So it was her birthday. And we decided to celebrate it. But getting her out of her class was the toughest part. It needed some strategising, detailing of tasks, resource allocation and a time horizon. We always planned well before surprising our not-so-innocent birthday buddies. However we never engaged in a trial run. We were experts in that field from day one 😀
The bakery next door, the Archies sales peeps and the decoration shopkeepers knew us well by the end of those three years in college. The rest of the gang involved themselves in the packing of the gifts, class decorations and preparing invitations and the most important part of luring the birthday prey to convincingly fall into our trap 😀 😀
Those three years saw us celebrating all the birthdays during the academic year 3 times over. And those born during exam times and holidays went greeeen and complained to their parents for not planning their births according to the Indian academic calendar 😀 😀
August 3 arrived at last. I knocked at their classroom door during the morning short recess. The teacher was continuing her lesson even after the bell. But that was the assigned time so I went ahead, spoke a few words to the teacher but she was adamant and did not relent. That was the cue for the class inside the room to act restless and seem disturbed and make some noise 😛 😛 :P. Except the birthday girl of course. My class was standing crowded just outside that closed door waiting to barge in and start the celebration 😛
I persisted but the teacher was firm. She was one scary lady. Our first day in that college is still unforgettable when she presided over the class as our class teacher. We felt like worms, those small tiny crawly creatures, in the mud who were vulnerable to be stamped at any moment by the human race!! She had the knack to run a chill down our spines even on a hot sultry summer afternoon!! Plan A was not working.
So I caught hold of her hand and pulled her to the door into the midst of my waiting classmates. That was Plan B. All this time she tried hard to sound angry, agitated and also screamed in my ears loudly about losing some kind of reputation but my ears had gone temporarily deaf.
We sang, gave her the card, took her inside her class, another round of birthday wishes, beaming smiles, giggles, and the cake was cut. Our expert cake cutter took over to make equal slices for all present. The tissue paper giver was ready armed with her resource. The distribution team stood nearby. The fun planners began their job of starting some mini games and entertainment to keep the guest occupied. The food department distributed the snacks.
The birthday girl was beaming. There was just this little bit of cream on her nose, we were a considerate lot :P. For once, she was her real self like Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act. She did the jig, sang and played along, ran around fearing for her face. The freshers for the first time knew the fun side of their strict stern class teacher 😀
Edited to add, circa 2014: I met her recently while I was with another group of friends over Christmas. We were so excited to see each other that I think our greeting each other just brought the people at the other table to a standstill. 😛 😛