Birthdays are special days when the entire world conspires to ensure that we have a grand time. Haven’t we all wished that the birthday would just go on and on? That’s what Pranav wants till he discovers that perhaps too much of a good thing isn’t always good. This story was published in Young Buzz, the children’s pages of Sakal Times.
One day Pranav had a birthday. In the evening he had a party. All his friends from school came to the party. His mother decorated the house with shiny paper. Lots of fat balloons hung everywhere. There was a big chocolate cake with candles on it. And then there were nice things to eat and nice games to play. Pranav had a very good time at his party. But soon, the party ended. All his friends said ‘bye’ and went away home.
Pranav’s mother pushed the table back to the center of the room. She arranged all the chairs in their usual places. She picked up bits of paper from the floor and swept the room clean. Pranav felt sad when he saw this. His birthday was finished! His friends had come and gone. The candles on top of his chocolate birthday cake had been blown out, the cake cut and eaten.
When he saw his mother remove the decorations, Pranav said, “Don’t take them off!”
“Why?” Pranav’s mother asked, “Your birthday is finished, isn’t it?”
“But I want my birthday to stay,” Pranav explained, “I don’t want my birthday to go away!”
“But Pranav,” his mother said, “You will have another birthday next year! And you can have a party again next year!”
But Pranav wanted this birthday to go on. So his mother didn’t take down the decorations. The shiny paper hung in the room and made Pranav happy. The fat balloons swung gently in the breeze and reminded Pranav of his birthday. Everyday when Pranav came home from school he looked at the decorations and thought again of his birthday party.
But one day when Pranav came home after school he saw that the balloons were looking different. They were not looking plump and happy. They looked tired and sad and thin. The shiny paper decorations didn’t look bright and shiny any more. Pranav stared at them for a long time.
Then he said to his mother, “You can remove the decorations now. My birthday has become old. And it is a little tired.” So Pranav’s mother took off the not-so shiny paper and the not-so plump balloons. And when Pranav saw the room without the decorations he said, “This is a new room!” And then Pranav was happy with the new room and stopped thinking of his birthday.