24 Golden Hours

There was an aura of sweet mystery about to unfold itself when I found myself at the threshold of ‘shashtee poorti‘ , my completion of sixty years in age! Just three hours prior to the clock striking 12, I had been given a red carpet welcome with aarti and ‘teil pooniyan‘ by my sisters and friends and showering of petals from the roof by Soma, our maid. I was taken aback as it was actually Rashmi’s birthday and she had organized this ‘event’ as a precursor to my 60th birthday! The eyes were moistened reminiscent of my mother who would always shower this ‘chaaw’ on the arrival of special persons to our home.
Much to my bewilderment, it was not just plain wishing at midnught by family and friends, ‘the heart’ decked in flowers with lamps around awaited outside my room, the trail of gifts started and wherever I went- to washroom, kitchen, lounge something awaited me duly packed! Arindam together with my sisters Rashmi and Archana had made a film and the moment Swami Avdheshanandji was seen showering blessings, I broke out as this surprise gift was indeed God sent!!  The choked me cut cake after cake amidst receipt of love fully scribbled card, wrapped with affection things I was blessed with to adorn. The morning had more surprises in store with the walkway all flower decorated and my small lawn displayed Rashmi’s style in sixty hand-painted pebbles with endearing and appreciative messages, rangoli in my lobby and even the kettle in the kitchen had a ribbon of new pinch!!
A hawan had been organized. Chanting of ‘Jeevem Sharda Shatam.’ was like witnessing live Pitaji and Ma’s blessings being showered with the showering of petals. A huge cake had been brought by Bhargavaji as has been almost a decade old tradition being followed by him and cutting of the same wearing cap and amidst claps invariably makes me feel overwhelmed with gratitude to God as some undefinable relations take on themselves to give the feel of elder one, mentor. No words are sufficient to convey what the heart feels in such moments. 
The breakfast table was birthday special in every kind of way. The rose petals decked plate when I put it upside down, I almost cried to see enscribbled on it. ‘You are the sunshine..’  Everyone had a seat with a mug showing the first letter of the name painted thereon. It was a very carefully planned organic breakfast with many delicacies. The USP of Nidhi ‘mall poore’ was an added attraction. 
Guests started pouring in from  Panchkula,  Karnal. Panipat, Kurukshetra consisting friends, colleagues, and neighbors. I cut two and zero twenty cakes. A special event had been kept for an evening with painter Waseem and Rahul painting impromptu portraits amidst poetry and couplets, screams and hoots of happy birthday. My friend Sweety had got a film made with my college mates and seniors wishing me on this day- a very touching gesture indeed. Her recital of Sharnagati title poem and musical composition by Vikas especially released on this day indeed touched me.
It all seemed dream-like happening with such a pace and enthusiasm that I had little time to feel it was real, on the ground, happening. The spiritedness of all those who visited to wish me on this special day really awed me, made me feel humble filled with gratitude to Almighty for such blessedness.
It is not meant to pen the detailed roster of events but the most mesmerizing aspect of the day was Archana, Rashmi, Nidhi, and Guddu’s energy, the love, the depth, the grace, the versatility, and above all their generosity for me which was at evident for these golden 24 hours. It’s indeed impossible for me to count my blessings and my gifts I received on completion of 60 years of age!! 
Thanks, Munna, Shishu, Gik, Guddu, and Surjit’s family. Vimalaji (who made it to be with me despite all blocks and constraints albeit for a short duration only) special thanks. Thanks, innumerable to all as were their gestures of your love and care. 
If I ever am asked to keep apart a day or time as the most memorable and cherishable, I would name the 24 hours of my sixtieth birthday as golden hours.

1 comment on “24 Golden Hours
  1. Anonymous says:

    May God shower his blessings always 🙏

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