Extraordinary in the ordinary

Birthday is a gift, grab it with both hands

An evening reading birthday messages, refreshing memories, and creating some more for the future.
Published at Hindustan Times.

April 5, 2016, was fantastic. It was my husband’s birthday. For more than a fortnight, I had been planning a surprise party for him on the night of April 4. With a group of seven close friends, we had one of the most beautiful, fun-filled, fulfilling evening together. A bunch of helium balloons in a corner, a couple of colourful ribbons and twinkling lights in another. Music to taste, a delectable blueberry cheesecake, and above all, great friends, reading and sharing birthday messages, refreshing the crazy and sane memories and making plans of living some epic ones in the future.

Every moment of the celebration was a treasure trove of memories that will last us for years. Calls and good wishes from the family and friends from different corners of the country were a blessing that lit up my husband’s face with joy.

It saddens me to hear people say, “Oh no…I am getting a year older!” They are getting a year older. No doubt, we are, but forget about feeling a year older every birthday, we are all getting older every month. Isn’t it the most predictable reality of life? I believe that getting a year older is a blessing, because it means one is alive – alive and ticking to be celebrate the gift of life for another whole year.

Another reaction to birthdays that baffles me is, “What is the big deal about it? It’s just another day.” How can a day that marks the most significant event of our lives – our birth, the beginning of our existence on this planet – be ordinary to us? Birthday commemorates the miracle of life, the irreplaceable joy of motherhood and the start of new relations in families. It is the starting point of every milestone, every benchmark. It is the beginning of the future. Definitely, there are more than one reasons to appreciate it.

You would have also heard people say, “I am not a child to celebrate my birthday or be excited about it.” More than the sentiment, I find it hard to relate to the logic behind this thought. A child up to 3 and an adolescent up to 15 at least doesn’t even understand the significance of his birthday. To a child, it is about the cake, candles, and balloons. As you graduate towards adulthood and get wiser, the importance of it should actually sink in, instead of being belittled. Hence, being an adult and ‘not a child’ makes birthday celebrations more meaningful actually.

On our birthdays, let us start loving ourselves all over again. Let us spend this day in sharing a good time with people who matter to us. Let us appreciate our families and friends, who make us feel special. Thank the Almighty that we have been blessed with the opportunity to celebrate another birthday. So with a wide, Garfield-like smile, whether in advance or belated, here’s wishing everyone a very happy birthday!

This article was published at Hindustan Times.

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