To not-so-dear cynical friends and family,
This is an open letter to everyone who find the shenanigans of birthday celebrations absolutely inane and illogical. Hopefully this letter will help you see the magic of birthday cakes, caps and candles!
All through school life, my birthday was a source of absolute mental torment. As it came a day before the national holiday (Republic Day), I would always be apprehensive about my classmates not being able to make it for my birthday party. A lot of the students would couple both days and enjoy the cosy blanketed warmth of bunking school, and remain indoors. Whereas I would painfully agonise over my birthdate which fell on a cold, dreary dull day. To make matters worse, a holiday succeeding it would further dim any chances of friends wanting to venture out in the rain and fog, even if it was for a slice of chocolate cake and frivolous hide-n-seek games. Even if some of them did for the sake of friendship, they would be severely discouraged by their over cautious parents.
My mother’s enthusiasm of putting together a perfect party worsened matters further. She’d hunt for the loveliest birthday cake, prepare delicious sandwiches and organise entertaining games. I would watch her, miserable all the time, thinking about friends who’d fail me. As the downpour slowed down, my friends would start pouring in. At the end of it all, it would turn out to be a nice little affair. This whole rigmarole of getting jittery, praying profusely for social face and then drowning in creamy chocolate cake in relief happened every single year.
As I grew older, I started enjoying my birthday better. The pressure of organising nice birthday bashes had worn off. Unlike in school life, a holiday the following day acquired a new meaning in teen college life. As a result, my birthday now became a relaxed get together of like minded friends, eating out, catching up on movies along with the customary-cake cutting and candles-blowing. It was almost like I was living my childhood in reverse gear! So cynics, don’t judge me on making a huge hullabaloo around my birthday.
I have now come a long way since those breezy student days. Despite of your arguments of it being ‘just another day’, the excitement around my birthday remains the same. Shallow as you call it, a birthday still is an excuse for me to dress up, socialise, eat and drink merrily and spend some quality time with friends and family.
So my pessimistic friends, even if you pollute my happy mind with suicidal thoughts like ‘getting a year closer to senility’, or ‘wrong side of thirties’, or ‘fearsome forties’ – I will continue to celebrate my birthday with gusto and enthusiasm of a school-going child. And to that child who dwells in each one of us, but we rarely acknowledge him- I wish to raise a toast.
A toast to adding another ring to the tree of life.
To midnight phone calls and emotion-dripping texts.
To outrageously colourful buntings, balloons and banners.
To gulping down that sinfully delicious cake without any guilt.
To accepting prettily wrapped gifts unabashedly.
To celebrating the landmark day you arrived on planet earth.
To pausing for a moment to thank Him for gifting you yet another year of love and lessons.
Here’s to wishing me a very happy birthday!
The Eternal Birthday Girl
Hi! I'm Seerat Gill (nee Sandhu). I stumbled upon writing just about two years ago, and realised that besides a sinful bar of chocolate, penning down my thoughts brings about instant gratification!
An engineer and an a academician by profession, writing is something I'd never thought I'd do! My writer mother is glad though. I hope I can live up to the 'Lekhak genes'!
What began as scribbling on paper, has now become a part of me. I couldn't be happier to share it with you all.
I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them! Come and join me in my journey!