Educating Chandra on the proper birthday ritual was an unusually fun experience. She learned quickly. But you see, Chandra isn’t a kid, but a lovely and lively lady who just turned 41. Six months in Palo Alto and having come from India for a scholarship at Stanford University, she was surprised by a birthday celebration that turned out to be tremendously instructive and enjoyable, perhaps, a bit esoteric. The lunch treat was expected – but not how the treat quickly transformed into an impromptu full-scale but casual soiree.
The party of four ended up at PF Chang at Stanford Shopping Center. The initial intent was to patronize a Japanese restaurant that we missed while driving and looking for it, and intentionally passed the Korean Tofu House which was the backup plan. Instead, after making a U-turn on El Camino to go back and search for the Japanese place, we spotted PF Chang on the right side of the street, and immediately decided to enter Stanford Shopping Center and park in front of the Chinese restaurant. Utterly spur of the moment – that was going to be the place for the birthday treat, we agreed.
We couldn’t have stumbled on a better choice.
Delectable choices for a spontaneous birthday bash at a restaurant.
My grandson Eliott told me he and his parents were going to see Man of La Mancha at an outdoor theater in the East Bay, California. Immediately, I started to sing “To Dream the impossible dream”. Then, I said, that’s Don Quixote’s theme song of hopeful determination, in a saga of chivalrous pursuit of decency, imagined royalty and love.
And then I said, watch for Sancho, his faithful squire or assistant, the necessary catalyst to the precarious journey between reality and illusion on the fringes of insanity. And then, I hummed to myself the Don’s poignant tribute to his lady “Dulcinea”.
I love the Don Quixote quixotic epic of heroism, honor and faith, a celebrated Renaissance masterpiece by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. I wished I had gone to see the musical, too. Though I’ve read the book and heard so many times the music with its moving and emotion-ridden lyrics, it would be nice to watch the drama unfold on stage.
To dream the impossible dream has been on my mind lately. Not exactly in the same context and scenario as Don Quixote’s. But mainly, as an instinctive grab for inspiration in a venture I’m presently engaged in.
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