A Special Birthday!

I have never been accustomed to having the birthday bashes people often talk about. I’ve certainly seen (and secretly enjoyed) others plan the most special birthday bashes for their own self and their loved ones.

My story is a little (well, quite) different. Let me explain.

At school, as a kid.

For me, my birthday at school used to be bad news for everyone. The date would coincide with the final exams. Either friends would be up mugging things, for that special last minute effort, or be cribbing about the day’s bad performance. Back at home in the evening, mom would make special effort to cheer me up, by organizing a grand sort of party, with all the neighborhood kids getting the ‘invite’, and getting the most finger-lickin’ dishes and sweets that she could possibly whip up.

I’d also get the best of dresses to wear on the very day, (and I’m pretty sure I looked like a million bucks), and be ready and set to party.

With the exams looming up on the head, most of those kids would RSVP negative citing the same reason again.

I hated exams, and I was not too fond of my birthday, either.

At school, as a teenager.

Same story, but a wiser me, and a bunch of rebellious kids as friends. Who cared about the frickin’ exams ? Some of the folks did ! My parents were the ‘cool’ ones . I remember going out to watch ‘lion king’ the night before my 10’th class computer science exams. That was a big deal back then.

I understood, birthday is not great, or bad, it’s just some day maybe special to you.

And valuable friendships, worth their weight in gold, forged.

At college

College was the time when one gets driven to economy mode. This is the time, when one learns the value of money, in the truest sense. Frivolous partying gets totally out of the window.  There were also no exam dates during the day I had  er, “occurred”. :).

We, (3 people born around the same time of the year) used to club together our resources, invite the biggest group of them all, have the fanciest (a relative term here) food served out. The party date could be any weekend, convenient to them all.

The concept of “BirthDay” had so blurred out for me. I think I still subscribe to this feeling. So much so, that I continued to have this kind of a deal, even after college.

The 2 people : I’d like to do this again, can we?

As a young professional.

I like the well wishers, but my birthday would invariably fall on a weekday, and some of the really enthusiastic ones would wake me up at night, in my deep slumber. Despite that, I love them all!

New friends would get a little alarmed when I’d tell them I’ll celebrate the “event” on a coming weekend. I got quips like “Are you anti social?”, “that’s the weirdest thing we’ve heard”. All I’d tell them on my b’day night is … “let me sleep”!

There were parties, on the weekends following my birthday. I love those 🙂, for I had them with people who love me.

This particular (the last) birthday I had ….

The last birthday I had was a real special one. I had recently shifted bases. Friends and family had been left behind, and I expected to get a good night’s sleep that day :).  The way I had always wanted it.

I called no one for cutting cakes with me, nor did I plan a night out of binge eating. Friends, of course knew better than to call me at 12:00 am and holler “Happy Birthday”. Then there are some, who never change. 🙂

Any ways, I was surprised, and the there was a party.Only there were a few other people surprised as well. I went to meet a few college people. I did not mention that it’ll be my birthday, the next day. Actually, I chose to. I still cannot decide whether I did a wise thing, or a wicked act. The real reason is that I quite enjoyed meeting those folks out of the blue, was just engrossed in the conversation and throwing that extra info in there would have just made things awkward. And we split the tab like in college. 🙂

There was a cake, but I only hear of it. Two of my really old friends got it for me, and I hereby publicly admit, that I’m sorry I did not cut it with you. I hope you enjoyed it. We did meet again for dinner the next day, and it was the most delightful of the places to be. Thanks again, the two of you! You’ve been like papa and mama to me. I’m so thankful, we got together, after 10 years.

I did get phone called in the middle of the night! It’s OK, really! Although I might have sounded annoyed on the phone, I thank you! And I got even by calling back very early in the morning. heha

My dad decided to surprise me next morning, and he dropped in for a quick visit. I was shifting to my house in the new city. All hands were welcome. It was so tripping that I felt as though I was never alone.

Another friend of mine, came over, and, all in all it was a pleasant birthday. One of the best I’ve had so far.

………………………………….

Now, that I look back, I think some one was out to surprise me, only I’m not talking of someone human.

Memory gets made :)

Very recently, I went to attend a friend’s wedding celebrations. It was really very nice, and I had a great time. Met up with old friends. Saw some of them (even the person who’s do it was), after ages. Another reason why the events were such a success, because they had been immaculately planned for, and when you pay that kind of attention to detail to any thing/activity, you’re bound to rock.

