Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Too much, too soon...

My daughter celebrated her 8th birthday on Sunday. Yes, the party was at home and there was no magician/ juggler/ fancy caterer.

The kids played games involving a lot of jumping around and they later ate cheese sandwich, gulabamuns, mini cutlets, wafers and gobs of cake off a thermacol plate. But the smiles when they left with their return gifts made it worth it all the effort.

Yes, hosting a party at home actually means a helluva lot of effort. The easier option is to go to McDonald or Pizza Hut. Just pay and they take over everything: menu, decoration, games, return gift. "Aaj kal ka fashion bhi to yehi hai," parents nod sagely.

Well, I'm not so sure. A home birthday party is a tradition. It's an excitment that has to be built up. The fun of putting up streamers and balloons the night before. Moving away furniture and planning the games. Deciding which music to play and what food to serve. And in our house, making a very special birthday cake.

I started this tradition when Nivedita was turning four because I wanted her to remember something special I did for her. So we always order one cake from a cake shop and bake one cake at home. It's the same cake every year: heart shaped, chocolate and covered with gems. The ghar ka cake holds its own against the frou frou frosting - most years.

I guess I'm being old fashioned. Recreating the 'just like when we were kids' kind of party. It's just a matter of time before she says,"I'm a big girl now," and wants to organise it differently. Perhaps at a Pizza Hut. And I'm ok with that.

Unless she expects me to host this kind of party. To which the answer is no, nyet, nada, never... period. You have to watch 'My Super Sweet 16' on VH 1 to really understand what I mean. But a wikipedia description should give you an idea:

My Super Sweet 16 is an MTV reality series documenting the travails of upper class teenagers preparing for various coming-of-age birthday parties... Apparent prerequisites for a Super Sweet 16 include:

an outrageous theme no one has thought of
invitations that are "impossible" to replicate
a grand entrance with a gorgeous escort
many glamorous, poster-size photographs
"VIP" group of close friends despite large guest list
one or two designer or specially-made outfits
a well-known musical performer or group
an expensive gift, usually a car

During the planning of the event, the sweet 16er usually gets upset that the parent isn't getting specific details right. In some cases, arguments arise over drapery or center pieces. In other cases, arguments arise over grand entrances, the birthday present, or the musical guest. Usually, it's the parent who is concerned about the cost of specific things, but almost always the sweet 16er states, "But I always get what I want" and does.

The one episode I saw featured 'Sophie', a much-too-plump almost 16 year old planning a Moulin Rouge theme party. Highlights of the show included:
- the girl swearing at her mother while buying her dress (bleep*bleep*bleep)
- snatching an invitation from someone who 'is not invited' (more *bleep* bleep *bleep)
- running after someone who stared at her 'rudely' to ask "why?" (*bleep *bleep *bleep).

She did have the perfect sweet 16 which 'everyone will remember for the longest time and talk about to their grandchildren'. Did I mention, she got a brand new BMW as a birthday gift from mommy as well?

Who can blame Sophie if her parents want her to have 'everything' as soon as she possibly can? If they can stand her abuse and her tantrums and try to buy her love only through 'stuff'. Which you can never get enough of. And which is not what you really need or want.

What Sophie clearly wanted was to be loved, admired and seen as popular. And there are other ways to achieve that. Money is a convenient shortcut but it has nothing to do with who you are. Money is camouflage used by a person who thinks no one will love and appreciate 'the real me'. Sooner or later, it stops working.

Which brings me to the tragic case of 16 year old Adnan Patrawala. 'Living with parents, party every night' reads his orkut profile. And now, orkut is being blamed for the boy being lured to his death. Ironically, one of Adnan's testimonials online is titled: 'Shootout at Orkutwala'.

The website may well have been the medium of entrapment. But the magnet was the lifestyle. Midday reports:

According to police sources, Adnan use to spend huge amount on his friends from Versova and Millat Nagar. “For the last couple of months, he was seen spending time in bad company. He was big-hearted and often spent thousands of rupees playing video and poker at entertainment parlours.

