Occupational hazard aside, I do love a well designed, thoughtfully detailed great vibey party. I love quirks and connections and I particularly get thrilled when things fall together randomly and seamlessly. My design is like that too. It comes in spurts from the gut but the end result makes me feel like it clicked. I have learnt to rely on that as well as despair of that, because the process has a life of its own. So while May 7 was the date decided more than a month in advance because of important jet set VIPs and their travel plans, what I wanted was something that even I couldn’t envision in one go.
I wanted marquis letters and the round paper lamps that are such a trademark of the parties we throw, lots of streamers and yes, also colour (oh but wait, not too much). I wanted sparkle and movement and space and also fairy lights. I wanted a retro look mixed with all the stuff that makes Z, Z.
I picked up this book Baby loves to Rock by W. Kirwan at the first Sunday Book Collective for him and he was instantly hooked. We read it about 15 times a day. I loved the concept and I told A who was helping me plan the party that I wanted that to inspire the theme.
My weekend trip to Isloo a week before to spend A’s 40th birthday with her and attend her rooftop party had the 80s song list buzzing in my head and it was clear to me that Z’s party would also have music that would have us, the parents bopping. Way too many birthday parties are all about the kids now- this one, was going to be alll about us. So many people commented on the music later and how fun it was, not knowing that for a giveaway I had also burned CDs of the same playlist. Mixed tapes, remember those?
I had seen this idea on Pinterest of creating a collage wall of photographs from the baby’s first year which I gave my own spin to by hanging up pictures of Z with everyone who was invited to the party. I dug through the last year of iphone pics and whatsapp messages but was happy to know that everyone we invited had one with him!
Guest lists are such tricky things. I always want to do justice so it means that I put in a lot of thought. I want everyone to get along- near impossibility- and I also want to be able to have this moment of connect with everyone – another near impossibility. I can see why K thinks I overthink these occasions, but wouldn’t you?
The cake details, oh yes. Ordered just a week prior, it was a rainbow cake from Pane and Amore (introduced to me by the real part jam, M) made more apt by a fact that I learnt this week that a baby born after a loss is called a Rainbow baby. I didn’t know that. Z is actually my double rainbow <3. It had a little version of him, dressed up in his party shirt, holding his favourite bottle and book, wearing his signature Batman chappals. Created by the amazing M at Studio Cupcakes, who is my go to with all my last minute planning and mad ideas.
For once the food was not home made so I could enjoy the party music and friends and family. Gazebo, a personal favourite for all street food desi but hygienic, is where we got our live stands from, fresh bun kebabs, dossas and chaat. Perhaps it was off tangent from the Rock and Music zone we were in, but I promise you the taste more than made up for any thematic dissension.
Thankfully littlest jam made me a video of the event which totally does justice to the way I want to remember it. Dancey happy feely. Zak melted in shyness at the Happy birthday chorus and candle routine, just like we anticipated. We did it thrice just to enjoy it each time. I cannot tell you enough what that feeling is of being surrounded by all the people you have collected in the making of your life especially at a happy occasion.. People who love you and live around you and are part of your life. You can think and overthink the wisdom of big parties and expenses ( believe me I did) but the truth is THIS is what we invest in, this is what we live for- the getting together, the having occasions which are so wholesome, beautiful, perfect and real that they make everything else dim in comparison. So, to much more rocking in life. Happy birthday Z. You make the world so much brighter.