"Chintu..."Dad yelled,"help me carry these things."
Chintu came running out of his cabin, bare bodied except for a pair of shorts. He was the son of our watchmen who had drunk himself ti death last year. His had mother eloped with someone from her village years ago. And hence 5 year old Chintu was orphaned. He used to live in the watchman's cabin at the gate of our housing colony and did some odd jobs to earn a living.
"Are you expecting guests at your place today, Sanju baba?" Chintu stealthly whispered into my ears.
"No,"I asked in utter bewilderment,"what made you think so?"
"You Dad has bought so many things today,"he said staring hard at the pile of gifts,toys,balloons and groceries,"so I thought, you must be having guests tonight."
"No silly,"I said with an ear to ear grin,"Its my b'day next week. All these are for the b'day party."
"Oh I see."
Chintu face darkened a bit but the very next moment he pasted a smile on his face and got back to work.
A lot of guests had arrived at my bday bash. There were Dad's collegues, ladies from the soceity who were Mom's friends, a few relatives and above all, the whole gang of my friends who lived in our neighbourhood. I was happily playing with them in the balcony when my gaze fell on Chintu who was staring eagerly from his cabin with a hint of hurt in his eyes. I ran to Mom and said, "We haven"t invited Chintu to our party. Shall I bring him in?"
"No" Mom said sternly.
"Why?" I asked in an anguished tone of voice.
"Because he wont fit in with us."
"Why Mom? He is also a friend of mine."
"No Sanju, he is not. He doesn't match our status. Dad will not approve of it and will be mad at you if you bring him here. Please don't be a spoil sport and go and play with your friends." Mom brushed me off with her curt reply and hurriedly made her way to attend to the guests.I felt bad for Chintu but was helpless.
The next evening I called upon an urgent meeting of our whole gang.
"Guys, we really should do something for that poor Chintu. He doesn't have a family and nobody cares about him. I really feel very sorry for him."
"But what shall we do?" Ankit asked
"Our parents will get angry at us even at the mere mention of his name." Manjeet said.
All of us pondered hard on the issue at hand for quite sometime. Suddendly I had a brain wave.
"Lets celebrate his bday!"
"Oh ya...." Everyone joined in.
"Okay, here is the plan." I said brimming with joy, "We will buy some gifts, balloons and candles from our pocket money. And I will ask my Mom to bake a cake."
"Will your Mom agree to it?" Dolly asked while nervously biting her nails.
"If I tell her that it is for Chintu she will definitely say no!"
"Then what we will do?"
"Look, we all will tell your Moms that we all have planned to have a party this Saturday night to celebrate the beginning of our summer vacations. We will ask all of them to prepare a few dishes for our party. And I am sure they will agree."
The plan worked out and we all had a blast. Tears flowed down Chintu's cheeks as he blew the candles and tasted a birthday cake most probably for the very first time in his life.