It’s my birthday in a couple of days. I’m going to turn 24 and I believe I’m every bit as mature as a 24-year-old ought to be, and as childish as a 24-year-old ought not to be, I guess.
Every year until now, I’d expect too much on my birthday day – gifts, surprises, new clothes, an extra load of happiness. And every year, I’d expect too much and what I got never lived up to my expectations. I was always left disappointed on my birthday. Which is really not any way to celeberate a birthday. I know. It was probably dumb on my part. But this year, something has changed. And strangely, the change hasn’t been brought about by my realisation that my expectations were too high.
Just like every year, I went shopping at a mall to buy me a new dress, or a new watch, or new shades, a bag, an Arsenal jersey, anything. But every time I picked up something, I was outraged that I’d even think of owning such things. A watch – not less that Rs.3,000. A pretty dress, a good bag, a branded shoe, a pair of shades – nothing less than Rs. 5,000! I know it’s not about the money, but I could actually feed all the dogs in CUPA with Rs.5,000 for a whole week!
Maybe it was my stint in lifestyle journalism that made me realise how vain some people are and that’s not who I want to be. I mean what are clothes meant for if not to cover your body? What are chapplies for, if not to protect your feet? What is a watch for if not to tell you the time? Whether it’s a diamond encrusted watch or a simple black watch with a plastic strap, it serves the same purpose.
So I actually walked out of the mall empty-handed, with my mind bustling with thoughts. Sylvia Plath once said, “Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” Well, I’m not sure I understand exactly what she is trying to say, but I’m probably the “we” in her statement. Or I’m probably as confused as she was. (Well, no, I’m not going to pop my head in an oven anyway. “Oh Swathi! How reckless of you to say that!”)
Anyway, I said I’m as childish as I ought not to be because I like the simple pleasures in life. Goatee had given me a box of 21 orange candies on my 21st birthday. I think that’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. Of course the orange candies are gone, but it’s the thought that remains close to my heart. Last year, Nuvena made a picture frame for me, and a lot of thought and hard work went into that as well. This year, my friend ordered a book for me, and then received a mail that the book is out of stock and his money is being refunded. Actually, no, in his case it’s not just the thought that counts. : P I’m going to make him buy another book, because honestly, I think that’s the best gift one can buy for anyone.
So if you want to buy me gifts I like, go to my Goodreads account and see the “Want to Read” section. Haha.
Ok just kidding. That’s not where this blog post was headed. Hehe.
All I’m saying to you (and mostly to myself) is, when it’s your birthday, don’t give in to peer pressure to “celebrate” and make merry and be extra happy. Do what you like doing best. It could be as simple as drinking a cup of tea, spending time with your pet doggy, or just a quite dinner with a few good friends. There doesn’t need to be cake, (if any one of you is planning to get me cake, I prefer pizza (extra capsicum) instead. Put a candle in the middle of it), there’s no need to 200 people surrounding you to shout out to you and remind you that it’s your birthday. You can sit idle for 24 hours if you want to.
Basically, do what you want. It’s your day.
Happy birthday, Swathi!