Happy Birthday Gorgeous!

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“Life is lonely…” Sanjay sipped his coffee with a melancholic face. The little cut mark on his cheek oddly suited him. 

“I know… divorces are painful” Ketan sympathised while slurping a spoonful of soup.

“There was a time, me, Sanjay Malhotra was supreme! Everyone wanted a piece of me…  but now I feel unwanted” Sanjay explored the busy cafe with droopy eyes.

“That’s history now… and stop looking around… a fifty-year old horse like you won’t get any damsel!”  Ketan’s bulky belly shook with the rhythm of his laugh.

Sanjay ignored his friend’s sarcasm.

“Sanju! Oh my God I don’t believe this!” A shrill voice almost knocked Sanjay out of his chair. 

Ketan splattered soup on the table.

An elegant lady stood in front of them in a mint green saree with short blunt grey hair. She wore gold-rimmed spectacles.The wrinkles that appeared on her face when she smiled added to her charm. She looked ecstatic! 

“Who knew we would meet like this!” The lady pulled a chair and joined them. Both friends gaped at her as a sweet aroma of perfume engulfed them.

“But after what happened… “She lowered her eyes and twisted her lips in an apologetic manner.

Sanjay was dumbstruck. Ketan pinched him from under the table.

“Ouch!…” Sanjay squeaked.

“Haven’t you forgiven me in all these years?” Her face fell.

“Oh I…” Sanjay blabbered.

“Please forgive me now… please…” The lady pleaded.

Sanjay’s eyes had gone dreamy. Her sudden appearance felt therapeutic to him.

“Today’s my birthday so if you refuse then…!” The lady pointed her manicured finger towards Sanjay.

“I forgive you…” Sanjay cut her short.

“Thank you!… I’m so relieved” The lady flashed that infectious smile again. Both men grinned from ear to ear.

“Hey waiter! Bring the best cake you have… a birthday girl is here!… Today everyone’s bill is on me!”  Sanjay hollered. The dim light of the cafe couldn’t hide the enthusiasm on his face.

“You haven’t changed a bit Sanju! ” the lady blushed. 

“What should I write on the cake sir?” The waiter arrived with a pen.

All eyes were on Sanjay. After a pause that felt like eternity Sanjay spoke.

“Write Happy Birthday…umm… Gorgeous! Can this lady have a better name?” 

All laughed in unison.

Everyone in the cafe joined for a joyous celebration. She cut the cake and Sanjay fed a piece to her. 

The lady spotted her friend standing at the door. She thanked Sanjay and left abruptly.

“Who’s she? Why was she apologising to you?” Ketan was dying to know.

“No idea… Never seen her before in my life” Sanjay’s face turned gloomy as he watched her walk away.


“Chill… Today’s not my birthday…” Lata assured her friend “That pompous knucklehead didn’t recognize me… I overheard their conversation and that mark on his cheek confirmed it all… There was a time he used to change girlfriends like diapers… kept me waiting alone on my 30th birthday and never showed up… celebrated that birthday today!”

***************************************The End*************************************************

Pic Credit : Richard Burlton










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