The reason I’m writing this so late in the day is that I’ve been confused as to what to call this post. I started from a short list of maybe a dozen names, and then brought the list down to two – “twenty six” and “twenty fucking six”. Finally I decided to go for the former since the swearword in the latter doesn’t seem to add much value.
If I were to count my years using letters of the English alphabet, I would today increment it from Y to Z, taking into consideration that the Gregorian calendar may not be perfectly accurate. However, for this kind of a time horizon, and given our desired least count, it is definitely more accurate than the Hindu calendar so we will stick to it. Ok, if you have still not got the point, “aaj mEra happy birthday hai“. Imagine me wearing a yellow suit and shouting that line upwards as you look down from your balcony.
My original plan was to write about birthdays itself, as to how they seem to have lost significance, and as I’ve grown older, and started feeling old, they seem to have been reduced to a counter. I was planning to write about how I have to go really long back in order to find a memorable birthday, and about how it’s generally been a disappointment in recent time.
Vyshnavi Doss, who is older than me by ten days, decided to use her Twenty Sixth by writing something on these lines. It was as if she was exploiting her seniority by taking away words from my fingers. Here is a quote, but I urge you to read the whole thing. I completely empathise with the first part of the essay.
Now this is going to sound nutty, but I used to feel more pressure than elation on my birthday. Not counting my school years of course. That was when by default, either you distributed sweets to everyone at school, or your mom hosted a party for you and you got all the attention and gifts. Your birthday was announced at the assembly, your classmates sang for you, and you pretty much owned the day! Those were the protected years. Then I got into college where I had to work my way up towards making friends. I am a confirmed ambivert. I am a friendly person, but not necessarily popular in the zillion people on my friend-list sense of the term. So the birthday situation after I left school had always been very iffy – there was noone to really ensure it was special. To give me that “Surpriiiiiiseee!!!” People have always mattered a lot to me, and I believe that a good birthday is made up by the people around you. And while my birthdays after school were simple and pleasant, my expectation of something utterly out of the world remained the same. So the worry on my birthday could be attributed to mainly two things – a small closeted social circle, and high ambitions. Often my expectation has been met with disappointment. Don’t get me wrong – of course my parents, my relatives and my close friends have made all the effort in their capacities to make my day special. And I have been happy. But I think I’m quite a tough-to-please person. I’ve always wanted that climax.
Instead, I think I’ll do one of those this-day-that-year things. Given my superior long-term memory, I think this is the kind of stuff that I’m likely to be good at. Here are some excerpts.(rest under the fold)