Crack an egg
I was about four years old, and it was the festival of holi. Standing in the balcony of an apartment on the ninth floor, I watched my brother drop water balloons on passers by… While we hadn’t technically collaborated on it, by virtue of standing there, and watching with delight, I considered myself partner in crime!
But as far as collaborative work was concerned, there was virtually only the one time – when I messed up the surprise for our parents’ anniversary.
After the ‘bucket fiasco‘, we didn’t plan anything together. Whatever special we did end up doing, was independent of each other.
Once my brother bought a couple of beautiful key-chains for our parents’ anniversary. It was supposed to be on behalf of both of us, but I had no knowledge of it whatsoever. Another time, I made a greeting card on behalf of the two of us, without involving him.
Eventually, when we grew up*, we became too busy with our own lives. We fought lesser with each other. We became more civil and our conversations attained more intellectual tones.**
Every year was more or less the same. A day, or a week before our parents’ anniversary, we’d discuss for a brief moment what it was that we were doing. And then we’d agree to a bucket of flowers. While our mother baked a cake, we were generally quite lazy and our patience lasted only as long as the time it took for the cake to come out of the oven.
And so it happened that on the twenty fifth wedding anniversary of our parents, we spent the day at home, and devoured freshly baked chocolate cake. Our laziness, and refusal to collaborate with each other meant that we contributed absolutely nothing towards the celebration of a milestone.
One Year Later
I had just finished my high-school. And my brother had just completed his post graduation. We were both at home, relaxing after our exams.
The conversation began, as it had the past several years. “Amma and Appa’s anniversary is coming.”
And for once, in our lives, we read each other’s mind. We had messed up a golden opportunity of making their silver jubilee a special day. We had to do something. Something which was truly memorable.
And so we came up with a plan. Our plan was so grand, it needed quite a bit of ground work.
* whether we grew up or not is debatable
** add salt to taste!