Category: Birthday

Happy birthday, Swathi

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.

I'm pretty sure I have a picture like this from every birthday
I’m pretty sure I have a picture like this from every birthday


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.

Maybe birthdays are about spending it with those who matter the most to you

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!


Happy birthday Fatty!

She’s a big poseur, btw

First, this silly woman made me invent the word frolleague (friend + colleague), because she refused to accept that she’s my colleague and nothing else. Now, I have another word for what we’ve got, because she hates ‘frolleague’ also. The word is fromance. Like bromance. Because she pretty much thinks of me as her boyfriend, gets annoyed with me at the drop of a hat, and sends me hate mails and messages, or, when she’s extremely pleased with me, a few kissing smileys.

Her name is Nuvena Rajendran. But you can call her Nuvs. She hates that too.

It’s her birthday today, and as always, this is my budget way of giving her a birthday gift. (I buy you too many things,  Nuvena. I don’t think I have any money left to buy you a fancy gift now.)

I remember the first time I saw her at work. She had come to office to take the copy test and finish her interview. She sat at a desk, brightly grinning at everyone who walked past her. I had joined office just a month before her, in June. I was just walking to the pantry for lunch, and she looked at me, made eye contact and gave me a harassed smile. I didn’t know she had already worked with TOI for two years. I smiled a kind, elderly smile back at her, thinking like a smartass, “Oh this newbie is taking the test now. Been there, done that. Don’t you worry, child. You’ll get through.”

Now, this idiot is my biggest motivation to go to work. When she wasn’t there for 15 days, when she went to the Himalayas, it felt like she’d been gone for six months. I sent her a message on every single one of those days on Whatsapp. It didn’t bother me that the message didn’t reach her or that she didn’t reply. I just had to tell her that day’s quota of news. All those 15 days, the office seemed so empty and dull. Even Zoya would just go stand by Nuvena’s chair, and say, “I miss this clown.” And then Nuvena came back, with that ridiculous tan, looking like a “burnt cutlet,” thus spreading bursts of laughter and happiness all over again.

You see, Nuvena is the go-to person at work for everyone, and there isn’t one person who isn’t good friends with her. I always wonder how she gets all the inside stories from all corners. Somehow, when you look at her, you’ll want to talk and tell her the whole truth. Even if you don’t, she’ll get it out of you anyway. That’s how compelling a force she is. It’s been the HARDEST thing for me to not tell her about the birthday gift Iv’e been working on for her. We actually speak to each other over the phone on the days we have our offs, all through the day and once in the night. See why I said I’m pretty much like her boyfriend?

But she also gets restless when I don’t talk to her. See?

nuvena chat
This is Nuvena trying to get me to talk to her

At office, all our things are mixed up. I’ll find my nail file or comb at her desk and she’ll find me wearing her clothes every other day. We love to make our desks pretty (well, she makes it pretty with silly pink stuff and I make it awesome with Arsenal posters). We both have tiny potted plants on our desks. They were both hers; I stole one. We both drink green tea out of the same mug every morning. We both use Hero ink pens. We both- ok you get the point! There are so many things that we have mixed up, that it’s hard to tell which one is whose. She’s like the similar-aged sister that I never had. Besides, like my sister, she is one of the few people who gets ALL my jokes and remarks and laughs her heart out at them. (Most other people get the jokes but don’t laugh at them. :-/ )

The strange thing is, I’ve never gotten so close to someone in the span of just a few months, by just working with them. (It’s a different case with the ACJ girls because I lived with them.) You know, Nuvena sent me this meme a few months ago, and I hate to admit it, because she’ll go all around town rattling about it, but I feel the same way about her.

Best friend meme

She has so many best friends, it kind of annoys me that she might be as close or closer to someone else. She obviously is closer to Karthik and Alwar and others, but that irritates me. : P I don’t know where that possessive bit comes from and it’s weird. It’s not like Nuvena is my only best friend. (No, Nuvena, you’re not! : P) This has always been a problem with me. Uttara was always my best friend, and then Supriya entered my life and I had no clue how to pick best friends. For a long time, I was torn apart and constantly playing Life Jacket with myself. (Life Jacket is where you are stranded in the ocean and can save only one person with your spare life jacket. Basically, it’s a who-do-you-like-better game.) Obviously I could never pick, and when I became intelligent enough, I realised I can have more than one best friend. And now, Nuvena falls into that category. You’re really lucky to get that status Nuvena.  And you didn’t even have to go through any friendship tests! (In fact, you kinda failed it by ratting out to others about me resigning.)

Ok, I’m straying from the topic. So last year, on her birthday, she brought us all mousse from Coffee Day and distributed it. None of us knew it was her birthday, because she had just joined. This year, however, the demanding person that she is, she has reminded us every single day of this month about her birthday, with a countdown. My mum and dad are shocked because I’ve never done so much for anyone’s birthday. Well, I suppose it works for her to be demanding.

So if you want to meet a person who finds happiness is the smallest of things, Nuvena is your girl! She is one of the most selfless people I know, who won’t give a rat’s ass about herself and will do things just to see you smile. I can’t imagine how many times she has said, “Leave it dude. I’ll do it,” no matter what it is! She’s someone whom you can always rely upon to help you out, cover up for you or simply make your day when you’re angry. Oh and she’ll also irritate the hell out of you and piss you off if you’re a little too happy (or maybe she just does that to me, because this morning I learnt that she is mean to people she likes. It’s not very nice to be liked by her.)

So through this happy birthday post, I just want to say, thank you for existing, Nuvena. Whether you’re in my my life, or in someone else’s life, I know you’re busy making those around you happy. The world needs more people like you (mostly because people like you read my blog without fail and love it).

Life at Deccan Chronicle would never be the same without you! So here’s to you, and many more years for us to work or just chill together. Don’t worry, I’ll employ you in my future company. : D

Happy birthday ya, fatty!

I’m still not going to say “love you” n all. Be happy with this much. Bah!


PS: You’re 26. It’s high time you started liking animals.