Well among the fun and the laughter there were stellar dance performances by the friends and family.

The bride looked as stunning as one can be. She had put in a lot of effort too for her dance solo. It must have come to her as a bit of disappointment, that the sound system “karma” decided to play with her plans. It croaked, and it was enough to throw a nut in the fine running engine, that her dance otherwise seemed to be. It was a heart wrenching moment for us in the crowd. Her performance, from the bit I did manage to see was like “poetry in motion”.

Well, the technical hurdle was soon overcome, and I’m sure there might have been some butterflies in tummy when she was lauded to do it again. Before long, the brave spirited girl was back up on the stage, and she did manage to deliver exactly as it had been planned and rehearsed. It was her day, of course! She nailed it.

So any ways, now I’m sure the memories of this incident must have etched something somewhere, for everyone who had witnessed it. Now that I think of it, I feel it made the day all the more special, and I guess this friend of mine would have a funny tale to tell her future grandchildren 🙂

 

It’s amazing how something, that for a confining moment might seem to be the last thing you’d want to happen, but it does anyway.

What’s even more remarkable here, that in thoughts of that moment, where so much emotion had been involved, so much feeling (detest/fear) goes through that it does become “your moment” later on whenever your thoughts drift to it.

A badminton court

There was this empty plot adjacent to our house. There were a few people, who’d wanted to play some game in the evening. The plan was (evidently) on for past 2 years. Finally, the defining moment happened.

Two people met up, both wanted to play,  and weren’t just talking out of their hats, when they said “LET’s DO IT”.

It is nicely leveled, floodlit, and a stone’s throw away from the house. Sanjay … thanks. You’re the man!

Neighbors .. “what is the excuse now?”.

Lets’ all play!

GSK ….. hats off !

Pretty cryptic, the headline, you’d say. This is a true story of something that is pretty much happening as we breathe. As people know my job and working style, they would probably certify me as a “laid back” and “chilled out” in terms of the work. Not to say that I am non enthusiastic or lazy.(You should see me when the script demands me to be proactive 😉

But this post is not about me, so I continue….

The bunch of people I hang out with,  not all of them treat the job  the manner in which I do. Or let me be more apt, not every one’s job treats them in the same way mine treats me. Yeah that sounded more better. There is this one person, who always seems to be in thick of action. Working late(I mean, really late), working on weekends, working on national holidays (when most of others would be cooling off their heels).  He would probably attribute it to a difficult boss, tough work profile , and so on.

Meet him once, and he doesn’t seem to be one of the “always obsessed with work type of people”. In fact he’d give you the impression that he’s still into studying .. you know the typical , care free attitude. He doesn’t mind venturing out to most of my crazy, off the top outing plans, but he does seem to be lazy, at certain times. He is lazy and kind of bugs me that I want to give him a hard whack and knock some sense of well being into him.

I mean this guy’s place, is a sample. His existence … is entirely on islands of things, while the rest of his house might seem a bit too spartan. For example, there’s a couch which extends to be a double bed, despite having multiple rooms at his place.  His bed would have most of the things one could wish for … a laptop, all the remotes for the gadgets, ipod, phone, munchies, glasses, booze, newspaper, books,knives (trust me I’ve seen two, a swiss army types, and a cheap imitation of victorinox), DVDs, takeaway menus, his “work laptop”, some sample of things from his work. wow. People live off a suitcase , I say this bloke lives out of a bed

Likewise, his dining table, is crammed with comics, old notebooks, boxes (not of anything edible), and old containers.

Any ways, whenever I told to be a little more organized, he’d shush shush me…  and say, “I will , eventually, when I get married”

<time zap>

So dude,  day after tomorrow is the day. It’s your wedding, and the reason I’m  still zapped, is probably the speed with which you have managed to do everything … get plenty of time off, arrange and buy stuff, plan dates, trips, and chalk out a zillion other things that Punjabi weddings are so famous for ;). Although you have managed to not give me a formal invitation card, you still gave me burfi I more desperately wanted, and chocolates.

I seriously think you have a knack for getting things done, when the valve is about to blow. Like eleventh hour .. that would explain a lot of things like late work hours, week ends , etc. But please no more cornflakes without milk (not because of problems with dairy stuff, but because he’s out of milk, and too lazy to get more), and no bread with ketchup. I’m pretty sure, you don’t like it either . Bread with ketchup .. HAH.

You’ll be pretty soon, a married man.