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An Anniversary Celebration

Standing in front of the mirror, Aakash was adjusting the collar of his shirt, when the doorbell buzzed.

‘Who could it be at this time?’ Aakash muttered as he opened the door.

“Happy cotton anniversary!” His mother hugged him, and his father presented an exquisite rose bouquet.

Aakash was stunned. He was not expecting his parents like this without any prior intimation.  They hadn’t hinted about their visit even the day before when they had called.

Composing himself, he welcomed them.

 “Ma and daddy, what a surprise? Why did you not inform me before coming?  I would have received you at the airport. I was expecting your call on my wedding anniversary, but you astounded me by coming in person.” 

“We wanted to give you a pleasant surprise. Can’t we travel 540 km from Ahmadabad to Mumbai to wish our only son and daughter-in-law on their second wedding anniversary?”  His vivacious mother, Kamini, laughed.

“But we preferred to keep it a secret and bump into your house.” Aakash’s father, Manohar, grinned.

“Where is Priya? Has she gone to the office?  It looks like you are getting ready for work. We thought both of you might have taken an off, celebrating your anniversary together before having a party in the evening. Glad you were home to usher us in.” Kamini opened a red box and showed a coral necklace to Aakash. “This is a gift for my lovely daughter-in-law.”

“The teacher in you is still alive even three years after retirement, Ma. Your rapid-fire round of quizzing hasn’t changed a bit. Priya hasn’t gone to the office, and neither am I getting ready for work. We both….”

Aakash hadn’t finished, and Kamini bubbled in excitement, “Oh, so it is a lunch party. We assumed that like your first wedding anniversary this year too, it would be an evening get-together. We would have missed the fun had we traveled later in the day.”

Aakash, who had left his sentence unfinished, decided to play with the conversation and disclose whatever he wanted to at the right time.

“Good that you took the morning flight and reached on time. Let us have some coffee and then leave.”

“Is the community hall in your building complex the venue, like last year? We saw some men decorating.”  Manohar inquired.

Aakash shook his head.  “It is in Bandra. Someone else maybe hosting a party in the community hall.”

“Bandra is a posh locality, I know.  My colleagues from the Mumbai office always had high-end lunch meetings there.” Manohar said, handing over a gift-wrapped box to Aakash. “Kamini picked something only for her daughter-in-law, but this I got for you.” He winked.

Aakash felt a sudden gush of emotion. Though he was aware that his adorable parents would always stand by him through thick and thin, he was apprehensive about how they would react to what he would divulge in a while. 

He sighed, thinking they had come here to surprise him and Priya, but they would soon realize that some bigger surprise awaited them.

“Isn’t Bandra almost an hour’s drive from here?” Kamini asked.

“And even Priya’s parents would have to travel quite a bit from their house. You could have selected from amongst some venues for all to travel easily.” Manohar quipped.

‘In another hour or so, you both will realize why we are driving to Bandra.‘ Aakash did not give his thoughts a voice.   

“Priya must have gone to make arrangements for the party. She is an event manager, after all. I will carry the gift with me.” Kamini asserted.

Aakash was glad that his mother had made her assumption about Priya’s whereabouts.

The traffic was heavy, but Aakash tactfully drove through the maze. 

“Is something wrong with Priya’s phone? Since morning it says ‘switched off.’ I thought I would wish her and then our arrival would be a bigger surprise for her. Ramya, too, had called, it seems, but had a similar issue. Did she call you?”

Aakash nodded. “Yes, didi* had called up, but I couldn’t answer. I was having a bath.” 

“And you did not call her back?” Kamini sounded offended.

“I will call her in a while, Ma,” Aakash said and began concentrating on the dense traffic. He changed gears and gently pressed the accelerator to keep pace with the other vehicles. 

 “It is already twelve,” Manohar said, looking at his watch.

“We are right there,” said Aakash as he steered the car towards the left. He stopped before an orphanage.

“This is the venue of your son’s second wedding anniversary. Next year we can celebrate the first birthday of your granddaughter Ananya with pomp, anywhere in Mumbai.” 

Manohar and Kamini exchanged bewildered glances.

“Priya and I mutually decided not to have children, but adopt and nurture a girl child. We had registered with this orphanage. A couple of months ago, someone left a newborn girl here.” Aakash gave his parent a few moments to ruminate on his revelation.

“We thought of telling you and Priya’s parents once the adoption formalities get completed. But I am glad you both came. Ananya will officially be our daughter at 1 pm.” He looked at his watch and smiled as the minute hand moved steadily.

“Priya had switched off her phone knowing that you would call to wish her on our anniversary. She didn’t want to answer your call and then not talk about the adoption that was to happen in a few hours. Come, let us go in. Priya is already there from the morning.  Some last moment official submissions had held me back home. I had promised that I would reach before 1 pm, and here we are.”

