When I was a kid, we used to without fail celebrate my birthday on the 6th of December, and my father’s birthday on the 30th of the same month. However, never once did we celebrate my mother’s birthday. Repeated questions in this matter went unanswered for a long time, and I grew up wondering how amma couldn’t have a birthday!
Later, I figured out that the problem is not that my mom doesn’t have a birthday – it’s that she has several! When she was a kid, my grandfather wanted to admit her in school a year earlier, so a false date given to enable that (those days people didn’t care too much for birth certificates). Later, when she took up employment, she realized that she would have to retire a couple of years earlier because of this birthday. So she got herself a new birth date, a couple of years later.
Then, for some other reasons, she wanted to become younger, and got yet another certificate. And so forth. The title of this post may be an exaggeration, but I know that my mom uses at least four or five different dates of birth! And with my maternal grandparents both gone, and my two doddammas being of the forgetful variety, no one really knows when my mom was actually born!
So now, this causes immense confusion, and at times it’s quite funny trying to guess what my mom’s age with respect to this particular document is. At other times, it’s not so funny. There will be documents which will have to be produced together, but then suddenly we figure out that they have different dates of birth mentioned on them. And there is some extra effort we have to put in order to correct this inaccuracy.
Now, I just assume that my mom’s age is a quantum state. A random number. And I’ve been asked to wish her every year on 27th of January. Of course, none of the documents show this as her actual birthday!