Friday, September 01, 2006

Reflections on the 26th anniversary of my Birth

Caution : This post is a self-indulging one… Read it at your risk.

The other day was my birthday. I did cross the times long back when birthday was a long awaited event. There were lots of things to hope for. Not to forget every birthday’s common resolution “will study well from tomorrow, be good to everyone, watch less TV, read less novels and stop *#$@&%$ blah blah ”. It was also painfully true that I would be back to the routine in matter of few days. No wonder I would await for December 31st with the same set of resolutions. Still Birthdays meant a lot. It was fun. Friends, small parties, get together, temple, parents, resolutions, and a definite entry in a vastly ill maintained diary.

Now a B’day is just another day except for it is an aching reminder of the time whizzing fast and you getting lost somewhere. That’s how the 26th anniversary of my birth (That sounds cool, rather than calling it a simple Birthday…) came up to me the other day.

Everyone messaged me, mailed me, called me, kicked me and asked the same question of how r you celebrating? ... C’mon guys, Why the hell? What is special with 26th ? If it was 12th I would be dreamy eyed of entering much hyped teen-age ( Though my teen-age went down without a flicker… L), If it was 18th I had much to hope for, I will be legally eligible to watch A rated movies and discuss them (Due to my small frame, I was hesitant to go for one, thinking that ticket vendor may ask for a ‘date of birth’ certificate. When I finally made it many more years later, I realized the ultimate truth of every teenager,….“wall posters are way better than the actual movies”.. ). Also at 18, I would be eligible ‘to vote’ and elect the same, irritatingly stereotypic, hopelessly predictive our great ‘neta’s. ( This one right I never missed. I remember spending more than a thousand bucks to travel all the way to my native just to vote in the last Loka sabha elections… Basically I’m optimistic about democracy). Well, think it was the 21st Birthday. Dude, I can get married (blush!!) legally… Then it came to me as a surprise to note that Govt is more considerate than parents, Govt gave me the right but parents are absolutely in no mood to help me executing it. ( I’m not talented enough to pick a damsel and ask ‘Aathi kya Khandala?’) … Of late I’m trying to forget the fact of a cute little daughter playing in my arms by now if my parents had acted proactively… To come back to the point, this was just a simple, painful 26th with nothing significant to look forward to or no big accomplishments to look back.

Well, this Birthday albeit a special in the sense, my friends, faculty, mentors did sing aloud the Birthday song. To tell you frankly, its pretty embarrassing when the world around you sings birthday song when you sit there basking next to the cake and candles with a forcible smile on your face. Itz good that I share my birthday with another batch mate who also takes away his share of the ritual, which eases the burden of being the center of attention for long. This was followed by a prayer, which significantly calmed down the apprehensions of facing one more year. In fact I was sung songs even in last two birthdays. Last birthday was my first year here as a MD graduate student. It was an identical ritual of this year’s. I wont go into that.

And the previous to last birthday was very special. I need to tell you about that. That was the time when I was in a stark hopeless situation. I was nowhere near a PG seat in any of the PG entrance results. This was when I was studying in Kerala and I was lost in depressing thoughts on my birthday. I was staying with a gang of friends whom I acquainted for a short time. In fact, few were my opponents in the screwed up college elections of UG days. On my birthday I was into lot of introspection and naturally very depressed. They noted those lines of worry on my face. To my surprise they arranged a small mid-night party and all of them sung……..behold !!!….. not the “Hyyaaappy burrday tooo uuuuuuuu…” but a Hindi song “Jab koi bath bigad jaaye…hum hain sath thera...”. That was funny at that time, but very comforting. Unusually enough (unusually because, most of my friends wish me belated wishes till the brink of my next birthday) almost every person I know of called up the same day. I have moved on from there, I hardly have contact with most of them and I’m doing better, but that birthday is fixed in my memory.

Though I have come out of many painstaking times, I don’t have an answer for “R u happy with life?”. I really don’t know. Rather I wonder if I am doing what I wanted to do. This question kills me again and again on my birthdays. To look from outside I have a professional degree, getting another. Have good chances of getting settled decently even in comparative terms. I may get married. May have two kids ‘babloo’ , ‘dabloo’. I could be moderately successful in people’s measuring scale (They have a very rigid scale to measure your worth, they don’t give a damn to your emotions and aspirations). But, Am I happy? I don’t know. Unfortunately I don’t have an answer for what will make me happy. If I go back to my childhood, As a child I wanted to become a bus driver so that I can go on traveling to all new exotic places without dad’s permission. As I grew up I wanted to become a librarian of the library in our town. I wanted to read those colorful Archie’s, Misha, Chandamama even after closing hours of library. Soon we were connected to the cable TV and the job of wandering in forests and taking pictures of animals, snakes on discovery channel looked interesting than that of Librarian’s….. Then someone told me to “become serious” and I became. … One day when I got up from my sleep I was in a medical school with lots of apron clad youngsters hustling around and speaking in an alien language ….. Rest is History …..Now I don’t know if becoming a bus driver at this stage will make me happy with life. This traffic and careless driving gets on my nerves. They are asking for some Library Science degree and a caste certificate to apply for that coveted post of Librarian. I don’t have both…. Discovery & NGC guys need a smart hunk with branded clothes who can ‘act’ well to chase those lizards. Only ‘act’ I can do is to smile sheepishly when they sing Birthday song. So I’m underqualified everywhere……….I guess I’m fine where I am.

Frankly my greatest desire and wish till date is……. All these years should fade away as a dream when I wake up to my mom’s call “Wake up, its getting late for school… how long you want to sleep”…I mumble “Mom…. a bad dream… Oh, My god… today is the first day of my school” and should go running to school with that new slate and ‘My loving Alphabets’ book dad got last evening from Ramu kaka’s shop (Why all the shopkeepers are called Ramu..?).. Keep your fingers crossed for my wish at least on my birthdays.

PS: Friends, Of late the same old dreams are recurring…. I’m falling freely in to a deep, dark, bottomless well and lots of snakes around me (How the hell did I spot those snakes in that darkness… without spects…. Strange)….
Do you have any interpretation? I’m no Sigmund Freud