Tuesday, 23 April 2013


Since ages, I had this habit of writing in my diary on my birthday- about people who wished me at midnight (funny, I used to rate their importance in my life and my importance in theirs depending on the time of the day they wished me!!), the gifts that I got, the lunch that ma cooked, the payesh :(, the extra chocolates that I could eat without thinking of getting fat(ter), and how exactly I felt on this particular day. I remember, in school, we always had summer vacations during this time and I always felt sad about 1) not being able to distribute candies to my classmates and 2) not being able to get more wishes, and consequently more gifts and chocolates from friends. But as I have grown up, I have realized how ridiculous those thoughts were, and how silly I must have been back then. Perhaps it is the wisdom that has come with age, that has made me realize that it is not about the number of wishes I get, rather the efforts that people put in to make the day special. So continuing with this tradition of writing on my birthday, today I write (albeit, digitally) how it feels on having stepped on the wrong side of twenty! 

Strangely, I don't feel old, even though I have recently noticed a few strands of grey/white hair on my head :(. When I was younger, I used to think 'twenty-five is old, atleast old enough to be the mother of two kids!' But definitely not anymore. On the contrary, I feel hot, matured, calm; and happy! It's hard to believe that this is already my second birthday away from home, family and friends, away from the city I love the most. However, the loneliness is much less this time and it's certainly because of the people I have around and the efforts they have put in to make me feel special on my special day. It feels nice to be the center of attention for just a day, to get a wish from the same person twice for two different time zones; to receive calls and texts at the stroke of midnight; to see best friend getting up at 6'o clock in the morning just to wish from across the oceans; to see the Facebook page overflowing with wishes and greetings; to see the excitement on the faces of colleagues and to realize how much I am being loved. Isn't it incredible when you see text messages from parents and old friends in the morning, when a close German friend drops in abruptly and presents a bouquet, and then shows that she has worn the Indian dress that you gave her just because it's your birthday, when friends whisper to each other during lunch breaks and plan wonderful surprises, when a colleague gives a big bag of gummy bears to binge on during boring office hours and then says 'I know you love them, so..', when a friend drops in with your favorite French wine, when an office-mate asks if he would make birthday-special coffee for the birthday girl, when a colleague gives a pack of beauty products, each less than 100ml, and says 'this is for the vacation in Nice and Barcelona, since you wouldn't be able to carry bigger cosmetics in the flights'; when another close friend brings flowers, icecreams and strawberries and then suggest to sit outside in the sun and chat for a while, when a friend installs skype for the first time to have a video chat, when office-mate compliments on the choice of dress and then flatters unnecessarily saying 'the sun is shining today after two weeks just because it's your birthday today', when a close acquaintance brings you a beautiful piece of junk jewellery and says 'you'll do full justice to it!', when another friend presents a hand-made container that she got from Kenya (and you realize the essence of globalization) :), when a friend wishes inspite of a huge fight two nights before and when PhD supervisor sends an awesome wish via skype and makes you feel so special. These small and big happinesses take away the pain of fighting with best friend, the frustrations of PhD, the loneliness and the pain of being so far away from home in a foreign country. 

I feel blessed to have friends like these; friends who care, friends who are excited just because I am excited, friends who are happy because I am and friends who love me inspite of misunderstandings and fights. In the end, I await a grand night with friends and colleagues and a blissful beginning of the twenty-sixth year of my life :)

P.S. (follow-up) The party was indeed a huge success, with so many people turning up to wish the birthday girl. And the icing on the birthday cake was a present from closest friends which definitely could be counted amongst the best birthday gifts ever received!

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