Worship Me For A Day Atleast

"Here We Go Again. This man can't let status quo exist. Why do you have to think so much about everything? Why can't you just let things BE?"

Why can't I let things be? Well, why can't you use your brain to question the banal and routine things you do year in- year out? Because life starts crumbling down as soon as you begin to think. But I have nothing left to lose or squander away anymore which leaves me free to question and analyse things like the seemingly unharmful practice of Birthdays.

I will confess that this annual narcissistic bathing of existential validation is my favourite form of conformity. The experience of a birthday is a pleasantly bewildering one, especially if you are a socially inept kid. The world finally acknowledges you and your head thrusts ahead with the words-"About Time, Ye Bitches" (my internal narrator is a medieval pirate for some reason because Morgan Freeman refuses to enter even my sub conscious). There is free cake and gifts with everyone being nice to you and as years progress, there will be the addition of exquisite food, dancing, themed parties, and drinking- all of which lasts for a day.

Let's face it- the only thing sadder than the end of one's birthday is seeing "Thank You For Your Love- 100 Crore Blockbuster" advertisement for a fucking Prabhudeva movie. The feeling of sadness gnaws not from the alleged ageing which has occurred in the span of a day but the sudden loss of your entourage's love. 
"Hey guys where are you going? It was just my birthday yesterday you know."
"Yes and it's over now. We are going back to our cocoons where you marginally matter till you get older next year."
At least you had a good time. But growing up ruins everything and birthdays are not immune to that too.

The torture will start with your birthday eve with the played down expectation that your friends or family will 'do something' and the mental note of the 'quid pro quo' you expect from people on whom you tirelessly wasted your time making gifts or surprises. Ofcourse if your life is as sad as mine
(I don't recommend it), you will be busy making a mental bargain " Saaleh Koi Toh Aa Jao. Aaj Toh Thoda Bhav De Do".

Then come the day-long sudden phone calls and messages from relatives who have no semblance of genuine interest in you unless you are doing some "bizness" which is an exciting opportunity for them and the surge of communications from old friends who ask you for an explanation about the long silence in a passive aggressive joke to which you feel like mumbling "because I don't like you anymore, you misogynistic racist prick". Then comes the task of organising a get-together based on the previously mentioned 'quid pro quo' rules and maintenance of a few unilateral relationships which will never be a part of your life as you want. The requirement of playing a perfect host and ensuring everyone has a good time takes the top of your list of priorities when all you frankly want to do is sit back and raise a toast of champagne to the Universe and say "Fuck Yeah I Am The Best".


(While all gifts should be appreciated, if someone stuck in 2008 with a lazy sense of purpose gifts you a Hallmark or Archies Card/Creation, delete their contact NOW!)

The old cyclical tradition of birthdays would have gone on unperturbed had it not been for the invention of Social Media and Smartphones. The first provided you with five times the birthday wishes you would receive before and also the added quandary of making your birthday look like the happiest day of your year for people who infact don't matter. If you thought the act of going to buy a cliched card with unicorn farts and rainbows was lazy, wishing people with photos and display picture changes is now here.

But don't get me wrong, I look forward to such attention in the smartphone age where productivity has remained the same or even declined but people are a lot more busy for some reason. The idea of availability has suddenly made us feel void of the attention we feel we deserve or even need leading to bizzare situations such as:

You:Hey, I have something urgent to tell you.
World: Busy, Bro. TTYL

You: Hey, so my parents 'made two flowers kiss' ( this was the language Pahlaj Nihalani allowed to be used in this blog and *facepalm* if you are Googling who he is) and then nine months later I was born, some 20 or so years ago. 
World: OMG! My schedule is clear for this most important and joyous occasion of your existence's reminder.
It can get worse.. 

You: Hey, so I called you like 20 times after a 100 Whatsapps because I had the worst day of my life
World: What? Busy man. Guilt Index: Zero
You: You didn't wish me for my birthday.
World: Sorry Sorry X 50. Guilt Index: Salman's Driver
Yes. Birthdays are suddenly important again because it seems in the age of dwindling attention and empathy, these 'days' help us sort the many people we have in our lives by appropriating attention as per their birth in this world. We go berzerk in doing the tried and tested ideas of making someone feel special or, rather in convincing ourselves and the world that in the one year that has passed, there has been no change in the relationship at all and it's still the same level of intimacy and meaning. Bullshit? Ofcourse it is.

If you have an iota of brain, you have concluded by now that I don't have any problem with birthdays as such but how we are doing it. There are tons of things which bring us down in the world and concepts like 'Happy Birthday' help me have some much needed respite and happiness and I will perennially look forward to it.

Adult life is tough and it's completely understandable to not have uniform time for all. If you are forced into the ' Treat-them-special-coz-it-their-birthday' conundrum, might I suggest an honest meeting in a coffee shop where you talk and catch-up with the human being, get nostalgic and end by reminiscing why they mean something to you instead of going for a superficial 'All-guns blazing pageant' meant to fool the world and each other.

I always end my recent posts acknowledging the futility of my words and I will do the same here. I am pretty sure this will again be dismissed with a myopic view of 'This is the way it is and it should be' with no self-reflection because that is a process only the courageous can undertake, a breed so rare now. On a personal note, can one please help solve the following mystery for me then:

"What do you do if you have spent 365/6 days of the year treating someone as if it's their birthday everyday with reminders of how special they are on a daily basis? Can/do you need to do something more on the actual birthday itself? And why isn't that the general norm for everybody anyways?"

Disclaimer: With his birthday fast approaching, the author is ready to suspend the beliefs expressed in the above post. But the author has also just remembered the difficult and cheap-skate people he has as friends who might not do anything special for him anyways. So...no harm done except to the author whose daily quest for validation will now even continue on his birthday where he hopes genuineness trumps civility and quid pro quo.

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