I turned thirteen not too long ago. Fine, close to 10 years ago. I don't remember much of how I was at that time, which, knowing me, is probably a good thing, but what I do remember is my thirteenth birthday.
My parents had just arranged for what they called a "small family get together", which in our family's case almost always translates into a mini mob of close to 70 people. So there I was, birthday girl, in my orange shirt and super flare grey jeans (I just confirmed that with the photos) which made me look about 2 feet shorter and wider simultaneously, being all happy and birthday girl like and getting a lot of cash from wallet-happy relatives while waiting for more wallet-happy relatives to assemble so that I could cut my beautiful cake. No seriously, it was beautiful. It was yellow, with white frosting and it had my name on it. I was in love. Let me clarify something here - when I was 13, actually, even 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, I had a love-love relationship with food, which explained my extraordinarily startling resemblance to a sintex tank. Then things changed, but more on that later.
Fifteen long minutes of staring at the cake later, the crowd had gathered, the candles had been lit, a bunch of 3 year olds next to me had started licking the icing off the sides and my mom handed me the knife. I blew the candles out among the awkward singing, when my 6 year old sister started screaming, and it wasn't just any kind of screaming, it was the kind of high pitched screaming that should be patented for use by ambulances and firetrucks. The crowd became silent. She didn't stop screaming. And then there were tears. And screaming.
My mother was the first to react. "Did you stamp her foot?" she asked me.
"Then what is the issue?"
"Kannamma. What's the issue?"
Sidenote: Don't you just hate it when a birthday ruining brat is called cute names?
"Ammmaaa." She said in between sobs. "She's cutting the cake! "
"Yes, kuttima. It's her birthday no?"
"But I want to cut the cake!"
"Your birthday was in January, remember? You cut a big cake no?"
"Noooo" she cried and started bawling even louder.
My mother picked her up and tried to calm her down by calling her some more cute baby names and some enthu relatives even gave her birthday money (when it wasn't even her birthday!). I tried to quickly cut the cake while she was distracted by the money, but there was no escaping her CIA spy camera eyes because the moment I picked the knife up, she started wailing again.
My father finally decided to intervene. "You have to do something about her voice! My glasses are about to shatter any second."
"I'm trying! Kutti, you can also cut the cake ok? Let Akka cut, and then you cut. Ok?"
"Enough!" my father proclaimed. I was overjoyed. Finally, the brat could be locked up until my party was over.
"Lavanyaaaaa, let Vathoo cut the cake no? Look at her, she won't stop crying. Be mature now. You're grown up no?"
"Please? You're a ChamathuKutti* no?"
And so, the ChamathuKutti, very very reluctantly handed over the knife to the now beaming, evil, little birthday spoiling monster to cut the cake. Like, between the two of us, I'd have rather been the Cut-The-Cake-Kutti than the ChamathuKutti.
That was in 2002. Flash forward to this Friday, 6th January 2012, when my sister celebrated her all important 16th Birthday. The cake arrived right on time for the party and this is what it looked like.
Moral of the Story : Karma loves only ChamathuKuttis.
*Chamathu Kutti - Generally obedient and sweet little kid which I totally am, by the way.