Birthday Present

I am Anshu Pitlia, Developer at Thoughtworks, sharing a small incident of a girl’s life.  

Inspired from a real incident. 

It was the last day of school. The final class had just finished with a couple of emotional exchanges. The destined bell rang, but no one was interested in moving out of the class. As if it was the last day of their lives, the students wanted a few more moments together.

Neha was grieved thinking about her friends, and how she is going to miss them. But she promised herself to always be in touch with them. When she and her friends would have achieved something, they will meet again, go on a tour and have immense fun.

They had their preparation leaves for two weeks and then the most important exam, that will decide their future was scheduled. Amidst all this, they were hopeful thinking about the grand extravaganza at Neha’s place on her 18th birthday that day. Another chance to meet again.

Neha had been going all gaga over her birthday from past few weeks, as if she is the first one to turn eighteen. She was happy, that from then on she is going to be an adult. She can participate in elections and select a candidate of her choice. She will also have the blue ink on her finger, whose photos she can upload on Facebook and Insta like her seniors did. She no longer would need to run away from traffic cops and ride her vehicle legally. She does not need to fake her age, like she had to do once, to watch some cheap movie. She is going to join the best college of the town, and infamously bunk her classes; and even then come out in flying colors. The best part of her life was going to begin.

Also she was excited about the gifts she is going to receive. Last year her dad had gifted her a gold pendant with a small diamond in the center. This year presents had already started flowing in. The dress that she is going to wear today is the designer dress that her dad had got custom made for her. She is going to look like a princess in that. Her mom made sure she had the best accessories to match. Her dad also had a big surprise lined up for her. She had seen her dad silently planning from weeks.

She got ready just in time for the celebration. Her mom rushed from between the relatives, to put a black dot behind her ear, and prevent her from evil eye. Her friends sighed and applauded her beauty, and started singing the birthday song. Utsav was dumb-founded, and awestruck. He could not take his eyes off her. She also noticed his focused eyeballs and blushed.

His dad too ran towards her, and said, “Oh our princess is here. Come let your king take you down towards the assembly.” He holded her hands royally and both started coming downstairs. He took her near the grand cake, and asked her daughter to close the eyes for the bigger surprise. She smiled, closed her eyes, and was expecting another jewel to her closet, or may be a travel ticket. Even under the closed eyes her excitement couldn’t be contained. Her dad did a few arrangements and asked her to open the eyes.

She saw a very beautiful ring. She almost jumped with joy but then realized that it was not for her, but for him. There was a person standing before her. She didn’t know who he was but he also had a ring in his hand. The ring with a heart, waiting for her hand to embrace it. Everyone around her was clapping. All she could hear was noise. All her dreams of electing a candidate were shattered. Her intensions to fly high, were encaged in the ring. She looked at her dad and said feebly, “What about my college and education? I’m not prepared for this.” To which her dad replied, “Life is the biggest college, and this one does not give preparation leaves. You are a grown up adult now. The best part of your life has begun. Enjoy”.

She exchanged the ring with the word enjoy echoing her ear, but not her heart.

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