I could easily begin with the cliche “It’s that time of the year again”, but i wont. Because honestly, it isn’t. It’s just not the same. It’s definitely the eve of my birthday; True that. But still, it just doesn’t feel like all the other times i’ve been through this day.
I probably wouldn’t rememberthe first couple of my birthdays, my parents who painstakingly tried to create wonderful memories for me back then would surely remember. The ones that followed, i vaguely recall as blurry images of flying confetti, a big knife in my hand a giant, delicious-looking cake that would be placed right at the center of attention, and my job was to succesfully cut it up into pieces, and see as the people around me devoured it, and burped it out.
To be honest, i’m not sure if i like those vague recollections. I prefer remembering the other memories from that time. The images i have in my head of my friends, some just as little, and some a bit taller, a few “mooh bola bhaiyas and mooh boli didis” (For the non-Indian folk, if you’re actually reading this, the terms refer to people who’re as old as your elder siblings- here in India, we just don’t seem to be able to follow regular nomenclature. It’s supposed to be some kind of ‘respect’ thing).
Anyway, these people would laugh and make fun of me as i would stand, dripping in sweat with all the excessive new clothing, and trying to distract myself from the piles of gifts that would slowly build up, like mountains, in a corner room.
Oh, the piles….
Current day: I’m sitting in a corner of ‘Transit’, the food court at the ever-Popular Forum mall in Bangalore, trying to munch on a Meatball Sub, sipping on a coke. I’m looking at empty seat facing me. And I’m looking around me. Believe me, there are a lot of people, lots and lots of them. But i can’t seem to find anybody laughing at me. Laughing for me. I’m just an extra digit. Just like the ‘1’ that will soon attach itself to my age. Bye bye twenty. This lad’s turning twenty one. And i have two more blurry images.
Why doesn’t it feel the same as last year?
Happy birthday Shomprakash Sinha Roy….