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The Unplanned Anniversary

The Unplanned Anniversary

6 mins 473 6 mins 473

Tania and Keith were married for five years now. On their honeymoon, they had planned to celebrate every fifth year after their marriage. By that parameter, their fifth anniversary required a grand celebration. However, Keith forgot the date of their anniversary and Tania had to go to her mother’s with their only daughter around their fifth anniversary. Therefore, nothing spectacular could be planned for their fifth anniversary. Tania began accusing her husband of making her stay at home for their fifth anniversary and also forgetting the pledge that they had together taken during their honeymoon of celebrating every fifth anniversary after marriage.

Tania began shouting in anger to Keith. She did this over the phone from her mother’s. Now, anyone who has the fortune of listening to their wife, or the misfortune of listening to someone else’s wife, would probably not need to describe the situation further. But, for the benefit of anyone who might not belong to the above categories, it will suffice to say that the situation was somber when Tania called up Keith to blame him for making her spend their fifth anniversary at home.

When the telephone call was in progress, in the background their seven year old daughter was bawling away loudly seeking attention. Tania was complaining to Keith that ever since she had had their baby, he had forgotten her. She further complained that earlier Keith used to write stories to woo her or give her gifts to surprise her. She was not wrong, therefore Keith let her continue.

“And now, you cannot even remember our anniversary?” Again, she was absolutely right, but Keith could not let her continue and he chipped in. Keith told her, that he had planned something special the next day.

Being a public speaker specialising in impromptu speaking and an author definitely helped. He realized for he could sense her soften on hearing that he had planned something for the next day. She wanted to listen to the details of the surprise.

Keith began by saying that he had offered to take her out for a weekend at a five star hotel, but she had wanted none of it. Keith said he admitted he should have planned in advance, but he said that he had a plan for the occasion. He asked Tania to come over from her mother’s place the next day for a beautiful surprise.

And that is how it all began. A plan that would require assiduous preparation. One befitting his past successes and current predicament. A plan which Keith could not execute on his own and needed the support of his joint family to make a reality. Keith realised that he was faced with an impossible task of having to whip up a magical day for the love of his life. He decided to go the Harry Potter way and seek help from the Dumbledore of his family – his 85 year old grandmother, Attama.

She said she would cook the main course of Afghani style Kashmiri Pulao. She further said that Manushi, Keith’s younger sister would help her in this task. Manushi had always wanted to learn to cook Kashmiri Pulao from Attama. What better time than this to accomplish her goal.

Relieved, Keith reached out to his aunt, Tony to execute the next part of the plan. Tony decided to pick up the pastries from Merwans. They decided to go together to accomplish this task. In return for accompanying him, Tony would get a treat of pastries from Keith. In this way, they would kill two birds with one stone. Keith had promised Tony a treat in return for a wager that the latter had won in a sports match.

The rest of the work was done by Keith’s uncle Meshomuni and his wife, aunt Mashu (staying in a joint family indeed helps). Meshomuni collected the mint leaves from Sealdah and Mashu helped search for/clean/arrange the crockery they had almost forgotten about.

Then it was time to execute the rest of the plan by himself. Keith set about searching for songs and then downloading music videos from YouTube. Keith wondered whether it would be enough. Keith created a playlist and saved the same on TV, so that the moment she came in, she would see it all. The first part of the seven part surprise. Keith could hardly wait for the big day. He set about in a chef’s apron, gathering the ingredients.

As the mobile buzzed to life at 12:00 noon, Keith’s heart started thudding with excitement as well as dread, he picked up the phone. It was Ankana, Tania’s elder sister. She said she would be reaching in two minutes and Keith was to be there downstairs to welcome her and his wife and daughter.

Smiling with confidence, Keith walked down the stairs of their hundred year old house in clothes no one had ever worn, a pair of harem pants which were paired with a full sleeved body hugging T-shirt.

When Tania’s Uber finally arrived and Ankana emerged with her younger sister and her niece, Keith’s daughter burst out laughing. This was a good sign, but he had to be in character. He asked Tania to follow him to a Middle Eastern surprise.

Tania controlled herself and slightly surprised, followed Keith up the stairs to the first floor and gawked at the television where Tarkan was singing ‘Sikkidim’ along the streets of Turkey.

This was the first among the seven surprises due for Tania, a playlist of music videos with an Arabian flavor. Keith handed her the second surprise – a bunch of long stemmed roses in various hues to symbolize everything she meant to him. Yellow-friendship, Red-love, Pink.......

It was now time for the 3rd surprise. Keith presented Tania with it. ‘Lebanese Lemon Chicken’. Tania loved it. Emboldened, Keith went on to serve the welcome drink even as Tania interjected. She said that she hoped it was not Rooh Afza as she did not like it. Keith smiled wickedly and brought out the Mint infused Virgin Mojito. Keith explained that this was a little extra, as he winked and Tania smacked her lips.

Not surprisingly, Tania loved the 4th surprise – lunch. The pulao was perfect, and the Turkish pastries breathtaking, Tania declared.

Once Tania had put their daughter to sleep, Keith proceeded to share with her the surprise #5, courtesy Archie’s. A beautiful card and a personalized gift- a cup and a teddy bear which was accompanied by surprise #6 a rendition from one of Sonu Nigam’s latest albums.

But, why 7 and what is the last surprise? This was the question that Tania had. Keith replied that there were seven surprises to correspond to the seven vows and the final surprise was the playing of the song Maiyaan Maiyaan from Guru. Keith began dancing to the song, in his harem pants. He danced so vigorously that the pants tore at the seam and they both burst out laughing.

Tania said she loved every surprise. She thanked Keith for giving her such a beautiful fifth anniversary. Then they kissed and finally Keith realized that indeed his will had found its way.


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