What is ‘special’? How would you make a particular event special? If given a choice between selecting one from all the special moments of your life, which one would you choose? How would you rate one event as more special than the other? For all these questions, as of now at least, the answer for me is My Birthday. It is the day that celebrates my very existence! Now why should you believe that my birthday is truly ‘THE ONE’…? Well in this respect I can safely say that, “ Apun ko 24 years ka experience hai :)….”
In the formative years of my life, it was special because it was a day when I would wear ‘colored clothes’ (those days that’s what we called Non-Uniform clothes) to school, distribute sweets in the class (which made me feel that I ruled the class then) and one day when no one would or rather was allowed to yell at me :) then in college it became special because of the hajar parties I had, the many surprises and even more gifts…. But now it is special to me, because this is what people around me make me feel on this day. Everyone would go that extra mile to make me smile a little longer through the year!!!! I always acknowledged this sweet thing that everyone did for me every year but then some part of me always wanted to keep these moments not only in the by-lanes of my memory but also as instruments giving me vicarious pleasure when the chips were down. That’s when I started to pen down my thoughts; something like ‘Memoirs of Sharmili’ if you may say so.
Frankly I don’t remember exactly when I started to write down everything that happened on 22nd July…. But what I do remember is that as time went by I added new dimensions to this habit…. Slowly I started to try and stay up the entire day…. An hour spent sleeping was an hour wasted of my special day… then I started to note down every call, every message and every wish that I got (as childish as it my sound)… but I had a justification for all those who told me that this was childish…. That it is always nice to know that so many people took time out of their hectic lives and thought of me on this day and they took pains to just to pass on their good wishes to me… this is definitely something that adds to the specialty of the day, doesn’t it?
So as birthdays passed my, these parameters remained the same but what changed were the goals…. Meaning initially I stayed up for 19 hours, then 21 hours and finally reaching that golden number of 24 hours…. Similarly for the wish list…. First it was just a list of names who wished me, then became a list which had to cross a magical figure of 100 and finally it became a list which assured that the names of all those in my close circle wished me…. But the most satisfying part were the write-ups…. Every tiny detail was entered in them…. Friends gave a surprise visit or a surprise party, a friend who overcame all the long distance difficulties just to ensure that their gifts and wishes reached me on this day, a family who did everything in their capacity to brighten my day, flowers which were sent at my doorstep early morning so that their freshness freshens my day….. Though time dimmed the luster of the gifts, dried the flowers in the bouquet and reduced the impact of the surprises, they have become immortal through those word documents that I kept as birthday-records…. So true and so real are they that if in 2006 I read what happened in any of the years before; it would be like reliving that day again!!!!
So in these 24 years I have had awesome birthdays but I have also had many troughs when I felt unhappy, many reasons to crib, many instances when I felt extremely unlucky…. I know this is in accordance of principle, happiness and sadness alternate each other, but it is very difficult to be practical then…. But in these harrowing times; it is the affection of so many people, the love and the thoughtfulness of all who care; that the support of Lady Luck, that I felt then, carried me through these lows till the next year, when the supplies got replenished twice as much ON THE SAME DAY – 22nd July!!!!!