Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

October 8, 2020 — by Kaasha Minocha
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My older sister, Krisha, made a 7-layer chocolate cake for me and my twin sister’s birthday.

While we quarantined, my family made my birthday the most special and memorable it has ever been.


I walked out of the patio door on Sept. 19, the Saturday before my birthday week, to see my family friends coming into my backyard with two ice cream cakes from Baskin Robbins, one for my twin sister, Kaaya, and one for me. I was completely surprised, and from that point, I knew that my celebration for my birthday had begun.

For my birthday in late September, my older sister, Krisha, and my parents kept surprising me with different activities to the point where I couldn’t remember everything they had done for me. 

On the Tuesday before my birthday, my family and I went to Big Basin Burger Bar in downtown Saratoga, where we ate burgers and fries outdoors. Because I hadn’t been to a restaurant since quarantine started, it felt so nice to step out of the house to celebrate instead of getting the usual takeout.

Then, from Thursday until my birthday, Krisha planned seven Zoom calls with different friend groups, both from school and from my family friends. I enjoyed discussing ways my friends were keeping themselves entertained at home. I even played online games with them such as, an online drawing and guessing game. 

On Thursday evening, Krisha and my mom surprised Kaaya and me with fried rice, General Tso’s chicken and garlic string beans from Mandarin Gourmet, one of our favorite restaurants. It was bittersweet as the restaurant closed on our birthday, but I’m glad we got to eat their delicious Chinese food one last time.

The food surprises didn’t stop there. On Friday, we received two boxes of Baked by Melissa cupcakes my mother had ordered all the way from New York. Kaaya and I almost finished one box of mini-cupcakes on that night! 

While I was busy studying on Saturday, my mom went to “run some errands” and picked up a dozen Nothing Bundt cupcakes, surprising us once again.  

When I thought the surprises were over, I was thrilled to see pink streamers and gold and pink balloons decorating the family room on the morning of my birthday. 

Throughout the day, my family and I played Monopoly, which we hadn’t played in over four or five years. My dad also picked up food from Benihana, my favorite Japanese restaurant. 

We ended the night with Krisha’s homemade seven-layer chocolate and hazelnut cake: a Torta Setteveli, consisting of two layers of chocolate genoise, two layers of hazelnut cream, one layer of hazelnut crunch, one layer of chocolate mousse and one layer of mirror glaze. It took Krisha three days to finish making all the layers and assembling it, and, boy, was it delicious. 

Although I was not expecting anything extravagant due to the pandemic, my family went out of their way to make this birthday the most special it has ever been. And one thing is for sure: I have enough desserts in my fridge to last a lifetime.


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