Saturday, January 23, 2016

Birthdays and Memory

Hello! To my readers who have emailed me asking why I am AWOL, it is because my life has gone AWOL too, I don't really know when I had one.... Anyway, this is my first post in 2016 and because this year is the first time I turn 21 (sorry for sounding corny but it has a nice ring to it, that number), this is about birthdays- that day which is so significantly insignificant.

I have never understood the concept of celebration of birthdays; one because I am a little dumb en generale, two because I don't understand why  we don't wish our parents who gave birth to us. I often have always wanted to wish my parents Happy Birthday on my own, because technically they were the ones who knew how it felt, when I was born. I don't know how I felt I was born: probably full of bodily fluids and crying when that doctor slapped my butt, cried more when she saw my genitals and said "It is a girl." She doesn't know how these four words have haunted me till date, but that's a topic for another post.

But the gist: my parents were also "born" then, as in, I know this is becoming too deep to dive in, but I am pretty sure I was awesome enough to change their lives that day. Since that date they have been living a different life, and it is their day to celebrate more than mine. Mera kya hai, I didn't even know my date of birth till I learnt how to count and learn months on my knuckles. Parents must have called people once a year for celebrating it before I had the required knowledge- I must have thought it is just one day everyone goes on a creep mode with my cheeks and gifts me with bottles, Tiffin boxes and frocks which were pink in colour. No wonder I don't remember these people who seem to remember a lot of creepy details about me. Like, how I had a pink bum and face when I took birth. Those who know me will know that's how I derive my nickname. Thanks brain, you have your priorties right. *pats head*

What I think of birthdays now is a healthy reminder of my age and my responsibility increasing year by year towards my own self and my parents. I know, I sound so grim...but that's the way it is. For me, birthday is equal to independence day or any other national holiday we celebrate: history tells us that that particular day was a great day and people did great things and it was good for the country and we celebrate it with sleeping till 1 pm, and now our passport, identity card reports our day of birth to us.

So,our own birthday was also reported to us. Celebrating a day which I have no memory of, and that too the day which marks the time of my own arrival, it doesn't make sense.   I may as well celebrate the day my Mum came to know she is pregnant with me (and I am told was happy about it lol....though I bet this is the exact moment she regrets when she hates on me sometimes). Also that analogy becomes weirder because I was born on 26th January. (Such a cool segue)

But now birthdays have become those days when some people resurrect from their slumber to wish (or remember) you, and you feel great that they took the pains to remember. Wait, now even that happiness is not ours to have: Facebook has become this one weird friend we used to have who used to remember most minutest details like landline number and birthdays. So you don't really know people remembered your birthday or it was this website reminding them. It is sad sometimes to think a website which didn't even exist when you were born is now taking over genuine wishes you could garner.

Anyhoo, once I start getting negative I won't stop. I like how my college friends celebrate birthdays: making people feel at home by providing one day to the person the same happiness one gets with their folks, or for some it is the first time they are treated so specially. If there is one bit, (but the largest bit) of positivity I can get is that it is the day when you know who genuinely acknowledge, love and appreciate your existence, who cherish the fact that you are breathing the same air as they are and that your birth has made a difference in their lives. Then, the lack of knowledge of happenings of the original day gets glossed over. You end up feeling: maybe this is how people must have felt when I took birth. And if not then, if today there are some people who are happy that I exist, that day gets a new memory of its own every year.

PS- If you find me probing you for the date of your birthday, it is probably because I hate the date of my birthday and want to see if you also share such a misery.

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