Of Birthdays and Anniversaries

Fri, Jan 30, 2009

Last week, we celebrated the birthday of one of my friends. There was not much of celebration per se, we just went to his place, talked a lot and had food from a restaurant. The restaurant bill was paid by the three guests, and not the host, but that is another story.

It had been a long since the four of us had come together, and so we talked about all stuff. My friend,the birthday boy, a student of nursing was apparently neck-deep in politics and was planning an agitation against the State governments decision to scrap Entrance Exams for some of the medical courses. Like every time we had a conversation back in school, our discussions turned a bit philosophical and soon we were arguing about the relevance of birthdays, anniversaries and New Years.

I have for long thought that there is nothing special about Birthdays, except for the pleasing fact that all near and dear gave you gifts. Another phenomenon I have observed is that friends of mine, who enjoy the company of alcohol, seems to get hold of an invisible license to drink as much as their guts could hold. Sure, I like the idea of pampering yourself on a day, but you can do that on any other day. One could argue that Birthdays signified one more year added onto your life. No arguments there, but then each birthday should also remind you that you have one year less to live. So there is not much joy from that angle, either.

I have never celebrated my birthday, except one. It was my 17th or 18th, I do not remember exactly. But I certainly remember that it had nothing much to do with my joy on turning 16 ( or 17). It had more to do with a pretty female classmate of mine, and my childish, boyish (I am confused which of those describe it better !) fascination for her, and my apparent eagerness to have her notice me. It was not much of a success, but you will hear about it later.

Coming to New Years, I have never seem much special in January 1. New Year resolutions are one interesting thing about New Years, but we all know, most of them gets broken on January 3rd for the normal ones and January 14th for the more dogged ones. It is easy to think you get a clean slate of life, to start all over again, but after one week or so of writing life on it, you realize that the writings of last year have not been erased completely , and the new scribblings appear as a hazy jumble, in a background of partly erased writings from the past year/years.

So there is not much about Birthday and New Years that call for a celebration, right ?