Not a piece of cake: Once upon a time you could just prepare payesh and be all set for the birthday party – Economic Times

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My daughter is a January girl. Which means that, for me, the ‘birthday party’ season is here. Being parents in this age of social media is tough. Not only do you have to bring your kids up right, you have to look good while doing so. Everybody in your social circle is taking mental notes of your parenting, and this all goes directly to their perception of you as a successful individual. On normal days you can get away with tasteful cropping of pictures on social media, to create the illusion of parenting perfection, but with a birthday party all filters are off.

They are in your house. Now you are completely bare in the eyes of those who count the most, the parents of your daughter’s friends, and trust me, they are parsing this all: how clean your house is, how kid-friendly you have made it, how calmly you are able to shake off that rising rage as fruit punch is spilled on the carpet and replace it with an indulgent smile. Today you cannot expect children to just entertain themselves; now you have to hire a professional clown, or have someone dress up as Iron Man or provide for video games. When i was growing up they would just turn on the TV, and you could watch whatever was playing on it, whether it be Krishi Darshan or Chitrahaar. The best one could expect would be a rental from the video library, Dil or Beta, and no one really judged the parent on the choice of what was being shown, if it was age appropriate or anything.

Then of course there is the cake. In my days, getting one was enough, and i have been to many parties where it was just ‘payesh’ and nothing else. No one judged you for the cake, all it needed was to be sweet and if there was chocolate frosting on top, their parents really loved them more than mine. Nowadays the theme of the cake, the size of the cake, the look of the cake, are all major stressors. And finally, there is the matter of ‘return gifts’, and they have to be coordinated with the party theme, and of proper value, because you don’t want people to think you are cheap, even when you really are. The worst? At the end of it all, after considering every aspect, you find out there is that one thing you missed, one family you missed inviting, and you do not make eye contact with people for many days from fear of that which you do not even know you did.

Or did not. Give me tax season over this any day.

DISCLAIMER : This article is intended to bring a smile to your face. Any connection to events and characters in real life is coincidental.

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