Today is my birthday.
Strange as it may appear, I don’t really feel any different. I think I stopped really feeling any different after I turned 30.
Last night, I crashed early, hoping to get some sleep. I have been sleeping badly these past few days, and I don’t really wake up feeling like I had a whole lot of rest. Usually, that is in fact true – at least three StarTrek episodes every night (I finally finished all seven seasons of ST:TNG last week, and ST:DS9 and ST:TOS last year, and I am into ST:VOY now), and that usually keeps me up till around 2am.
Wife and daughter had other plans. At midnight, I got hauled out of bed to cut a home made cake. Mumbling to myself, I pulled on shorts and a t-shirt, and trudged downstairs. Strangely, the dogs were nowhere to be found.
I settled at the dining table , and blearily reached for the knife, when a most horrible sound shattered the silence of the night. It sounded like someone was strangling his mother-in-law, or maybe got his tie caught in a lawnmover. Focusing a bit, I realised that it sounded familiar.
It was a bunch of drunken football hooligans in my bathroom – singing “Happy Birthday to you”.
OK – “singing” was stretching things a bit, given that this crowd included well known anti-tenors such as Shreyas and Kalyan and Shanu (be afraid, glasspanes, be very afraid!). There were lots of squeals as well, which I recognised to be the Sequeira twins. And rising above that the well-seasoned roar of Gaurav and the unmistakable angel voice that could only be Noella.
They all trudged out, carrying one more cake. And the phone started ringing off the hook as well. At one point, I was sitting there, a knife in each hand (one for each cake), with phone clamped between my ear and shoulder, talking to a beautiful lady in Delhi, while gathering breath to blow out the solitary candle on each cake.
Cake dispersed (including generously on my face), everyone trudged off to test-drive our new futons. No piece of furniture in my house is found acceptable unless it has felt the brunt of this bunch of people cramming onto it.
Then Anjali handed me the family birthday gift – which happened to be Norah Jones’ new album, which I have been desperately trying to lay my hands on for several weeks now, and which was not available in any online shop in India. I was all set to order it from Amazon – luckily, I don’t have to now.
Mysterious bottles of wine appeared from nowhere, and even some flat Coke, and more phone calls.
Finally everyone went home, and I fell back into bed.
Today, we (Shubha, Anjali and I) went and had lunch at Memories of China, but otherwise it was a normal working day for me. Well, almost normal – the phone calls never stopped.
My brother made my day with his gift – a week-long holiday in a place of my choosing. God knows I need it, and I am going to take it – Real Soon Now.
Damn, I have a lot of friends and family.
No party today, being a working day. Maybe this weekend – given that Friday the 23rd is our 20th wedding anniversary….