Though, he was not an adult and had no driving licence, he participated in friendly races in his Skoda on Express Highway,” a source who knew Adnan said.

Sophie and Adnan live continents apart but they're really very similar. Sadly, one kid's money bought fame in life. While the other's brought fame in death... God bless the poor kid's soul.


  1. Blaming orkut for Adnan's death is ridiculous ...Orkut is just a communication medium. May be this would add fuel to Shivsena's campaign against orkut.

  2. Hmmm...another take on my super sweet sixteen :-P


  3. And And :


    Invitation day has come and the girls arrive in their Bentley to hand them out. All the popular kids' receive an invite but one kid gets so excited that he hugs Divya, which is a big mistake! She is so offended that someone would touch such a divine human being that she takes back her invite.

    Something tells me my kids are gonna have parties at home as well.Nice post :-)

  4. Okay...am I still supposed to be wanting kids, after reading this? :-P

  5. As they say everything somes with a price to pay, now when you do not have enough time to spend with kids in this fast paced life,guess what all these fancy things fill in kids life
    Booming economy has its own pains

  6. Made a lovely read. "Money is camouflage used by a person who thinks no one will love and appreciate 'the real me'" - very well said.

  7. Hi, please add your blog to our new directory of Indian Blogs and pick up an

    Indiblogger badge, thanks!


  8. Hi Rashmi,

    Firstly belated birthday wishes to Nivedhita.

    Its intresting to see your insights into the recent tragic death of adnan. http://www.ibnlive.com/news/world-wide-worry-net-works-not-networking/47235-19.html

    The Positive sides of Internet are large chunk of information through Forums and message boards.

    In countries like US, Ppl discuss about the issues, problems, etc. related to any brands in forums. There are many brand specific forums.

  9. Describing your daughter's birthday party makes me remember the good fun I had at birthday parties when I lived in Mumbai from ages 7-9, specifically the parties where there was no hired juggler/clown/Charlie Chaplin.

    The best fun was had at the simpler parties, without the ridiculous return presents. The decor was limited to thermocol balls, streamers and balloons, the entertainment consisted of games like 'Four Corners' 'Freeze' or (at my birthday), a huge scavenger hunt. Even when I returned to the US and began to have 'themed' parties (like Chinese), everything was done with decorations purchased at the local party store and some innovation on the part of my mother.

    The ridiculous and ostentatious materialism that has taken hold of some parties and the disinterest involved in simply deciding to give it over to McDonalds with their formulaic (and boring) format saddens me.

    - Maya (illusionsofme.wordpress.com)

