A Sliver of Memory from 1997

29th June 1997 – The 25th marriage anniversary of my parents. I was in Std XII then, my brother was in college, and my sister had just started working at TCS in Mumbai. We all felt that we should treat it like a big deal. And so we planned a lot of things. Except that the real sources of money at that point were what we could scrape together from saving something every month from our pocket money, my annual NTSE scholarship (a princely sum of Rs 1750) and whatever my sister could save from her first month’s salary, assuming that she also had to reach Ranchi from Mumbai in reasonable time.

The countdown was interesting. A train from Mumbai would reach Kodarma/Dhanbad from where one of my cousins (Sanjay Bhaiya) was going to pick my sister and get her to Ranchi (hopefully before 6PM). Till then, me and bhaiya would have tried to get everything together. We had enough support from Mamas and Mausis and Bhaiyas and a whole bunch of relatives in Ranchi.
We bought a nice Kurta Paijama set for dad, a his and her watch set, a tiny gold earring and a sari for mom, made arrangements for the cake etc. and tried to get ready. And it was great fun. This now brings me to the picture here.

Mom and Dad aren’t used to this sort of public display of affection where Dad would put a piece of cake in Mom’s mouth or vice versa. Esp. in the presence of so many people. SO, mom was majorly embarassed and this one picture is of that particular moment as my Mom was trying to avoid the cake. On a side note, my mamaji who had the camera (of the famed 36 ka roll era) in his hand had decided to not wear his glasses because of the usual problem that all bespectacled people had with clicking pictures with old world cameras. This also implied that this is one of the rare few pictures from that anniversary album which is pointed at the right place at the right time. Most others have the heads of key people missing.

This moment remains close to all of us for how we scrambled to pull everything together, the great time we had and of a time when we did not have much, and fortunately, we did not need much.

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