Monday, August 01, 2005
I have never been a ‘birthday’ kind of person. My family is lucky that I remember their birthdays, and I have forgotten many friends’ birthdays many times. The rest of the time, my sister calls me up in the morning and reminds me to wish so-and-so.
My own birthdays matter even less for me. I’m turning older each and every second of each and every day, so putting aside a day per year has always felt kinda weird. I have told this to almost every person who called me up yesterday, so I guess next year there’ll be fewer calls.
My reasoning for why birthdays exist is this: We feel that each person should have one day that is ‘their own’, so to speak. One day when they feel they’re significant. A day when they can be megalomaniac and nobody alerts them otherwise. A day that is, for them, different from the other 364 days of the year. (This was later confirmed by Varun, who said the exact words of the last sentence.)
I do not much care for that. Have never done. When I was younger, my birthday was a day when I got gifts, and now, it’s a day when I have to treat my friends. For me, the only good thing that happens on this day is that you get to know how many people remember you. Friends you haven’t seen for months call up. Relatives you’d more-or-less forgotten about ring up and wish you. That feels nice.
When I was about to sit down to write this post, Varun recommended that I should write about my previous birthdays. I didn’t think I’d be able to remember more than one, but I found that I remembered two, and had fragments of memories of many in between. The two I remember clearly are the fifth and the nineteenth (or was it the eighteenth?). The fifth birthday memory is in fact, the earliest independent memory I have (independent meaning not based on hearsay or on old faded photos). I am blowing out candles, and I’m surrounded by my family, and about thirty children I am not at all acquainted with, mainly because we have moved in just days before. I think the number of children might be exaggerated. It was fifteen years ago, you know.
The nineteenth (or eighteenth) birthday memory should, logically, be much clearer, but it isn’t. (As you can see, I don’t even remember if it was one or two years ago.) I only remember that I was with Chetan at a rock concert, and it struck twelve just as we left. He gave me a hug and wished me happy birthday. I had forgotten it was my birthday. Typical me.
The birthdays in between are mere flashes, but they usually included being at school – sitting in class dressed differently from the other kids (the only day when we were allowed to do that), and distributing toffees, always making sure to buy too many, so that I could keep some for myself.
But, as I said, they never really excited me much, and I wrote this post only because I couldn’t think of something else right now. It seems rather petty to write so much on something I don’t care about while there is so much to write about that actually matters.
However, in other news, you, my dear readers, have read to the end a post in which a twenty-year-old, single, mildly geeky individual talks about how he doesn’t like birthdays.
How sad are you?