The 71-kg laddoo looked apt, but the guitar shaped fluffy birthday cake appeared slightly out of place. These were the two that party workers made the Samajwadi Party supremo, Mulayam Singh Yadav cut on his birthday at the party's state headquarters' lawn on Sunday morning. The number of kilograms of the laddoo equaled Mulayam's age, and the brass band that made a din outside the gate wished add-ons of thousands of years to his life.
This has been a tradition-of sitting in the lawn for workers to celebrate his birthday and meet him--Mulayam has been following for years. Both the guitar cake and the laddoo were party workers treat to him. He cut and partook of both.
The celebration had to be kept short as Mulayam had to fly to Delhi. As many people that an hour could permit came up to the 'birthday boy' (this is how some people in the crowd, away from Mulayam's earshot, called him) to greet him.
People danced to the tunes of the brass band. They jigged right near Mulayam's chair while a worker spun a cycle wheel rim on his head. This worker is known for the expertise that he has attained in spinning the wheel this way (cycle is the party's symbol).
Workers gifted him shawls, bouquets and rosebuds while Mulayam in between accepted greetings from many other people on his mobile phone.
People jostled with each other to touch their leader's feet or shake hands with him or greeting him with folded hands. Some made all the three gestures.
There were no political discussions, speeches-in fact there was no speech of any kind at all and no mike 'n' speakers arranged for the ceremony. Though some senior party leaders too came to the party, but by and large it was kept an affair between Mulayam and party workers and lower-rung leaders.
Slicing the guitar cake marked the beginning and cutting the laddoo was the end of the ceremony. The moment Mulayam put a knife through the cake, a worker fired a gun overhead. The gun showered confetti.