Time is really a strange thing because the more you try to decode it, the more you fell into the trap laid down by it. It’s most unique quality is that it doesn’t stop for anyone and moves at its own pre-decided pace. In your good times, you want it to go slow but soon you realize it’s already over in a whisker. In tough times, you want it to rush quickly but it will move at the speed of a snail & make you feel like a mountain is continuously falling over your head every moment.Time is also cruel and stubborn. Neither it listens to anyone, nor it tells anyone what it is storing in it for future. It neither brings back the happy moments of your life gone by, nor it assures that everything in future would be pleasant. But once in every year, it makes sure that you come across a day which in popular culture is actually considered to be your day. It makes sure that once in a year comes a day when you can carry a smile on your face irrespective of what life situation you are into. It is the day when everyone around you (sometimes even strangers) becomes your well wishers and would hope for your well being. It is that time of the year when you are treated no less than a celebrity and you are made feel special every second of the day. The bad part about it is that it happens ‘only’ once in a year but the good part about it is that it at least ‘happens’ once in a year. In military terms, the day on which combat operations are initiated is known as D-Day. Thankfully, we have a similar but more peaceful term to deal with every year which is known as B-day. Yes, it’s the day of your birth or in simple words your Birthday.
If one is given a task of explaining the significance of this day, then the most common definition that may come across would be “On this day, you entered into this beautiful world and every year when the calendar turns its pages to arrive at the same date, you are turned a year older.” That sound too much simplistic but in reality there are a lot of other interpretations that we can make about this so-called special day. Let us start from the beginning. If we start off from the very first year, I am sure our brain won’t be strong enough to recall our first birthday memories (Until or unless your mother has been feeding you some high profile ‘Chyawanprash’ to make your brain stronger from the day of your birth). But your parents must be having that old album with some random flower images on its cover having the photos of your first birthday party. You might just run into tears after watching the album realizing how much your parents have to go through in order to make you stay happy. The pictures of your old house filled with balloons all over, some neighborhood kids wearing colorful birthday caps & your father holding you in his arms and cutting the cake will make feel anyone emotional about the old memories. As you grow up, you try to gain some personal memories of your special day, the maximum of which comes from school. It was one of those days when you get the opportunity to get rid of that boring school uniform and wear some fancy stuff to catch the attention of every other kid in school. This day even the class teacher agrees to make you sit with your best friend breaking the norms of sitting according to roll numbers. Just before one period before the recess, your father drops a box to your school which carries small packets of mixed candies for distributing among the class. Who can forget about the special ritual of you coming in front of class in recess along with your class teacher and the students standing up and singing the Birthday song in a lazy tune after which you begin the process of distributing the candies. Yes like I mentioned earlier that fanciness stayed for just one day and the very next day you are treated like a normal student made to sit again according to your roll number with the girl you hated the most. However, that feeling of stardom did return every class the same day every year where the celebrations used to take place in the similar manner.
The transition actually takes place when you move from school to college where your birthday is meant to be more than singing birthday songs & distributing candies. Because in college, birthday is more like a revenge that your friends take from you. Your hostel mates would pretend as if they know nothing but would be hovering around the corridor till midnight. And the moment clock struck 12 am, every one just gate crashing your room, lifting you up from your bed and kicking your butt till the time it deforms would be some of the weird memories of your birthday. And if somehow you are able to stand properly then the cake they have ordered would be in no time smashed on to your face. That moment you realize that the long essays you must have written in school about wastage of food was just meant to get passing marks in exam. Mind you, this is the way boys celebrate their friend’s birthday because girls have a ‘slightly’ different way of celebrating. They would light up the birthday girl’s room with candles and balloons with hand made cards pasted on the wall and a special collage being posted on the girl’s Facebook profile. Really that’s a more peaceful way of celebration; boys need to try that some day as well.
As you go ahead from college to job life, your everyday habits gets changed where you start feeling a sense of responsibility and that even gets reflected on your birthday. The day which was meant to be your day is now owned by someone else because he is paying you the salary for each day. Thanks to the HR policies due to which you may get a Birthday Card and a Chocolate box at the end of the day as a gesture from the company to wish you on your birthday and to make you feel as a part of the big family. But still you may realize that your birthday would be of lesser importance during your 9 to 5 office hours where you will have to bear the thrashing of your boss for not completing the task before the deadline and you even might have to stay at office for long. During this phase, there might be some birthdays where you could be too tired to celebrate after office. Still in order to satisfy your colleagues you might have to shift the party on the weekend. There is a possibility that a thought may come to your mind while throwing a birthday bash to your colleagues that probably your birthday is now meant to be enjoyed more by others than you. And the story continues as you grow up and climb the ladder of age and suddenly the birthday of your spouse and your kids would become of more importance to you than your own. All these years, its not only your way or style of celebrating that gets changed but also the importance it used to have for you over the years that gets reduced. It is that feeling of being accomplished that gets lost in the way that turns your birthday to just another day on the calendar.
In the human world, the B-day has been holding a special place because of the emotional value it holds. Such is it’s importance that a country’s PM may land his plane in the neighboring country just to wish their PM on his birthday. In our country, the birthday of famous celebrities such as Sachin Tendulkar, M.S. Dhoni & Rajnikanth are celebrated no less than a festival by their fans. And not to forget about Shah Rukh Khan coming to his balcony on his birthday and waving to his fans gathered in front of his house every year. Celebrations like these play an important role in making this bond between the star & his fans grow even stronger. Instances like these hints towards the inference than can be drawn from here that birthday can only be special till the time you have your well wishers around you in order to share your happiness. Probably that is the reason why people only remember about the public holiday on the birthday of the father of the nation & not the man himself. In the age of digital media, wishing someone on his birthday has become a lot easier. Thanks to Facebook due to which you get hundreds of birthday messages even from people who are hardly in touch with you. Nobody can guarantee regarding the number of wishes to be genuine but each message do manage to bring a smile onto your face. In this complicated world of relationships, career, money & emotions, birthday do come as a relief as it makes you feel special about yourself. Your way of celebration for the day may change during each phase of life, but what shouldn’t change is the importance you need to give yourself. As everyone of us is special in our own way, it do calls for a celebration for coming to this world on this day.
At last, I would like to end by saying a few words to the writer of this blog: