Friday, May 23, 2008


CMU finally got warm enough to play Holi only in April, and that’s what we did the day after my birthday! There was color and cold water and lots of shouting and laughing and uncontrollable giggling! And later, we had to get semi-cleaned in the CMU bathroom, so that we looked presentable enough to get on the bus, without being thrown out by the driver! As I passed by some kids sitting in the sun outside NSH, one of them turned to their mom and said “mom, more colored people!” – it was really funny.

I met Sundarmurthy uncle and Radhika aunty and Aishwarya later that day. I was still pink from holi, and Radhika aunty thought I was allergic to pollen. :) They took me to their friend’s place, and we all had a late lunch together. Even though I met them after 10 years, it seemed like only yesterday that I was at their place, having fun – they haven’t changed a bit, except for Aishu of course, who has become all big now :)
Radhika aunty got me a lot of food – biscuits and chips and chakli, and for the next 3 weeks, I gorged on nice Indian food here. I felt really nice meeting them after so long!


My birthday this year was the most work I have done ever on my birthday! I cooked for 14 people on Thursday night, on the eve of my birthday, and preparations started a week in advance. Cleaned the house, went to the Strip District to buy vegetables in bulk, planned the menu (rajma, peas pulao, mixed vegetable raita and cauliflower vegetable) etc. We ate chips and chocolates and played Wolf Wolf, and it was a whole lot of fun! I don’t think I will ever forget trying to convince Alankrita that I am the doctor and Ali is the wolf! My friends had got 2 cakes, and I got smeared with cake at midnight as expected. Everyone left by 1:30am, and by the time I cleaned up the kitchen and slept, it was already 4am.
The next morning started early again with cleaning the house and more cooking for lunch for 8 of my LTI friends! They had the sweetest, cutest, nicest surprise for me – they had made me the most awesome video wishing me happy birthday, and my advisor Eric was also in it! And even though I managed not to break out in happy tears as expected, I was speechless for quite a while after that.

Later that evening, we went to the CMU spring carnival and Sivaraman and I went on a couple of rides. One of them went round and round vertically, so we were upside down for quite some time, and although it was really exciting, I felt giddy for quite some time after that. And listening to Sameer describe the kidneys resting on the lungs while we were upside down made me decide not to go on these rides again. A sign of old age and maturity and all that for sure. :D

I also got two dozen roses later that day, and I spent a happy hour, decorating them in a vase, and posing for photographs with them. I’m still reading the books I got – ‘Remember Me?’, ‘Unweaving the Rainbow’, and ‘The Blank Slate’. It was a happy happy birthday, and may I have many more :D