Kamini’s eyes turned misty as she looked at her son.

“Why did you not let us know earlier?  See, we have come without any gift for our granddaughter.” She pouted her lips in mock anger. 

Manohar congratulated his son wholeheartedly, and the three hurried inside to welcome the new family member.

 

Author: Anonymous (Will be updated on 06/12/21)

 

This Post Has 51 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Sheerin

    Very fresh take. All the suspense made me think they were going there own way but the happy ending bought a smile on my face.

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      Thank you for reading and appreciating my story. Well what you though was exactly what I wanted the readers to think.

  2. Avatar
    Narayani

    The buildup was nice, and the twist was pleasant.
    If I have to nitpick – the thoughts need not be in quotes, italics are enough for them.
    Also, some character names need not be there, like that of didi.
    Anyway.. kudos for opening the innings, and for penning a positive and heartwarming tale. It made me happy.

    I give a rating of 7/10.

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      Thanks for reading. Thank you for letting me know that thoughts need not be in quotes.
      As for the names, if I hadn’t alloted them then my word count would have lost na Aakash’s mother, Aakash’s father etc. Ramya I used , otherwise what would I say for his sister?
      Thanks for reading and appreciating.

  3. Avatar
    Sangeetha Vallat

    Ah! Such a sweet tale. The slow and steady heightening tension made me wish for a happy ending, although I dreaded a disaster. Good that it ended the way and brought in a cheer for the Hive’s anniversary celebration.

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      Thank you for reading and reviewing. You thought on the same lines that I wanted the readers to think.

    2. Avatar
      Sangeetha Vallat

      Oops I forgot to rate…
      8.5/10

  4. Avatar
    PSU

    Nice spin on the tale. My initial thoughts about the endings were cleverly diverted. Would like to know why only some quotes are in italics.
    # my rating 7.2/10

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      Italics were to show that either it was in his mind or he was speaking to himself.
      Thanks for reading and reviewing.

  5. Avatar
    Vaijayanti Panchal

    That was a pleasant surprise! I love happy endings (except when I am reading horror ) and was dreading the end of this one. Thought it might be something negative. But this approach by the writer was commendable. Well done!

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      Thank you. You made my day by this encouraging comment.

  6. Avatar
    Jaya Pillai

    I kept wondering what was in store – even imagined a break up . A completely sweet and uncomplicated narration . My rating would be 7/10

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      Thank you Jaya ma’am. Your positive review means a lot to me. I am honoured indeed.

  7. Avatar
    Moonmoon Chowdhury

    What a cleverly-crafted reveal… Loved it.
    I loved some of the dialogues, especially Kamini’s last dialogue. Left me misty-eyed.
    Beautiful story, dear author.

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      Thank you for reading and reviewing. I am glad you liked the story.

    2. Avatar
      Moonmoon Chowdhury

      My rating 8.2/10

  8. Avatar
    Vaijayanti Panchal

    My rating would be 7/10

  9. Avatar
    Sangeetha Kamath

    A very fresh and engrossing tale with a steady pace. Beautiful ending, dear writer. This won my heart.
    Rating 8/10.

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      Thank you Sangeetha. It is such a great pleasure to receive a lovely feedback from a veteran writer.

  10. Avatar
    Shalini Rao

    Such a sweet tale! The build up to the revelation was great, the naive reader in me was tricked into anticipating the end of a relationship only to be happily surprised at the heartwarming end. Kudos for making us all smile and feel warm inside. 🙂 The plot is tight and narration is fluid. One suggestion that you could try out in case it resonates with you : the use of pronouns in place of repeating character names — in consecutive references in dialogs or narrative sentences. All in all a great one! All the best! My rating is 6.8/10

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      Thanks for reading and reviewing. Maybe I will try writing inserting pronouns wherever possible.

  11. Avatar
    Aarthi.V.Karanam

    This is such a sweet story.
    The right blend of everything, especially the well-guarded suspense that could have spilled either way.
    Of course, it ended so well but a little bit of conflict and resolution would add to the overall effect of suspense.
    Well-done. Keep writing

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      Thanks for reading and appreciating. Well the word count played spoilsport not enabling me to give a para for conflict resolution etc.

  12. Avatar
    Lakshmi Menon

    Liked the story. The twist was unexpected. I thought he was reading for a divorce on his anniversary and the adoption came as a surprise. Loved the accepting family and the message.

    My rating 7.5/10

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      Thanks for reading and appreciating. I am glad you liked the story.

  13. Avatar
    Natasha Sequeira

    Simply beautiful. Got me misty eyed. 8 on 10

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      Thank you dear.

