So who does not like a little bit surprise in one's life? We all want to spice up our lives with something new and something different. But what happens when even surprises become a norm, a cliché - that is - it no more remains a surprise, but becomes an aberrance to its definition? Let me give a hint – I’m talking about birthdays in CIEFL. Birthdays are always fun. Not because one gets a chance to be ‘special’, rather the often unsuccessful efforts that goes into planning a surprise party. Staying away from homes friends try to make one's birthday somewhat memorable. But one remembers those birthdays, not because of the expression of surprise on the birthday gal or guy’s face, but the eleventh hour plans and the execution of that plan beginning from 11:55! Many can fondly recollect the sight of friends trying to scramble up to the destined location before the birthday gal actually reaches there... Then there is another getting locked out of her room/quarter - all because the organizers were still running all over the place trying to get things in place... And the there was one who made one of the organizers go around the campus in circles... The easiest way to put up something is to get the person out of the room with some excuse and get everything ready. So the commonest and oldest line is - "Let's go out for a walk." You say it and it is a dead giveaway. And yet people still use it. You go for a walk either to get the person out of the way or to take the person till there. The hilarity of the situation does not end. There are some innovative friends who actually come up with treasure hunts. So one is also not surprised to find people out on an expedition, hunting for clues that take one for a wild goose chase around the campus only to lead one back to one's own room!!
Surprises in my life have been very few. Yeah… you can kind of say that my life’s been pretty much predictable – leaving aside the exam results and grades – having spent the larger part of my life in one city, cocooned by family and relatives, same set of friends, whom I believe were always going to be there (operational word being ‘believed’).
Way back in primary school the pleasurable surprise of getting a present from Santa was broken the very next day when my parents explained that there is nothing such as Santa coming and giving you presents. It was Dad who put it there the night before. However, I was not one to give up so easily. Thus Dad became my Santa, which in a way made it easier for me to make my wishes heard during Christmas! Hence I don’t complain that I was forced to grow up early, only that I was made closer to reality. Even today, so many years after Santa Clause was erased out of my fantasies, my Dad fails to hold his enthusiasm to give me the gift he has got for my birthday. Well, the actual incident was, he forgot the most important part – that birthday gifts are kept as a surprise!
But that doesn’t stop me from surprising others, especially people I care about and friends who are close to me. I act impulsively. I get a gift because I want to convey my warmest regards – not thinking whether that’s what and how I should give. It hits me later when I see the expression on my friends’ face change or when not a single muscle flinched in reaction – that it wasn’t really a good idea. It has always been wonderful to surprise my mum. How can I ever forget her face breaking into a wide smile? Mums… they are always such a boost to your ego!