Sunday, March 06, 2011

Thoughts on a birthday

Birthdays are just another day in the calendar--they come and go--and while we expect gifts and surprises on this day, do we ever stop to wonder why this should be a special day for us? We were all born on certain days in certain years, but why should we remember those days with such pomp and splendour? Why should it be a birthday and not a birth date--just another date? Is that date so important, apart from all its official applications?

I had never thought about these questions before all my previous birthdays. But, I realise that the reason was that I had taken birthday wishes and celebrations for granted instead of pausing to think why I found them so important. But, now I know the answers to all these questions. We celebrate the fact that we have lived on earth successfully and happily for one more year. We rejoice at having seen the light of the world and getting to know all our near and dear ones, and it is this joy which we want to share with them. Now, how we share it, depends on each of us. We can do it by throwing a grand party or spending a quiet evening with coffee and music, or as I had said last year, by sitting for exams!

On all my previous birthdays, I had written some exam paper or the other, and eating the chilly chicken prepared by my mother, while again preparing for the next day's paper. We would have a celebration at some eatery after my papers got over. And, on the day itself, I would get numerous calls, wishes, cards, etc. So, this year, my feelings before my birthday were weird as this was the first one away from home and the first one without exams( and also the first one when I was compelled to wear woollens because of the extended Delhi winter). It didn't feel like my birthday at all. So, when my parents came to Delhi a week before my birthday for two days, my hostel friends surprised me at midnight with a cake, and my classmates surprised me with another cake the next day, I was overwhelmed, and that is when, I started asking myself these questions. Birthdays are not about a specific kind of celebrations one is used to. What is important is, a sharing of the joy, which I did this time at different stages with different people I love. We do need some days in the year for realising the meaning of this love. So birthdays really can't be just another day in the calendar. They come with their own sweet reasons!


nanny said...

I like the fact that throughout the year everyone will have his or her special day. No one is left out. Everyone has a day on which he or she gets special treatment. (OK, except those who are born on 29 February, but also those have a day in the year on which they are treated as special people.) When the year is over, everyone has had its turn.
Oh yes, you didn’t have exams this year! What a difference must that have made! Now you had time to fully enjoy the day!



Kanchan said...

Belated birthday wishes and well done on yet another beautifully written post. A birthdays, for me, is just another new's like New Years' day when I try and make resolutions and (try to) stick by them. It's also a good time to review the year that has got by and evaluate how you've done for yourself. How lovely that your family and friends went out of their way to make it a special day for you!

R said...

How did I miss this?! Belated wishes! :)

And why haven't you been writing here?