July part 1

            I can’t say enough to relay how blessed I am to have found friends, my adopted Indian family, like I have. They’re beyond amazing in every single way. This July has not done anything except reinforce how lucky I am. It’s also mostly their fault that I haven’t been able to write in such a long time.

            Earlier this month it was my birthday. For the first time (I think ever) I was not interested in doing anything. I thought some people could come over for dinner. They harassed me via email wondering what we were going to do, where we were going to go, etc. I didn’t plan anything. Finally, two days before I thought we could all go to a nice restaurant that evening. The night before I was exhausted. I managed to get to sleep before midnight. I never knew anything was going to happen until it did.

            I didn’t wake up until everyone was already in my room singing happy birthday; I was sleeping so hard. They had a cake and candle and sang happy birthday. Cake ended up on my legs, in my hair, on my arms, and just a little ended up in my mouth. It was awesome. We sat there for about an hour. I got a warning from Ritesh later that night when I sent out a text thanking them for making it a great start of my day that it was just one of many surprises. There were many surprises.

            The first thing when I woke up, Manoj told me I was to water the plants. I do that usually but found it was a little unusual after a happy birthday wish. “Hey happy birthday…You should water the plants.” In one of the plants I found an envelope with a picture. The picture meant that I should go pet Boscar (the watch dog downstairs). I laughed, Manoj laughed, and I went on my mission – the mission with many glitches, but those glitches made it all the more fun. I went to get milk while I was down (I was prevented form getting milk the night before) and came back. Apparently there were more envelopes that went missing. Manoj said, “that was quick,” and when I explained that I just got milk, he sent me back. I walked back downstairs and to the store. I had to call Manoj and he had to explain where the envelope was to me so I could explain it to the shopkeeper. He gave it to a different shop keeper; the other guy. Each clue led me to a different spot. At work I was bombarded with different fun gifts and happy calls from friends and family. I wasn’t allowed to go home after work, but had to go to my old neighborhood to hang out with a friend. He was supposed to take me to my favourite coffee place but slept in so he just handed me my next clue. It was to go to the kids’ house. I was late and on my way I got a call from Ishwar asking me where I was and to “jaldi ao.” When I got there, Ishwar was in his fancy outfit – it’s actually the outfit he wears to weddings. I was so touched. All the kids were there with the older brothers or cousins. They were waiting patiently. We had to wait for Ganesh to come back and then we were to walk to the park. We looked like an army walking there. It was awesome.

            At the park the next surprise was my friends from Bombay who traveled to meet me. I was beyond shocked. We had a roda, we ate cake; or rather, cake was smeared all over my face, hair and neck several times. We took pictures, laughed, had so much fun. The plans that I had to make was a ploy and we all went home for a pizza party.

            I know I say this often, but I truly don’t think there are words to describe how amazing all of my friends made me feel, how lucky I am to have not just one, but many friends who mean so much to me and who are just beyond amazing in so many ways. I couldn’t have imagined having a better way to celebrate a birthday. 

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