My Big Day.
While growing up
I never knew what birth day celebration was.
We Manipuri Meiteis of India, only had
A customary religious ceremony known as “Laiming Lauba”
During puberty or older,
sanctifying the young ones(like baptism). Thereafter
A string of beads known as Urik had to be worn
Around one’s neck for good. Then,
Eating eggs banned permanently,
Only fish being allowed we became fish vegetarians.
When I turned 19, I had become a part of Delhi life
And birthday wishes came by surprise from friends
But never from my Manipuri family;
Soon marrying an outsider brought more life style changes.
When I was soon to turn 80 my daughter
Shobha confirmed I had no objections to revealing
My age, so she planned a celebration. The day before,
I was in my room watching TV shows,
When two figures barged into the room.
Was it real or just imaginary? My oldest
Daughter Lata and my son Jibesh had flown
From Toronto for my Big Day, Saturday
March 21, 2015 at Clay Oven. I cherish every moment of it.
The Chicken tandoori and fish curry, mixed vegetables,
Raita (yogurt with thinly sliced tomato, green chilli, salt), Paneer curry,
Kheer/rice pudding, accompanied by basmati rice, Nan/roti
Wine and beer in abundance along with fruit juices
In cans and bottles for all the guests,
My Indian and American friends along
With my loving family members. I love them all
And I love fish preparations in any form
And chicken dishes, too. I cannot ask for more.
Written by Jamuna Advani 10/15/15