A birthday cake that was never cut…
July 23, 2017
SUDEEP DALVI | In the months of October – November 2015, I was staying away from my home in a homestay near Benaulim beach to get some peace of mind. I was working upon the first book of my life, “Zagor“.
6th of November was my birthday and I had decided to make use of the occassion to unite the musicians and activists of North and South together. Almost 70 people were invited. A caterer was booked as well as as a beach shack.
On 5th of November, I had asked my brother Massillon to order a suitable birthday cake as I was too busy arranging for other things. He asked me not to worry and leave the task upon him.
The same day in late afternoon I got a call from Father Bismarque. He wished me for my upcoming birthday in advance and I explained his transport arrangement to him. That was the last conversation between us.
On 6th around one in the afternoon, while everybody was wishing me happy returns of the day, I got a call from Kennedy telling me that he has got the news that Father has been missing since previous night. I was shocked.
Forgetting about the birthday and office work, I rushed to the highway from where Kennedy picked me up and we drove to St. Estevam. The atmosphere there was tense and full of anxiety. We were searching for Father here, there everywhere like a bunch of mad, demon possessed people. Every temple, every cross and every chapel was being prayed at.
At the same time on Facebook Messenger, I got this photo of a cake sent by Massillon. Obviously, he was unaware of the happenings. I don’t remember now that in those circumstances what I replied to him.
I asked the caterer with apologies to throw away all the food and drinks or distribute them to the needy and apologised to the beach shack owner as well. Many guests came to the venue and returned when they saw no party happening.
Next day on 7th, Father’s body was discovered floating over the waters of Mandovi. Rest is history.
This was how the birthday saga in my life came to a permanent end. My 35th birthday coincided with the day of death of my mentor and teacher.
I immediately shifted to St. Estevam from Benaulim, and “Zagor” was released after eleven months with a new name, “The Tallest Man In Goa“.
I don’t know whether the cake was consumed just for the sake of not wasting it, was distributed to the hungry or was simply thrown off, but it proved to be the last birthday cake of my life.