Today was my birthday. I stopped celebrating my birthday many years ago. My family and friends however insist on my contacting me one way or the other to greet me and to wish me for many happy returns. One day in a year, I enjoy that attention but still will not consent to a celebration of any kind.
The day started off with a phone call all the way from the USA from a delightful friend of 18 years who has not forgotten my birthday even once in all these years that I have known him. He chatted with me for a long time on a number of things including this blog.
My son Ranjan wanted to find out what I would like for a gift and since I did not have anything that I wanted, simply stuck a wad of currency notes into my hand and insisted that I should indulge myself!
After that, it was a series of calls and email messages. I had to go to my weekly Vedanta class and on my return, found a surprise birthday gift from a relatively new and young friend. This is again something that has not happened to me in a long time as everyone in my circle of family and friends knows that I do not celebrate and so do not send or give any gifts. This too was a welcome development for its sheer unexpectedness. When I thanked her for the gift, my friend further made my day for me by conveying to me that she found her association with me to be very fruitful and that she has benefited from it. What better morale booster can one ask for?
In the evening during our usual visit to the joggers’ park, all my friends greeted me, and people who did not know about it earlier also chipped in to the extent that it became almost embarrassing.
After such an interesting day, in retrospect, I still believe that the best thing that happened to me during the day was, this morning’s Times of India, which had a very topical cartoon by Jug Suraiya & Ajit Nainan. I am unable to download it for showing it to all of you, as I suspect that TOI does not publish cartoons in their web edition!
It shows a lady celebrating her birthday and her husband handing over a couple of bags with a satisfied smirk on his face. The lady’s expression is simply joyful with her eyes popping out and the text reads – “A litre of petrol and a kilo of atta? Wow – they are the best birthday presents I’ve got!”