Friday, April 18, 2008

A healthy doze of discipline

The family and I went to see a stage play couple of days ago. The play was ok, well rehearsed enough to be entertaining. Though personally I think the director’s heart to heart with the audience in the beginning and during curtain call was much more amusing than the show itself but still, I have no complaints. It was time well spent.
But that is not why I am mentioning it in my blog. Reason I am writing about it is because of something the management said and did.
The management had said that the doors will close at 8:30 sharp.
Late comers will not be admitted.
And to my surprise they did exactly that.
I know this “starting events on time" may be taken for granted in some places but in Pakistan very few have the guts to actually do it. So hats of to "Shah Sharabeel" and the “Bombay Dreams” team for meaning what they said.
I think it is about time we Pakistanis were given a few more of these much needed healthy dozes of discipline.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Happy Birthday

It was my daughter’s birthday on the 29th of March. She turned five that day.
It was a much anticipated event, especially for my little one.
Ever since the beginning of the year she had started asking about it.
“It is going to be in March dear”.
I kept telling her but that did not make things any clearer for a kid who only knows months by their names and has no idea about their duration.
With March came new batch of inquiries.
If March had arrived, why hadn’t her birthday?
“Because it is at the end of March, Sweet heart”
“How long till than?” Was the next inevitable question.
“About four weeks from now”
“Which day”?
I did some quick calculations (and also sneaked a peek at the calendar hanging on the wall) then replied confidently
Fortunately, days of the week, she does know and has a pretty good idea how long a week takes to go by. But that did not mean she was going to make my life easier by understanding immediately.
“This Saturday?”
“No no.” I said alarmed. If she is not corrected, I thought, a massive tantrum would erupt on the coming weekend when an expectant little lady discovers that she has pinned her hopes on the wrong day.
“Then when?” She asked with a pout.
“Er……. It will be on the next to next to next to next Saturday.”
So much for trying to make it clearer. I actually ended up confusing myself with my own reply.
One week later
“How long now?” she asked.
“Next to next to next Saturday”
Two weeks later
“This Saturday, mama?”
“No next to this one” said I.
Finally, third week into March, she lost her patience.
“You keep saying next next next every week. My birthday never comes.” Exhausted with waiting for ever, the poor thing wailed aloud.
“That is not fair darling. Each week there is one less next” (like a third rate reality show with weekly elimination).
But she was in no mood to pay attention to such wearisome details.
So I said the only thing that could cheer her up. The one thing she had been longing to hear all this time.
“Hey guess what. No more nexts. It’s going to be on this Saturday, your birthday is here.”
It turned out that she had two birthdays instead of one. Since Saturday was a school holiday, so we sent the cake and goody bags for her friends to school on Friday where she celebrated a bonus birthday party amidst all her classmates.
As for Saturday, we invited all the family and went out to a popular pizza joint for her birthday where we promptly got into a heated argument with the management because they had neither remembered to decorate the birthday area as per instructions nor kept our reserved seats vacant for us. Fortunately, we had arrived earlier than every body else so we managed to sort everything out before the guests arrived.
It was a fun event. At least I thought so. My baby later confessed that she had enjoyed her school party more then the one she had with the family.
So much for all the trouble we went to.
This just goes to show that it is irrelevant to children how much you have spent to make their day special. All they need is friendship and love to make them happy.
Although we could not invite any of her school friends to the evening party but there was no shortage of love. So all in all, she was not too disappointed.
Besides, the generous gifts form various uncles, aunts and cousins went a long way in making up for what ever was lacking.
In the end it turned out to be a beautiful day, made even more wonderful by the ecstatic expression on my child’s face.
Late at night, tired to the bone, but happy that the much awaited day was finally over, I was heading of to bed when my daughter’s voice reached my ears, completely shattering my peace of mind.
"Mama, when is my next birthday going to be ???????”