My run of luck started the day before my birthday, with Siva replying to my appeal on behalf of this Friends of Children student, offering a donation. I had put up the post with few expectations (but a lot of hope), and to receive such a response within a couple of hours - well, it really made my day.
We had a party that night, and cleared the living room so all of us would have place to sit. I cooked spaghetti for dinner. The gang all work late, so they (including the Guy) started pouring in around 11. That is, two of them and the Guy turned up sometime past 11. Our de facto bartender mixed us drinks with a heavy hand, so that by the time the other two guests turned up just before midnight, I had had two drinks and was considerably light-headed.
In full disclosure, this was my first birthday party in (I think) seven years, and definitely the first in which I was drunk. There was even a cake! A chocolate cake with 'Happy Birthday Unmana' in white frosting. I clamoured for candles, and got one in a holder to blow out.
And then we ate, and talked, and drank some more. We broke up early, as everyone except the Guy and me had to go to work the next day. (The Guy had taken the day off in honour of my birthday.)
The Guy and I got up with backaches. We lazed around on the sofa for some time as we wondered what to do with the day. He made us scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast, and then we dressed up to go out.
We drove around aimlessly for a bit, arguing over where to go for lunch. We stopped at Koregaon Park to pick up shiny sandals. Then we went for lunch to this hotel. It was the Guy's idea all along - I had been demurring at first because that's where we went out for dinner last time and I thought we should go somewhere different.
I'm glad we finally agreed to go there. They had a pretty cheap lunch buffet. We started with tomato basil soup, which was okay. Then we chose from a variety of salads. There was a live pasta counter, and I ordered mine with white sauce. It came almost right as soon as I finished my salad, and it was without doubt the best pasta I have ever had. It was creamy yet spicy enough to not be bland. It was some flat ribbon pasta that I didn't catch the name of.
I thought I'd have another serving of the pasta if the main course wasn't appetising enough. I had another think coming. For the main course, we had the choice of baked corn and spinach, a variety of Indian dishes including dal and rice and roti, and Chinese: Schezuan vegetables and ginger rice. (And remember, I'm vegetarian so I didn't even glance at the non-vegetarian section). I tried to sample a bit of everything, and none of it was remotely unappetising.
There were six desserts on offer: fruit salad, gulab jamun, gajar halwa, creme caramel, tiramisu and chocolate ice cream. I tried all except the gulab jamun (which, however, the Guy vouched for) - and even had two cubes of tiramisu (which, in my defence, were quite small). It was a miracle we walked out of there. And I can't wait to go back.
It was, as I said to the Guy, the most awesome meal I have ever had.
And as if we hadn't eaten enough that day, we went out for dinner too. We went to a South Indian place and had nice light appam and idiyappam and neer dosai and vegetable stew and mushroom pepper fry. All excellent.
The nicest surprise though, was all the people who remembered my birthday. My sister called just before midnight. My mother of course, remembered - though my mother-in-law beat her to the call. The in-town in-laws called too. A friend who I hadn't talked to for months called, and we spent a nice while catching up. The man who helped the Guy send me flowers last year remembered, and messaged.
Effe actually messaged right in the morning and called while we were having lunch. Now you wouldn't think this was unusual, but then you don't know Effe. (Maybe I should put up a post on "Effe and My Birthdays".) The conversation went something like this:
Effe: Happy Birthday!
E: So, you turned 28 too. (Her birthday was in July.)
U: Yes! I don't want to!
E: We're growing older!
Growing older seems worse when you see someone you've known most of your life go through it too. At least the Guy didn't know me when I was a kid and doesn't know how wrong this feels.
But the awesome birthday almost makes up for it.
And no, I didn't get a surprise this year. I got something better: I got to choose my gift. But owing to us ordering it pretty late, it hasn't arrived yet. (As you can see, the Guy isn't perfect. Pretty close, though.) At least, not all of it has... Well, I'll stop speaking in riddles and simply take a picture of it to put up here when it does arrive.