  10. Anonymous8:16 AM

    明星代言 明星经纪公司
    制动单元 铝壳电阻
    modern abstract art sofa manufacturer
    净水器 开水器 净水机 净水 软水机 软水 直饮机 家用净水 家用净水器 家用净水机 中央净水 中央净水器 水家装 水家电 水卫士 混合机
    过滤机 DHL快递 俄罗斯签证 回转支承 Laser marking
    保险箱 法兰 法兰标准
    polycarbonate sheet 回流焊 波峰焊
    压球机 注册上海公司 儿童摄影
    牛皮癣 皮肤病 制氮机
    食堂售餐机 校园一卡通
    学校一卡通 ic卡售饭机
    食堂售饭机 深圳一卡通
    广东售饭机 机电设备安装
    北京发票 代开发票
    餐饮发票 住宿发票
    网络电话 免费网络电话
    假发 补发
    织发 植发
    压滤机 板框压滤机
    蒸馏水机 纯蒸气发生器
    上海搬家公司 上海搬场公司
    大众搬家 大众搬场
    张家界旅游 香港旅游
    深圳旅行社 打包机
    收缩机 对讲机 电源模块
    售饭机 水控机 水控器
    萎缩性胃炎 neoprene laptop bags
    SEO优化 计量泵
    胃炎 胃病
    冷水机 冰水机
    北京特价机票 北京打折计票 北京国际机票
    北京机票预定 北京飞机票
    北京订机票 北京机票查询 饮料机械
    银杏 水培花卉 企业宣传片 空分设备
    化工泵 离心机
    电话交换机 程控交换机 集团电话 集装袋
    混合机 混合机
    混合机捏合机 捏合机
    捏合机导热油炉 导热油炉
    导热油炉 反应釜 反应釜
    反应釜 spherical roller bearing
    搬运车 搬运车 电动搬运车 油桶搬运车 堆高车 电动堆高车 半电动堆高车 堆垛车
    高空作业平台车 电动叉车 平衡重叉车 前移叉车 电瓶叉车
    韩国饰品批发 模块电源
    X架 超薄灯箱> 易拉宝 展柜制作
    代理服务器 游戏加速器 网络加速器
    网通加速器 电信加速器 电信网通转换器
    电信网通加速器 网通电信互转
    网通电信互通 网络游戏加速器
    美国VPN代理 美国独享VPN 美国独享IP
    pvc ceiling panel Spherical roller bearings
    安全鞋 劳保鞋 防砸鞋 电绝缘鞋 上海安全鞋 上海劳保鞋 江苏劳保鞋
    服装软件 服装管理软件 进销存软件
    进销存管理软件 服装管理系统 服装进销存软件
    进销存系统 进销存管理系统 免费进销存软件
    吉林中医 东北特产
    阳痿 阴茎短小 阴茎增大
    早泄 前列腺炎 阴茎增粗 阴茎延长
    国际机票 上海国际机票
    国际特价机票 国际打折机票
    砂磨机 砂磨机
    砂磨机 卧式砂磨机
    卧式砂磨机 卧式砂磨机
    三辊研磨机 三辊研磨机
    三辊研磨机 混合机 混合机
    混合机 锥形混合机 锥形混合机 锥形混合机 行星动力混合机 行星动力混合机 行星动力混合机 无重力混合机 无重力混合机 无重力混合机
    干粉砂浆设备 干粉砂浆设备
    干粉砂浆设备 捏合机 捏合机 捏合机 导热油炉 导热油炉 导热油炉 反应釜 反应釜 反应釜 搪玻璃反应釜 搪玻璃反应釜 搪玻璃反应釜
    乳化机 涂料设备 干混砂浆设备 无重力混合机 胶体磨 涂料成套设备 双螺旋混合机
    北京婚庆 北京婚庆公司
    办证 呼吸机 制氧机
    亚都 亚都加湿器 亚都净化器
    饰品批发 小饰品批发 韩国饰品 韩国饰品批发 premature ejaculation penis enlargement
    安利产品 马来西亚留学
    网站优化 网站推广
    论文代写 代写论文
    拖链 防护罩 排屑机 塑料拖链 钢铝拖链
    深圳装饰 深圳装饰公司 深圳装修公司
    特价机票 打折机票 国际机票
    新风换气机 换气机 立式新风换气机 风机箱 新风系统 能量回收机
    搅拌机 混合机 乳化机
    毛刷 毛刷辊 工业毛刷 刷子 钢丝刷
    涂层测厚仪 硬度计
    兆欧表 激光测距仪
    测振仪 转速表
    温湿度计 风速仪
    噪音计 红外测温仪
    硬度计 万用表
    美容院 美容加盟
    澳洲留学 澳大利亚留学
    酒店预定 北京酒店预定 北京酒店
    nail equipment nail products nail product nail uv lamp nail uv lamp nail uv lamps uv nail lamp nail brush
    nail file nail tool nail tip nail gel curing uv lamps lights
    万用表 风速仪
    红外测温仪 噪音计
    苗木价格 苗木信息 标牌制作 深圳标牌 北京儿童摄影 防静电鞋 淘宝刷信誉
    威海凤凰湖 威海海景房 大庆密封件
    打标机 淘宝刷信誉 TESOL/TEFL国际英语教师证书 英语教师进修及培训 北京快递公司 北京国际快递

  11. Anonymous7:26 PM


    套国际会议同传服务,深圳翻译公司,专业深圳英语翻译 深圳日语翻译深圳法语翻译


Disqus for Youth Curry - Insight on Indian Youth