  14. Avatar
    Chakravorty Urmi

    I was a bit apprehensive in the beginning about whether this was heading towards a separation or even, death. You managed to pleasantly surprise me with the reveal at the end.
    Smooth narration, easy conversational language (as the situation demanded), very relatable and believable characters, esp of the parents.
    A pleasing read which fetches an 8 from me.

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words about my Story.

  15. Avatar
    Neepomanjaree

    Beautiful story… the highlight of the story is the suspense build up….and the reveal was so heart warming… kudos to the writer…. my rating is 8/10

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      Thanks for reading and appreciating my story.

  16. Avatar
    Ratna Prabha

    Cleverly written. Teared up at the end. However, the tale could have had a few more layers and conversations. Everything was sudden.

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      Conversation regarding what ma’am? The suddenly put up end was to show the parents had absolutely no antogonizing thoughts about the adoption and neither did they ever doubt their son’s and Dil’s decisions.

  17. Avatar

    A beautiful story with a positive message. Since the family court is in Bandra, I was mentally set for a separation scene, but the twist was not only unexpected, but also elevating. A simple tale with a simple narration, a clever merging of the protagonist and antagonistic forces (the wife, I’d have thought). Given the topic of the story, it would have been nice to see some emotion, and what prompted the couple to opt for adoption. I am guessing the * next to didi was a footnote explaining that it means sister, but got missed out in the transcription to the website. Liked the tale overall.
    My rating is a 6/10.

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      Thanks for the review. Sorry by mistake I omitted the * meaning.
      As for the couple adopting a kid, aakash says that we mutually decided to adopt a girl child.

  18. Avatar
    Priya

    I enjoyed the twist a lot. The ending was totally unexpected. The author has kept the plot interesting. It shares a needed message of acceptance and I applaud this piece.

    My rating 6/10

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      Thanks for reading and reviewing.

  19. Avatar
    Lalitha

    When I started reading this tale , I thought this would end in divorce, and then I was pleasantly proven wrong ! I loved this tale of acceptance and positivity. It’s high time we normalised adoption. I think this had potential to be written as a much longer story.
    My rating : 7.5/10

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      That is exactly what I wanted my readers to think while the story progressed. Thanks for reading and reviewing.

  20. Avatar
    Dakshata Kudanekar

    This was such an intriguing tale. The plot was built up nicely and the twist was heart-warming. A beautiful message conveyed through prompt as well. my rating – 8.5/10

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      Thank you for reading and reviewing. I am glad you liked the story.

  21. Avatar
    Alipi

    A sweet and simple story of love and affection with a happy ending, though the prediction was otherwise. 7

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      Thanks for reading and appreciating.

  22. Avatar
    Ramya Srinivasan

    Such a heartwarming tale. Seemed to indicate that the couple is about to split up but the positive twist was beautiful. Stuck well to the prompt. My only feedback is that nothing much was happening in the story except at the end, so you get restless and want to almost skip to the end to find out what’s about to happen. My rating: 6.5/10

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      Thanks for reading. That is exactly what a writer wants, the reader to get restless and inquisitive about the ending.

  23. Avatar
    Lavanya

    A beautiful story with quite a cute suspense at the end. A perfect celebration of an anniversary. Love the tale.
    The dialogues seemed more of a translation from mother tongue. A few sentence structure corrections could help with it.
    Narration could have been little crisp. May be another round of editing would do.
    A feel-good one.
    Rating 7

    1. Avatar
      Sudha Viswanath

      Thank you for reading and reviewing. Editing as you know is always one spoon less of sugar in my tea. Maybe I could be more careful in future. But it would have been highly appreciable if you had pointed out one or two places with glaring editing errors.

  24. Avatar
    Sheerin

    Rating 7.5/10

  25. Avatar
    Amrita

    This was a warm and the storytelling was clever. I really liked the parents, how excited they were to celebrate their son and daughter-in-law’s anniversary. The suspense buildup was nice. I had thought that perhaps, the protagonist is getting a divorce and hence could not inform his parents. I don’t see any significant blips in narrative but I feel that the wife’s perspective could have been explored somewhere in the story. Overall, it was a great read! My rating 7/10

  26. Avatar
    Ashvani Sachdev

    A quaint way of celebrating a second anniversary. The reason for adopting and not having their own child(ren) is left dangling but I guess that is because there weren’t that many words available in the 1000 allotted to say all that. A twist and a happy ending! Thoroughly readable story.
    8/10

  27. Avatar
    Sudha Viswanath

    Thanks for reading.There is no reason but kind heartedness that might have made the couple take such a strong decision. I know of an extremely rich couple who have adopted two girls after they Mutually decided not to have their own kids. It needs a magnanimous heart to do that.

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