Another year, and yet another birthday.. This time, I had almost forgotten that it was coming up, before being reminded my the ones most dear. Somehow, they manage to reach out to you well in advance; to call you and feel happy for your presence, which somehow validates your existence.
I remember the birthdays of long ago, looming with the anticipation of wearing a colorful dress to school . A couple of days before the birthday, I would go shopping with my mom to choose a box and fill it with the candy that everyone loved. (In India, you had to treat your friends on your birthday, not the other way around. It still puzzles me.). Compliments accepted graciously, I would distribute the candy to eager classmates after they sang the most popular song in the whole world. Closest ones would get two pieces, of course. Then there would be the birthday party, with the homemade egg less cake and favors.
As school days mutated into college days, the scene changed a bit. No more candy boxes. Surprise parties hosted by friends who somehow felt that the birthday cake was not a thing to eat, but rather a buttery face cream for the birthday girl. Sweet presents and good times. You had to treat your fiends to a birthday feast at a good restaurant though.
Birthdays here were not very different, except that the "treats" dwindled but the celebrations persisted. Wishes flew across the internet, doubling the total messages on my scrapbook or wall in a day. A myriad of wishes, sometimes a simple "happy birthday", sometimes a personal email, or a call from a close one at midnight, they made me feel happy, loved & wanted, especially when I was not too exited (it's not the twenty first one, you know)
I was also able to catch a Broadway show this time with a good friend. "Les Miserables". We were both taken in & mesmerized by the beautiful art direction which cleverly reflected the Paris of the Nineteenth century.
Overall, it was a wonderful day, making me feel nostalgic, happy and loved all at once. Thanks to all the wishes from everyone near and dear.