Today is my 33rd happy birthday

The first birthday celebration of mine that I remember is when I was in class four and we were in Kholapur, Maharashtra. Those were the days when non-Maharashtrians could also live in Maharashtra. I remember my father taking me to a small time smuggler operating out of his house to buy me a nice pair of trousers. Apparently this man visited Singapore and brought back to India small items which he would sell at a higher price because of the novelty factor.

Back then we were living off my father`s Armyman salary so new clothes could be bought only for Diwali and birthdays. And my father, like all fathers, wanted the best for his son – a nylon trouser.

My mother on her part took us to the temple in the morning, and made halwa for breakfast.

Since cakes were costly, we would sing Happy Birthday in front of a kadai full of halwa.

Just in case you didn`t know the here is the full lyrics of the Happy Birthday song:

Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear ________________
Happy birthday to you

Happy long life to you, Happy long life to you
Happy long life dear _________________
Happy long life to you

May god bless you, May god bless you
May god bless dear ______________
May god bless you

Though nobody in my family knew the happy birthday song lyrics, we loved singing it together. Like this:

Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear Rajan
Happy birthday to you

La la la la la la, la la la la la
La la la la Rajan
La la la la la

La la la la, la la la la
La la la la Rajan
La la la la

With time the clothes my parents bought didn`t suit my taste. And they started giving me money to buy my own birthday clothes. I didn`t realize how I had snatched from them a moment of joy they loved to experience.

With time, mother lost her powers to take me to the temple. I was a grown up now and couldn`t be spotted in a temple. Mother`s halwa on the birthday morning became a mere formality and on one of the birthdays I even remember saying: “Can you just give me some toast? Halwa in the mornings somehow suffocates me.”

That day I broke her heart and stole her moment of joy. Back then, I hadn`t realized that the light in her eyes when I sat down to eat halwa on my birthday morning and she sat across me, was love and not the window`s reflection.

What goes around, comes around they say.

The last few days, I had been worried about spending my 33rd birthday all alone in Gurgaon – at least Rs 18,000 and 1800 kilometers away from people who love me.

Considering that timely calls – at 12 midnight – on one`s birthday are good enough consolation I waited for the calls last night. A call from my wife was ruled out because she was traveling by train and was reaching Madurai (where my mother stays) in the early morning.

Even as I waited for the calls, exactly at 11 p.m. last night (on the eve of my birthday) the Airtel Network conked out and there was no signal on my phone. I checked with a few of my Delhi/Gurgaon friends who were online and they confirmed the outage. At 12.40, the network came back….but my guess is that by then those that loved me had given up and gone to bed.

Since Rekha reached my home early, and my mother got busy with her grand daughter – our daughter Rhea – she also forgot to call me on my birthday.

As I said, today is my birthday and nobody who loves me is with me. Even my girl friend is in Mumbai!

Moral of the Story: Screw the moral. But do wish me.

This post was intended to leave a lump in your throat. If I didn`t succeed don`t blame me, for chances are higher that you aren`t an emotional person.

Other Funny Reads

# Celebrating my birthday in 2007
# Celebrating my birthday in 2006
# Celebrating Happy New Year 2008
# Celebrating a new house in Gurgaon
# Celebrating an Ouchmytoe reader’s birthday

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