School reunion

So its been exactly 28 days since my last post. Procrastination is my middle name. And this post was due two weeks ago. But better late than never, right?

I am not a particularly great organizer. My cupboard is never neat, my drawers are always messy, I can't seem to keep anything straight. So imagine my horror when I realized that I had to organize a party for 270 people. My first thought was "why don't I leave the country for 2 months and come back when everyone forgets about it?"

"So then how did you get yourself into this?" My colleagues asked me. Let me explain. Farah (aka Fud) has been my friend for more than 11 years now. From school, through college, to now. So Fud kept sitting on my head and saying "Let's have an iftar re-union before school shifts to the new campus." You see our 43 year old school was shifting from its campus to a new one (by the way my school is older than this country itself). I loved my school and really wanted to see it one last time but more than that I wanted to keep Fud happy (read: I wanted Fud to stop pestering me). So I created an event on Facebook and invited all my friends and batch mates. People started signing up, commenting, blah, blah. And then Fud comes up with a brainwave. Why don't we try and organize the iftar at school itself and invite every possible Our Ownian we could? I'm not too excited but I agree. You see I want to keep Fud happy. And then began email exchanges with the school principal. I sent an email, he replied. I sent another email, he replied again. And this went on until I had an appointment with him to discuss the re-union. Please note, up until this point Fud has done no actual work other than come up with brainwaves. So I met the Principal Mr. Aziz Akhtar in his office. For me this meeting was more emotional than the reunion itself (you see at the reunion my emotions had evaporated in the heat). This was the campus where I had spent a good deal of my life. And to drive into that campus in my own car as an adult, it made me very nostalgic. And then to walk into the principal's office- which was obviously out of bounds for us in our school days- and announce that I had an appointment to meet him just made me feel more grown up than I wanted to admit. Mr. Akhtar was to the point, helpful and totally amazing. He agreed to help us out in whatever ways he could.

At night I was filling Fud in about my meeting and we were discussing food options. I said we could get iftar kits from a few restaurants that I know. "But you know Nas, I think we should do a school theme," says Fud. "Let's get puffs, pizzas and areej- the stuff that school used to give." At this point I no longer wanted to keep Fud happy. I wanted to punch her in the face. I said "Fud, don't ask me to do that. Will you please do it?" Why did I say please? This was something she wanted. But I did and she agreed. "Let's give the job of arranging other stuff to Rash and Sand," Fud said, referring to two other friends- Rashmi and Sandhya- and not a skin disorder or the desert.

And thus began a series of arranging. At this point 50 people were attending the iftar. We ordered 65 packs. Water and areej had to be bought separately. Then dates, garbage bags, tissues, etc. Three days before the event, 70 people were attending. More phonecalls. Increase the number of iftar packs and water. Two days before, 150 people attending. The day before 220. "Nas, all I wanted to do was just go to school, have a small iftar, meet friends, take pictures and come back. NOT worrying about organizing iftar for 200 plus people," Fud sighed on the phone the night before the event.

D-day dawned nice and bright. I was so nervous that I had butterflies in my stomach all day. My mom said I was just hungry but I refused to buy that explanation. "Nas my horoscope today says that I will be lynched by 200 hungry people," Fud messaged me. "Then I will just escape by the back door," I messaged back. "I love you too," Fud wrote. At 5 sharp we were there at the school gate. To put it mildly it was a day from hell. Hot, humid and sweaty. Within 5 minutes of stepping into the school, we were all drenched . We ran around delegating jobs to everyone, making sure things were getting done, etc. By 6 30, I was so severely dehydrated that I thought I'd have to break my fast (the azaan is at 7). I started to feel dizzy, my hands and legs felt weak, etc. I just sat in the only AC room looking into thin air. Then on it was Fud, Rashmi and Sandhya who held fort. Welcoming people, collecting money, making sure everything was ok, etc. It was only after I had broken my fast and had some chocolate cake that I finally had enough energy to stand up. The rest of the evening passed quickly. Some old faces, some new; some who I hadn't seen since graduating and some I had met many many times. But one thing was common- not a single one of them left without thanking both of us for giving them the opportunity to come back to school and relive their memories. By the end of the evening, the four of us were sweaty, tired and had lost a good amount of money. But it was all worth it.

However I must add that there were other ramifications of the event. "I'm not organizing another event till Mehreen's marriage," I declared to my husband that night (Mehreen is my 15 month old daughter, by the way). And a few days later when he met Fud, my hubby said "oh hi reunion organizer" and Fud put her hands over her ears and screamed :-)


Mehnaz said...

Aww shucks... I was thinking of hiring you as party planner. Competitive remuneration! Interested?

I guess that's a NO.
Sigh you give up too easily... :P

ZN said...


Farah Sarfraz said...

hahahaha I love you! (and hate's a confusing sort of emotion :P)

Btw...after the re***** (it's a cuss word in my dictionary)...i've decided not to have kids...unless of course they promise to organise their own bday parties and runaway and get married...