS, I did not expect! I was pleasantly surprised. Pallavi had done it once again.
Outside, the garage door was decorated, which I found out later was done by Pallavi and Harsha. There were tables with balloons, a specially ordered cake
I was not able to believe my eyes and everything that was going on. A line of cars with friends I had not met in a long time…Two buzzing drones capturing the fun from all directions, smiles, chatter. Then, our neighbors came out and their sons played drum and sang a special Happy Birthday song – Something I couldn’t have expected in my dreams. Pallavi is the only one that could make things happen that you have not imagined in your wildest dreams.
It was special. A day that was made super special by special friends, families, and memories that I’ll have for my entire life. Pallavi made it a memorable day. I am blessed to have such a wonderful friend, wife, and soulmate all in one person! I feel so proud that Pallavi did this all by herself and with some help from friends, and I did not even have a clue as to what was going on.
This milestone has become more so special.
I remember writing in my “goal books” years ago about financial, spiritual, and personal goals that included a happy, healthy, beautiful family. Today by God’s grace I have it all. (Well, I did have a goal to retire before 40 – this milestone – but may be I need some more time to achieve that goal.)
Regardless, I am happy to have a family that loves me and cares for me, and Friends who are always there when we need them. They made this birthday even more memorable and special. If you have not met my wonderful wife, you have missed a lot! She is full of life, always smiling and positive with her attitude towards life. She will make even a dull moment fun to enjoy. Having her by my side for the last 14 years has been a tremendous support in achieving these dreams and goals in life. I had dreams that I saw alone. Then I have dreams that we saw as a family. I am sure with Pallavi, Aahan, and Aayra, alongside me and with the blessing of our parents, we’ll achieve all that we have dreamed of. And I certainly hope to cherish these moments and many more days like this with friends and their families.
These are times that we never planned for, never imagined we will not be able to hug our loved ones…not able to shake hands and talk to them closely…but it is what it is. And in these testing times, to all of you who spent a few special hours of your time with us, Thank You! You will always have a special place in our lives.