How is your day?” That simple question made her speechless. She wasn’t prepared for it. It’s silly how she can do everything for others and can read people’s needs before they even say it out loud yet she is clueless when it comes to her. She thought for a bit and said “it’s good. Thank you.” Rajan smiled and asked “Good to hear. How did you spend your day?” “Oh it’s actually very productive. I made my kids their favourite milkshakes, got books for my friend, helped the neighbour with his boxes and stuff, got new glasses for my mom….” . “No Bhavana” Rajan cut her off and continued “I meant what did you do for yourself. You know ‘me time’, it’s your birthday after all, loosen up, hello?.”
Bhavana looked at him with puzzled expression and started laughing as he said something hilarious. “Haha you know I am a 45 years old woman with two kids right? Why would I celebrate my birthday like a kid?” Rajan studied her face, he saw a bit of pain in her smile. It stung him. “You are as clueless as when we were in school. Who told you to celebrate like a kid? Celebrate like an adult, silly!” He said it as he poked her head gently. “Ouch! Don’t be silly. You know I never celebrated anything in my life. It’s just how it is. It’s my kids turn now. I would rather be happy seeing them enjoy their lives than wasting things up on me.”
Rajan took a deep breath and asked “cigarette?” Bhavana looked at it with a spark in her eyes for a second then hesitated “No thankyou. As I said I am not a kid anymore. These aren’t for me.” Rajan took a puff “it’s never bad to loosen up a bit. Cheat day is for everyone in everything.”
Bhavana is staring at the beach. She doesn’t know what she’s doing here with her long lost best friend on her birthday instead of doing chores and fulfilling her roles at home but she does know she is feeling a bit uncomfortable and guilty because of it and she doesn’t know why.
Rajan tapped on her shoulder and said “earth to Bhavana! You zone out when you hate listening to something. I am sorry for making you uncomfortable but you don’t have to do things just because I told you to. Chill.”
Bhavana took the cigar from him and took a puff. She smiled genuinely and realised why she is feeling guilty and uncomfortable because she isn’t used to feeling happy for herself. After a long time she did a thing for herself without any reason.
“Loosen up a bit huh?” She looked at him and continued “I should do this more often. How about an adult party?” Rajan grinned and said “more cigarettes then.” Bhavana said “nope.” Rajan pouted “alright what about 4 cigars? “Absolutely not. I will cook and you clean that’s the party.” She said with a straight face. “Do I have to sign for your package of cleaning and hanging out with your kids just to party with you? He pouted.”Do you have any problem with that?” Bhavan said while getting up. “Nope, but about that cigarette-” a smile curled up on her mouth she cut him off and said “shut up and walk me home.”