Written by Nandini Sethi
There was a new, refreshing kind of energy floating in the air tonight, an amalgamation of nostalgia, reflectiveness, and a tinge of something akin to a fresh start. If there was one way to put it, it was the night of New Year’s Eve, and the overwhelming feeling of the unnamed feeling was very much present in the Singh’s household.
The two little kids – Aishwarya and Aisha were just old enough to learn about the fact that this day was a monumental one, marked by food, dance, and even fireworks, and were very upset that their parents would not budge, even on a special day like this, to change their bedtime.
The parents had their own party to attend, a small group of parents, who decided to call in the new year together with some wine and good food. While they did feel bad for leaving their daughters alone with a babysitter, they rarely got the opportunity to go out and socialize. And they really needed a night of mingling with parents on the same boat as them.
Someone had to make a compromise.
Applying a solid layer of make-up, one spritz of the expensive perfume reserved for special nights, a glitzy dress that was usually kept at the back of the close, Mrs. Singh was ready for her party. She looked to her right to find her husband also getting ready with the same excitement. She smiled, slowly making her way to her daughters’ bedroom, watching them jump up and down at the prospect of celebrating this day with their parents.
They decided to stay home. One giant feast later, Mrs. Singh could already see their droopy eyes and lethargic movements, but she didn’t comment on it. There was a family dance party in the living room and an all-you-can-eat ice cream buffet. There were no restrictions today.
“Mumma, aren’t you going to drink your special wine?” Aisha asked, knowing very well that my favourite bottle of wine only made it out of the shelf on days she wore a dress. She smiled at her and nodded, heading towards the kitchen, pouring two glasses, and sipping on it slowly.
As the clock struck 11:30, she could tell the girls were stubbornly fighting sleep. They wanted nothing more than to bed on their beds, hugging their stuffed toys as thy drift off to sleep, but they knew if they gave up, they wouldn’t be able to put up a fight in the future.
“Girls, you’ve had an exhausting day, do you want to head to bed?” Mrs. Singh asked, smirking at their yawning faces.
“No! We want to stay up!”
Come midnight, there was no hullabaloo, just some kisses and hugs, and wishes all around. It was enough to make the girls feel special. Enough to make the happy and included. Because five minutes later, when they put them to bed, Mr. and Mrs. Singh walked into the living room, towards the wall clock, they felt like good parents, moving back the arrows to four hours behind, to display the correct time: 8:00 PM.
And when they touched up their perfume and make-up, walking out of the house feeling as youthful as ever, they waved to the babysitter, looking forward to a night they won’t remember the next day.