And finally, it is done. And happily, it was also a lot of fun. Zach is now 12! Thank you for all the suggestions, the wishes and the prayers (and the ones you will offer now).
We had eight friends come home - Keane, Joshua, Siddharth, Dylan, Mikhail and Ram (all from Zach’s school, though Joshua is a year younger and Ram is in std I), and the lovely ladies, Evita and Elaine, joined much later by two more, Rachel and Leisel (photos in post below) They watched The Chaplin Revue (A Dog’s Life, Shoulder Arms and The Pilgrim), answered questions for Polo mints, and rolled on the floor to mimic Chaplin. All captured beautifully by Jerry (Jeremiah Christanand Rao), Lonely Planet Magazine India’s Photo Editor, who I hope Zach will grow up to be like (okay, one-third Kevin, one-third Mohan, one-third Jerry), and I can’t say nicer than that.
We had a great moustache-painting session for the boys, but Elaine (Eelu), who is not yet three, wanted one more than anyone else. Next we had a great photo session, with the hat, stick and bowtie against the newspaper backdrop that we paper-taped on one wall of the living room. After that, the party food was rolled out - Black Forest cake made by Bianca (the Cordon Bleu chef, as I love telling everyone and embarrassing her), cheese samosas, chicken sandwiches, Nutella sandwiches, wafers and ice cream sundaes -- vanilla ice cream, with crushed Oreos and black raisins (so I couldn’t keep to the black-and-white theme in the food, but I did manage the Polo mints, bullseyes, b/w sundaes and the Nutella sandwiches, which unfortunately were made with brown bread but tasted yummy nevertheless). And then, we sent the kids home with back presents of Charlie Chaplin DVDs, which luckily came by courier on Saturday afternoon.
Then, we finally had time to enjoy adult company. We were lucky to have Mummy and Dada with us from Mangalore, and Mum and Dad (who does not go out out much these days), Mohan and Neisha, my dad’s brother Uncle Philip, Auntie Gracy and my cousin Priya, Kevin’s sister Cheryl and her family – Keith, Keegan and Chantelle, and their cousin Tanya. The party was rounded up by Suchita (our new girl), Bianca (the Cordon Bleu chef, remember) and Aleta (the up-there chef, whose culinary genius gave us the most brilliant lunch – pulao, a Thai inspired chicken curry, beef chilli fry, salad and pickled raw mango, to which we added mutton pan rolls ordered from Silvia Sekhri in Chimbai, Bandra). And a rum-soaked Black Forest for dessert. And then, Charlie Chaplin and catch-up conversation till everyone went home.
Yes, it is done.