It was Devki’s eighth birthday. Her mother had informed the orphanage in the city that she and her daughter would be visiting at 5 p.m. in the evening to distribute goodies to all the forty children there. Devki and her mother walked into the children’s playroom with a lovely cake decorated with roses and ribbons. There were 9 candles on it. They also had chocolates, jam cookies and potato chips for the kids. There were 39 children present, 1 was missing. Just as Devki came forward to cut the cake the matron said, “Little Mona has been unusually upset since morning. She is sulking in her bed, would you wait till I get her? Perhaps a celebration would cheer her up.”
They all waited for a few minutes, till the matron walked in holding Mona by the hand. As soon as the little girl saw the cake and the party food, her eyes lit up and she smiled, “How did you know? Who told you that it’s my birthday today? Oh! How nice of you to get such a wonderful cake for me! You got the right number of candles too….. And …. I love jam cookies…. thank you, thank you so much…” Mona picked up the knife and raised it to cut the cake. “Wait…!” said the matron. But she felt a soft little hand on her elbow. She turned around to see Devki at her side, “It’s okay Matron, let her cut the cake. Let this be her party.” Devki’s mother was speechless. She slowly nodded her head in consent. All the children including Devki, sang “Happy Birthday to you, dear Mona…..”. Mona had a beautiful birthday party.
Later when Devki and her mother were driving home, mother said, “Don’t take it to heart my child, we’ll have a party for you tomorrow.” Devki smiled, her eyes glistened as she fought to hold back her tears and she said softly, “There’s no need Mama, this is the best birthday I ever had.”