It was Akshara’s first birthday and we wanted it to be a special occasion. But, the flying pigs (swine flu) in Pune meant that organising a party and inviting friends was out of the question. We didn’t want to have a quiet in-the-house cake cutting ceremony for the first birthday. So, off we flew to Chennai for the weekend to have a party there.
It was a small party intended for close relatives. We booked a hall at GRT Convention centre, next to the GRT Grand Days hotel on G.N.Chetty Road. the folks back in Chennai visited dozens of hotels/Halls for this purpose and finally decided on GRT convention centre because the hall was impressive and the price was quire reasonable at 500 rupees a head including dinner. Choosing the menu turned out to be an ordeal in itself as the hotel had given a huge list of items in various categories and we had to choose some from each category.
A birthday party has to have a birthday cake. Vidhya, after spending hours online, narrowed down on four designs which were promptly sent across to the chennai folks with the various priorities and intricacies explained. Yet another tour of Chennai happened, this time of the many bakeries. Few said that only the head chef/baker could do this and would require time (we gave only 2 days notice!) whereas few said that such a design could be managed only on a fruit cake (yuk!). Finally, Cakes ‘n Bakes agreed to whatever conditions we imposed (including the tight deadline) and produced a masterpiece, one that was indistinguishable from the sample printout we had given. Hats off to Cakes ‘n Bakes.
The cake was huge, weighing in at almost 5 kilos. This was because everything other than the doll was actually made of “cake” or icing. A closer look at the cake below shows that even the dress of the doll was made of icing. Cool!
Vidhya had a nice idea. She had actually seen Surya wear a tshirt with a photo of his kid. So, she wanted me to wear something similar during the party. So, after some photoshop work, i took an image to Big Bazaar and they got it neatly printed on a white tshirt. I originally thought that they would just do a rubber print (which is messy), but they printed directly on a custom-made tshirt and the print blended very well on the tshirt.
Akshara, at the beginning, was a little terrified of the cake, which she probably perceived as an adversary. But, once she realised that it was an inanimate adversary, she was up to her usual stuff and started pulling the hair of the doll on the cake
The thathas and Paatis wanted to pose with the star of the evening. So, it was like a marriage reception where Akshara was passed on to the next group waiting to have their photo taken with her
Akshara became so fond of the balloons that it began to be used as a prop to make Akshara smile when being photographed!
In the midst of all the photography sessions, someone reminded us that the cake has to be cut for this to be a birthday party. So, with the cacophony of “Happy Birthday to you” in the background, Akshara calmly cut her first birthday cake!