Aunty, how are we going to ring in the New Year? Asked my niece who came from Bangalore for the Music season.
That’s going to be an absolute secret, replied my husband even before I could say anything.
Why don’t you tell me uncle, please? entreated the youngster.
Secret is a secret and you will all get a pleasant surprise, he said.
And it’s going to be a very memorable celebration, he added. My niece and I looked at each other and at my husband in turns trying to guess what he had in mind.
Uncle, are you inviting your friends and aunty’s as well, she asked.
May be, he said indifferently.
Is it going to be a pot luck dinner with a few games thrown in like we had last time? she said.
No, there should be something different this time, something more lively, he observed.
Uncle, shall I conduct Dumb sharadz? Asked Sunitha.
No, not that, you see it will not fit well with the group I am planning to invite, he said.
Then shall we play passing the parcel and have tricky forfeits?
Oh, come on, Sunitha, that’s too childish, he dismissed her suggestion.
Then what about an Observation game, I suggested.
He shook his head as an answer.
Dog and the manger, shall we? I said.
You can’t possibly make everyone run,can you?
O.K. Why don’t you tell us what you have in mind? I said quite exasperated.
Why don’t you wait for another two days? He said evasively.
Suddenly I remembered that he had purchased a struthi box at the music store a few days ago and had wondered why he wanted one.
Are you going to treat our guests with a music performance by any chance? I asked dreading his reply.
Well, why do you think I insisted on purchasing a Diwaan? Don’t you think a stage is necessary for my performance? Anyway I have all the paraphernalia ready, a big zari bordered veshti, a silk kudta to match, watch with a gold chain and a simple gold chain to wear and Iam going to borrow your diamond ring.Anyway you are arranging for catering, he concluded.
But uncle, I never heard you sing all these years, said a shocked Sunitha.
That’s going to be a ‘surprise’ to all, he said with a glint in his eye and a mischievous smile!
Oh no! is all that I could say.
n.meera raghavendra rao