BIRTHDAY SURPRISE

Keshav was rushing hurriedly through zigzag gully of Aminabagh to catch 9.55 bus. As he reached the bus stop and was panting for breath, he saw 43 C low floor bus slowing down to stop in Aminabagh bus stand. Carrying his bag (with special Naga artwork) he rushed inside to take the window seat. Having sat in the right middle end of the bus he breathed a sigh of relief. As was his usual business, he took his 5 years old low battery Samsung mobile and started to open ‘Opera mini 4.4’. He dialled *5 as speed dial to go to the Face book link. Keshav was exited to see who all celebrate their birthday. “Wow” he shouted in excitement as he saw it was Bill John’s birthday. He calmed himself as he saw the staring eye of the lady-co-passanger who sat beside him.

Bill was Keshav’s close friend. They both work for the NGO “Bharatiya Chatr Sevak Parishad”. It was an organisation committed to the welfare of Indian student community and to give awareness about the richness of Indian cultural values.. They both met for the first time in Sat Tal Asram, Nainital during their training to become “Chatr Sevak”. Since then they used to meet together and discuss a lot of things.

His contemplation on giving surprise to Bill was disturbed as the bus conductor shouted, “bhai sahap…. Ticket”. He opened his eight years old leather purse and took a 10 rupee note which and stretched it to him. The conductor handed him a ticket having Rs. 9 printed in it. “One rupees balance” he asked the conductor. “Crying for one rupees…. No change. Collect tomorrow” shouted the conductor. Telling “hey Yeshuji“ he took a deep sigh. He recollected the way Bill was planning to surprise Lavanya on her birthday. His planning was so great and it was really a surprise for Lavanya.

Keshav made in his mind to give a pakka surprise for the master of surprises. He took his mobile again and texted “2day s Bill’s brdday. Don’t vsh him. Lets plan sum srprise 4 him” to all his naughty colleagues. As he kept back his mobile back in the pocket, he realized that it was Kesarbagh and got down from the bus. As his wrist watch showed “10.26”, he walked in jet plane speed to reach the office which usually starts at 10.00. By the time he reached all other Chatr Sevaks are doing their daily adhyan from the Pavitr Shastr. Without making any noise Keshav quietly sat in one end of the carpet with his leg folded and opened his Sanskrit Pavitr Shastr from his mobile. He was so surprised to see Lavanya and her ladies gang reaching the office in time (who usually come at 10.45). Lavanya gave a sarcastic look on Keshav to say, “you are late”.

After the adhyan, Keshav asked, “Did you receive my sms?”. All sang the chorus “yes”.
“Shall we discuss on it?”, asked Keshav in a gentle voice. “See he is late” complained Lavanya to the guruji Mr. Sejo. “Hey you look smart today” commented Chandrika on Hritik. “Can we plan some surprise” shouted Keshav. Nobody responded. All went to their respective places to prepare for satsangs before their deadline ended. Poor Keshav too patiently went to write on the topic “Western influence vs Rich Indian Heritage”

The clock struck one. Our union chairperson Aishwarya announced lunch time. All opened their lunch box and sat on the carpet and started to relish their lunch. Keshav also opened his lunch box and started eating half baked Rotis (in the shape of Srilanka) and bachelor’s special kala tomatar curry. (Overcooked tomato without salt or chilly but was more bitter than bitter guard). “Surprise to Bill” was still rolling in Keshav’s head. As none responded in the morning he did not want to open up the topic again.

“By the way… What is our plan for today” shouted Lavanya.
“what plan” asked Johny Lever.
“The plan to give surprise to Bill” cried Lavanya.
“Share your plan” told Keshav.
“What???? You want us to give our plan???? Then why did you text us in the morning? We didn’t call and wish our dear dear brother Bill. We thought you could have already planned something. Now you are asking us to give ideas. What a person are you? If you don’t know to organize a programme, better don’t initiate it. We might have wished him in the morning and might have been happier.” Screamed Lavanya.
“I was thinking to go to Bill’s house as a group” said Keshav in a smooth voice.
“Are you mad? Usually Bill goes out during special days. Today Bill is on leave. It was a good opportunity to give surprise. What a leadr are you? You are a perfect example of poor leader. ” shouted Lavanya
Poor Keshav’s mouth got shut. “You are a poor team worker too Lavanya” Keshav mumbled in his heart to himself. Johny was happily enjoying the scene.

As usual Keshav thought for a while and started to defend him saying that he wanted all the team members to plan together.

“What is this going on?” shouted guruji Sejo. “Stop it. Why are you fighting among yourself? Why can’t you think ahead of this? Stop all blabbering and analyse the situation on the basis of team management I taught last Friday. Don’t you understand the difference I talked about team effectiveness vs one man show?”.

“Yes. I am wrong. I wanted Keshav to do all the work himself. I might have contributed some ideas to him or at least responded to the text message. If not we all could have talked about it in the morning itself and might have come up with a plan then itself.” realized Lavanya.
“Oh no. I too was wrong” screamed Keshav and added “I could have shared my plan in the morning itself instead of expecting others to speak”

“well. Good that you realized. Now you plan together” guruji gave counsel.
“Inability to understand each others personality lead to this unnecessary quarrel. Now the only option left is calling him and we all singing “Janam dhin mubarak” through phone.” said Lavanya gently.
“Bill has a mobile with video calling. I too got one yesterday. I will make a video call” said Keshav in excitement and dialled 987465123.

As they saw Bill’s cool face through phone, all sang with one accord “Janam din mubarak…”

“Shukriya” said Bill and exclaimed, “it’s really a great surprise to see and hear your wishes through video calling. I never expected this from you. Who organized? Lavanya? Keshav? Or who else”
“We did as Chatr Sevak team” exclaimed all as a chorus

********************************

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14 thoughts on “BIRTHDAY SURPRISE

  1. Good story Benalin! It speaks even to the characters involved!!!Identified some of the characters! Yet to identify some!!!!

  2. Bhaiya ,
    kya story liki hai, phir se purani bate yaad a gai, bahut miss kar rahi hun un dino ko. thanks for this

    Aishwarya

  3. Really very good story yaar i Enjoyed in reading, after reading your story I’m missing Chandigarh,

    Missing your Friendship……………….

  4. Dear Keshav,
    Wonderful story of team work. Really enjoyed reading it. Let us be a close nit team to grow together unto Christ-likeness whose single desire is the Glory of our Father in Heaven.
    Hope you remember the little show on Hare and Tortoise and the synergy they brought together to the extent that all won and were satisfied.
    Love,
    Sejo, Guruji

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