Life is full of all kinds of new experiences that often take us by surprise and the recent one was one such. We had blithely planned to meet for the joint celebrations of the birthdays of the youngest members of our families-my sister’s and mine-with our brother and his family joining us, to add to the fun quotient. What with it being exam time for the younger kids (one of the ‘budday’ gals included) it was decided to keep it short and sweet, to spend minimum time away from books, that is. Also, and keeping in view the fact that while we all live in the
it’s precisely that- NCR with no two people
living in the same state. So if it’s a rushed get-together, with time being a
constraint, the commute time plays a vital role. With us in Noda, my sister in Delhi
and our brother in good ole Gurgaon, a hasty meeting, albeit birthday
celebrations, have to be planned judiciously.
And so it transpired, that despite three homes in the
NCR, we decided
to descend on CSOI, the conveniently located Officers’ Club of which my sis and
her husband are members. Barely thirty minutes’ driving distance from all our
homes, we thought we’d meet, have some snacks together, generally wish the two
young ladies and then beat a retreat. After all, ominous exams loomed large on
the morrow’s horizon!
As is a mother’s wont, I generally checked with sonny boy if he’d change out of his casual Tantra t-shirt, which looked a trifle crumpled after the day’s wear but he stoutly refused. It looked just fine, he said and I decided not to press the point. The birthday girl was well turned out and I was just trying to cajole the lad to don a smarter t shirt, but he stood his ground. We left for the venue around 7 p.m; rendezvous time being 7.30.and managed to make it in good time, though we were still the last to reach.
I walked in with spouse in tow and wished my little niece, looking chirpy and pretty in a smart dress. I looked back to see if my own birthday girl had made an appearance (in an almost identical dress!) and was surprised to see that the kiddos were nowhere in sight. When a few minutes had elapsed and they had still not showed up, I walked to the hall’s door, wondering……it was impossible to get lost in so small a place, a place they had visited many times before. Just then, the two arrived, and sonny boy said, with an abashed grin, that he had been stopped at the entrance because of being attired in shorts!! Somehow, he had managed to convince them and made his way in. We nodded happily as they settled down.
No sooner had they got seated and begun munching on the hot crispies than an official looking man approached our table and said that shorts weren’t allowed. My brother and brother-in-law said in unison that okay we’d keep this in mind next time but the fellow just stood there, glowering. We exchanged looks, not sure what to do next. The platefuls of snacks kept arriving so we got temporarily, and justifiably, distracted. The fellow also seemed to melt away but not for long. He was a determined adversary, a great warrior. He came back in five minutes, accompanied by another official, who parroted the same line-shorts not allowed.
With wisdom born out of such situations we all realized that these buggers meant business. Also, the fact that at the end of the day, rules were rules and if these chappies were sticking to their guns, it was only fair that we accede to their request. So very rapidly, we beat a retreat and decided to shift venue to my sister’s place, postponing the revelry by a few minutes.
It’s another matter that that this turned out to be a great decision as not only did we relax and enjoy the warmth of home ambience much more, but finally ended up having a sumptuous dinner and a wonderful evening of prolonged celebrations and togetherness.
As someone so sagely said, all’s well that ends well!