She smiled when she was reminded of his arrival at her doorstep early that morning. The doorbell had rung precisely at 6.30 AM, when she had been making her usual cup of tea.
She had been utterly surprised to see him standing there, grinning away to glory. She had been even more surprised when he had handed her, quite sheepishly, she felt, the two little pots of strawberry plants that he had hidden behind his back. Then, with a flourish, he had pulled out the single red rose from his shirt pocket, and given it to her. ‘Many, many happy returns of the day!,’ he had sung to her. And then, they had hugged.
That’s it – her day had already been made. She didn’t want anything more from her birthday, she had thought.
As she bit into her canteen lunch of rotis and potato curry, she realised that, in all her excitement, she had never asked him how on earth had he thought to get her strawberry plants, of all things. Neither had the silly guy thought fit to tell her.
Not that she hadn’t liked the plants; she had loved them. She loved plants, after all, and had a mini-garden at home, too. Only she hadn’t ever thought that one could grow something as exotic as strawberry plants at home; at least she hadn’t thought so until she read that new blog she had found a few months ago…. She would ask him tonight, over her birthday dinner, for sure, she decided.
She did ask him that night. And what he told her stunned and touched her, at once.
It had been that blog that she had found, by that girl who lived in the same city as hers. The girl had found some strawberry plants at a nursery and had brought them home. She had cared for them, and they had flourished over time. As per the latest update on her blog, there had even been some tiny red berries. She had come to love that girl, and her blog, as her own, since she started reading her. She had found a kindred spirit in the blogger, another old soul.
‘I noticed you look with such longing at the pictures of the strawberry plants on that blog, some months ago,’ he told her. ‘You even asked the blogger about the nursery, and told me you’d like to visit some time. Remember?,’ he asked.
She did remember. But then, life had got busy, and they had never gotten around to visiting the nursery. They had forgotten all about it.
‘That look on your face…. I knew instantly how much you loved the plants. I knew, there and then, that they would make the perfect birthday gift for you,’ he said.
He looked extremely sheepish by then, and she decided not to embarrass him any more. It took all that she had not to fling her arms around him right away. Her heart overflowed with love for him, and her eyes shone with his love for her.
Blogs bring people closer this way, too, she thought. She made a mental note to write to the blogger as soon as she got home, and tell her.
She wrote to the blogger at the stroke of 12 that night, telling her the entire story. She thanked her for having helped, albeit indirectly, in making her birthday a grand success, and helping her realise the wealth of love she had in her life.
Her hunch had been right. The blogger replied the next day, thrilled to bits.
Based on a real-life incident, involving my blog and a reader’s birthday.