Monday, April 03, 2017

B for Birthdays

When I was in school, birthdays were huge though not in a fancy, "need a holiday", way. The biggest issue I had then, funnily, was that my birthday would never fall on a working day. It falls on a day that is a compulsory off for everyone across the country. To the school kid me, that meant "no flaunting new dress when everyone else is in uniform and distribute chocolates" day. But, I was never one to be daunted by such silly challenges as this. I would wear my new dress on the next available working day, and go packing with all the chocolates. My classmates and friends would be kind enough to remember and wish me "Belated Happy Birthday" while for the uninitiated who did wish me with a "Happy Birthday", I would be ready with a "Oh no, not today; my birthday is on Independence Day" rejoinder  accompanied by a beaming smile. 

Anyway, that's not why birthdays were huge then. Birthdays were huge because we had awesome at-home parties every year, the house being decorated with festoons and balloons by mom and dad, a cake ordered from McRennett a week before and picked up a day before the birthday (Wow! McRennett has a fancy website now and is even going to start off online orders in a bit. Times do change!) And, mom would actually make samosas and batata wadas at home for the little guests who would grace the occasion. 

The guests were what made the parties awesome. It was a long list, believe me, of all my friends from school, who lived within the 1km radius of our house, along with the neighbourhood kids who I knew well (though I didn't play with, because I was never the playing kind. Sigh!). The list also included the neighbourhood adults and family members that could make it. The little guests would arrive at around 6pm soon after which the cake would be cut, gifts given and received, photos taken by dear uncle on his Kodak camera, snacks and cake polished off with some juice on the side, return gifts given and received, goodbyes said and party wrapped up by around 8pm. 

My dear friend from across the road would celebrate her birthday 5 days after mine, where the process would repeat itself with Minnie mouse cakes, a much larger gathering (she has thousands of relatives, I tell you), Fruitnik and Rejoice for refreshments and a larger house to play around in.  

I can't remember a thing fancy about these parties, no fancy outdoor location, no fancy music, no fancy themes, no fancy gifts and return gifts, but they form some of the best parts of my school memories, because we were happy then, in a silly, childish and innocent sort of way.

Two days back was the little one's one month birthday and as I hung up a few ribbons and color papers, I couldn't help but look back at my own birthday parties and wonder what kind of parties the next generation would have. Something flashy I guess? Well, as long as happiness resides, I don't mind the flash and glam.

P. S. This post is the second in the A-Z blogging challenge series for April. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No matter how old you get, birthdays are always special =) Someone once sent me a birthday card saying 'Birthdays are nature's way of telling you to eat more cake' and that's good enough for me!