Today is my Birthday. Time to recall some past which forever stays with the present.

Celebrating Birthdays in school was fun. That day was marked by leniency – I could wear my best clothes, the teacher, purposefully, didn’t call out for me to answer hard questions and no punishment. That day, I really went to school with a vision and a big-packet of sweets to give me temporary-company.

When the teacher announced the Birthday Boy, I stood tall before the class, coffer in hand, and all my mates sang “Happy Birthday to You, May God Bless you….”. This ended with claps, loud enough, to announce the occasion to the whole school. I felt like a Star.

Then the class yearningly waited for me to arrive at their desks. Two to each one was the ratio. Leftovers were intended for best-friends, which on that day, surprisingly, grew in numbers.

The pleasures of giving is astonishing. This feeling gets implanted and it’s essence is life long. Once initiated, you tend to repeat the motions just to relive the moment.

Collage, as it its nature, changes things. Although I had many friends, there was only one, significant and thoughtful to give me gifts and cards.

You see, I never celebrate my B’days at home. There is puja and sweets. And that’s that. The thought of inviting friends home is beyond the capabilities of my house. Not that we cannot afford. But my parents are un-welcoming, my home unfurnished and my mother can’t handle the cooking.

When in college, Simon, my bench-mate, invited me to his place in Malad for all our three years in college. It was heartening see his parents and friends all join in the revelry. I could never reciprocate. This must have appeared strange to him. I know.

After college, Job took over. Now I was suitably loaded but emotionally hungry. What is denied cames back with re-inforced arrogance. I invited all my colleagues and hit a nearby joint. When the organization is small and people young, everyone finds time.

Purnima near Parle east Station was our favourite. Two benches were joined and we sat conferencing over drinks, dinner, ice-cream and paan thereafter. The bill was bomb but I hardly cared. This ushered in my B’day the way I wanted.

It still continues. Location and friends change with time. But I am at it. Still achieving, still pursuing to drink the wine of life!



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