Saturday, August 06, 2005

Birthday Buoy

August the 2nd was my birthday. And it will continue to remain so until they do something creepy with the Gregorian Calendar. After that I may have to celebrate it in July or September depending on which way they shift. But I am not going to worry about it until I am forced to. At this moment, I am forced to worry about bigger issues like whether I should be studying or blogging. Apparently I have found a solution. But I won't tell you.

I remember my birthdays used to be very routine till I was in school. Only the faces who turned up and sung : "Happy Birthday To You..." changed but everything else including the menu of the birthday would remain same. I know that my mother will kill me for this as she makes sure that the menu is different everytime, but anyway, since the choice of birthday dishes is limited to 8 dishes with 3 dishes being cooked everytime, repititions are bound to occur every third year. Given the fact that I have a poor memory and I remember very less about my birthdays, and I can't recall any differnce among them. Of all the places I lived, I remember just one birthday celebrated there.

When things become routine, we crave for a change. so when in the first year in IIT Kharagpur, I wasn't hounded for by birthday by anyone, it was a welcome change. I was feeling a lot more human on that day. Though I didn't think much about it, in my sub-conscious mind, it was written in bold print that I love being human on my birthday. That I was no party boy made it simple for me to save myself from being hounded by people to give treats and GPLs.

For those not into any Indian Colleges, GPL refers to the phenomenon of kicking the butt of a person using all the force you can gather, doing it in a group big enough so that by the time you are finished giving GPLs, the guy on the receiving side (howsoever sturdy and with cushoined buttocks) is also finished.

I have never been able to keep terms with either GPLs or treats. The people who "ask" for treat and "declare" to wield GPL are usually the same, and I find them mentally ill. While there is no harm in giving treats, asking for them should never be practiced. Treats are usually asked when a person gets success in doing something big, which usually amounts to money. So no sooner does the person gets the money, he is hounded to part with it by giving lavish treats at the place the receiving group finds suitable. So the happiness comes at a cost.

On similar lines, GPLs are given to people when they are ecstatic. And no sooner than a person has got a reason to be happy, is he reduced to a limpig and weaning lump. This aptly looks to me as the pull down mentality of the masses. If you don't get success, scare the others from success by punishing them for it.

Coming back to my birthday stuff. Now my birthday was without any stuff for the next 3 years. In the second year, I was out to JBNSTS seminar where they presented me with a big chocolate cake and again sung the routine "Happy Birthday" song. There are two things I want to remind everyone are:
1) I hate cakes. One of the reasons I hate birthdays.
2) "Happy Birthday" song is routine. People should invent some other parallel song that can help breaking the monotony.

While these were not the reasons that gave me happiness, it was the fact that they remembered was plaudible (Note that they use softwares for reminding). Even more heartening was the fact that they sent another cake for Ankur. A very interesting thing also happened. To those not inside my friends circle, I should tell that another JBNSTS scholar was Anita V, who because of a few unfortunate events that took place in the first year was mad at my brother Ankur. And she used some law that looked to me like the Principle of Mathematical Indcution from the Cretaceous Era into proving that I am the Ankur. Neither did she sung out of compulsion, she even refused to eat the birthday cake for some vague reason. I wasn't humoured by this. While we were returning back, I made her hold Ankur's cake for a while when I loaded the other baggage in the taxi. She gave me a look of disgust similar to what Mukta gave when she spotted her Lizzy. A small difference that Anita wasn't exactly afraid of the cake.

In the third year again, I managed to escape the public eye by keeping a low profile. Somehow, even very less friends and family members called me. The only thing I remember about that birthday is that I had a mini-treat in which I took along Suman and Hrishikesh and we had Chicken Biryani at Billoo's Restaurant.

This year there was a completely different story. I decided to go to sleep at 11:30 pm. But I was shaken out of the sub-conscious state I had reached by a call from Sarika at 12 midnight. Prateek called at 12:30 and I got an SMS from Chinmay Joshi at quarter to one. So I couldn't sleep before 1 am. And I woke up at six, giving me only five hours of sleep. Note that usually I sleep for about 7~8 hours everyday. I was pleasantly surprised by a note pasted on my door that said "Many Happy Returns Of The Day". It was though anonymous. Usually I would have teared such thing off in a second. But the fact that it was anonymous made me wait. I felt that until I acknowledge to the writer, I should not be tearing it. I left it dangling there.

Throughout the whole day, I kept on receiving calls and messages on orkut. I feel that orkut had a lot to do with such response that day as it keeps reminding of the birthdays and all. Eventhough I had no plans of it beforehand, I decided to give the whole wing a treat. I also decided to invite Addy to it. Here comes the differnce I talked about before in this post. Eventhough I decided to pay the bill all by myself, 4 more wing-mates suggested that they share the bill as they were unable to give any birthday treat owing to vaccations. It was eventually decided that I and Amiruddin share the amount between us. We had a great time during the treat at Little Sisters Restaurant. By mid-night, I had received over 40 birthday wishes. I realized that if such enriching and novel experience is what the birthday offers, I can start celebrating them again.