For those turning a year older, here is how to make your stay-at-home memorable
The lockdown seems like the new normal and we may have to live with it for longer. But right now, among many things, we’re thinking of people who are staring at a stayat-home birthday.
Yes, life goes on, and we must not forget to celebrate and improvise within the limits that a lockdown allows us. Whether you are home alone or cooped up with your partner or family, take cues, improvise and celebrate.
Set up the mood
By now, you must be familiar with every nook and cranny and spider web in your home and must be craving a change of scene, right? What better occasion to do it than on your birthday. Look around for the leftover decorations from last year and upcycle the rest. Grab craft papers, printer sheets and magazine pages. Cut them in different shapes and colour them up as banners, streamers, paper pinwheels, party hats, balloon backdrop and confetti. Swap the bedsheet with something bright, cover cushions in T-shirts with funky messages, get the mood lights on, put on your favourite playlist and you are party-ready.
Don a chef’s hat
A birthday is incomplete without a cake. But since all the bakeries in the city seem to be shut, and finding one at your grocery store is a matter of luck, why not bake yourself a cake.Sponge cake is the easiest of the lot and can be made with as few as four ingredients — all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and eggs. If you don’t have an oven, make a mug cake in the microwave in two minutes. Got neither? Empty your cake batter in a steel vessel and cook it in a pressure cooker. End the day with a DIY dinner. And if you can get in your nearest grocery store, treat yourself to a bowl of season’s first mangoes.
If lounging in PJs all day is what you like to do on birthdays, keep that up. However, if turning a year older means dressing up in your new or best clothes and getting photographed, get spiffy. Slip into your party clothes once the office work is over, or before you plan to cut the cake. Fire up a selfie, set timer on your camera or click screenshots as you chat with birthday wishers on video calls — go silly with the shots. And if the birthday boy or a girl is your kid, let him/her potter around in a party hat all day.
Take the party online
► Throw a virtual birthday party on video conferencing platforms such as Skype, Google Hangouts or Google Duo, FaceTime and Zoom (this one’s the crowd-favourite because it can host a party of up to 100 people for 40 minutes). All in all, this involves setting up a meeting with your friends and, well, showing up on time.
► If you plan the party well ahead, you can assign a dress code for the guests — from rock ’n’ roll to cartoons and space films. Ask them to keep short eats and drinks on the side to keep the party moving.
► Next, you can play karaoke, antakshari, dumb charades, relaxing the rules or making new ones, as you fancy. Or each of your friends can organise a quiz about their favourite and funny memories related to your birthday.
► Take a break and come back to dance together online to your favourite playlist, or let a friend takeover the DJ console from his or her room.
► You can host multiple ‘Virtual Happy Hours’ through the day. Yes, it’s the new catchword. In these hours, try games such as ‘never have I ever’, ‘would you rather’, ‘20 Questions’, ‘guess my sign’, or go desi with ‘name, place, animal, thing’ or get on Houseparty app.
Travel the world
So you had to cancel your birthday trip due to Covid-19 lockdowns around the world? While nothing will come close to scooting down the countryside or resting on beautiful meadows, you can trot around the globe via virtual-360-degree tours of various countries online, or visit museums such as The Louvre, Paris and The Met, NYC, all while sitting at home.