This one is another deviant from my usual entry. It is one more day where I captured a memory for a lifetime and wanted to share it with you. You see, I had a milestone birthday recently. The birthday came and went as quietly as ever but then a few weeks later, I was surprised with a fabulous party by my siblings, cousins and friends. My Freimily made me a queen for the day complete with a Tiara, royal decor by Dress Up Your Party and chocolate decadence cake by TheSereneKitchen.
Whoa, I had no idea how to thank these beautiful souls. I wanted to do something they would never do on their own. I am a Patel girl of that mid generation where we have seen our moms take care of three generations without ever giving some time for themselves. In our free moments, if there are any, our families’ needs always trumps “me” time. So it is with my siblings, cousins and my non Patel but still like minded friends.
The first thought was to send them flowers, take them out to dinner…..the usual….. So I sent an invite with just a note…Arrive at The Royal Court dressed in comfortable clothes. Two days prior to the gratitude evening, I started getting calls…”what are we doing? ” “you are not taking us walking in the cold are you?” “Are you thanking us or torturing us? ” “No Yoga please, I cannot do yoga, I am not flexible.” (everyone knows I am a yoga enthusiast and preach its benefit to anyone who listens)…..and this one topped it all…can I please bring a dessert or can I come help you cook…No!
I had set up an evening with Pretty in Paint. There are a lot of painting studios that cater to parties but I wanted someone to come to my place. I wanted to keep the evening a surprise and the minute I would give out the venue address, my particularly youtube-internet savvy friends would have figured it out.
As soon as the canvasses were set in the dining room, the first reaction was, “We are doing what?” “I have never painted” “I cannot paint” and to take the cake “My shirt will be dirty!” For a moment there I thought, maybe flowers would have been better.
But Ameilia and Danielle from Pretty in Paint had worked hard with me to give us some scheduling time at a short notice and I was determined that the “leaving our family to be here ladies” had to let loose. Then Danielle, the sweet artist said the magic words “start with yellow paint for outlining as it is the most forgiving” and I immediately noticed everyone relax. I had shot a beautiful peacock (in my camera) on my recent trip to Rajasthan and wanted that to be the painting. Danielle had not only made an artist version of it but also recreated it along with us. Following her recreation we went to town.
As the level of wine started lowering in the glasses, the paint started getting thicker on the canvas. Every one let loose and critiques such as “my peacock is on a diet”, “your peacock is too fat” , “my right brain is better than left since my peacock is lopsided” ‘your peacock is grumpy’…and on and on it went for more than two hours. There was background hindi music from the 30s to the recent bollywood hits and the only time the cell phones came out was to take pictures.
Midway through it was hard to judge whether it was a painting party or a Karoake party. We took a lot longer than anyone can take to paint a modern art peacock but had a total blast. Danielle was ever so patient with us particularly with the perfectionists amongst us :).
I don’t know about the Royal Court but the Queen sure had a blast. Now the Queen hopes they would throw another surprise party and there can be another excuse to let loose and show our feathers.
Stay tuned as I pick up travel entries…so many more to come…Sienna, Volterra, San Gimignano, Vienna, Salzburg, Jodhpur, Jaiselmer…..on and on…its that lack of me time..:)