Thought and Reason

Birthdays – Then and Now




  • A partly-burnt hardened sponge-cake baked at home by cuddly mom (P.S: They really must change the name of that cake!)
  • A pack of measly sized brightly-coloured candles, many small balloons and colourful crepe strips to hang on the walls
  • Menu: Cake, potato chips, samosas (mmmmm…) and tomato sauce (yeah, Maggi was premium!). AND: Rasna Orange,Sweet lime and/or Kala Khatta. Some goli-soda if possible for the men.
  • An old tape recorder with your dad donning the DJ’s cap
  • A bunch of relatives, friends, neighbours and gate-crashers from just down the street
  • Excitement on receiving silly plastic toys as gifts
  • (The upper middle class used to give mini-crayons as return gifts)
  • End state: A whale of time!!!!




  • The very basic: THEME for the party (e.g, Thomas / Dora / Fifi)
  • Invites (with provision for RSVP), Festoons, Balloons and decorations all in line with the party theme
  • A guest list (with repeated calls and confirmation and re-confirmation)
  • Centrally-located child-friendly venue
    • Nice-to-have: Space for car-park
    • Essential: Buggy-park!
  • A huge creamy cake, also in the shape of the theme! Cost: Min. INR 750. Max: GBP 85
  • Menu: Starters for kids, Starters for adults, Drinks (sipper/straw/etc) for kids, Drinks for adults (non-alchoholic, sugar-free, low-calorie), the birthday cake of course, Snacks to go with the cake (surprising, how chips still remains a favourite, though its now with Heinz Ketchup – not sauce, please!), the Main course, Dessert, Special garbage bags to recycle paper plates/cups
  • Extras: Provision for nappy-change, handy boxes of big tissues for mopping up any split stuff off the carpet
  • Expensive-looking return gifts in line with theme (also classified into ‘Close friends’, ‘Acquaintances and ‘NOT friends’ category)
  • End state: Tired birthday boy/girl, Distressed parents, worried guests wondering how they will make the tiring drive back home