December 17, 2011

One Less than the Dreaded

Apparently turning 30 is a big thing. I guess I will figure it out as and when I turn 30. But the year before has been no less awesome either. The day I turned 29, was pretty big, at least for me. I was not just in a new city, it was the first time I was out of the country for my birthday and it felt like some long forgotten dream of a school boy in Calcutta was coming true.

When I was growing up I was hooked on to the idea of wanderlust – but like so many of us growing up in the eighties and the nineties, I could only travel to the Pyramids in my mind and that’s why I read. I read to feel what it would be like to stand on the shores of a different ocean, what the world beyond my window looked like. This year was the one when I actually became what I had dreamt of becoming, well not in its entirety but to a great extent. And it feels nice. The best part is however not visiting new countries but about meeting new people, understand how they are living their lives, how the world is so different, yet so alike. To be honest, if I ever visit Egypt, which I really want to, I would perhaps choose meeting an Egyptian mother talking about her vision for her kids rather than stand beneath the pyramids.

I guess priorities change as we grow up.

To be frank, birthdays don’t mean much to me. If I believe in the Advaita philosophy of life, it’s just one more illusion. I really like what was said of Osho (Osho and Advaita are as different perhaps as Megan Fox and me) when he passed away. It went something like, “he was neither born, nor did he die; he just came to travel between these dates.”

I do believe I am on a journey here. I meet people on the way, have a great time and then we continue on our own respective journeys. Some people we spend more time with than others but ultimately it’s all about being alone.

This is why I probably don’t remember anyone else’s birthday either. But I really respect people who make it an effort to remember birthdays and ensure that their friends are not alone on this day.

While I was in college, my birthday marked the beginning of the exams. And it took away peace and tranquillity from my life as everyone came together to spend their pent up frustration on my posterior in true BITSian tradition. When I started working, it was typically working till late on the night before, trying to finish stuff before the holiday season. This year the good part was that a very close friend took the time out to make sure the date it not forgotten and somewhere you do begin to feel good about the fact that you were born even though you know it’s all an illusion at the end of the day.

I was woken up around 5:30 in the morning being addressed as the female species of the canine family. When Mallus go to Nigeria, they typically acquire a new sense of humour. Anyway, apparently I had committed a grave crime by not putting up my birthday on Facebook. So while on the phone, before the sun was up on World Aids Day, I was updating my FB profile. Now you actually can’t think clearly that early in the morning.

This year has been kind to me. I have seen the best and the worst a professional life can show you. I have made friends beyond my usual circle. I have started my journey to understand numerous cultures beyond my own, I have sung karaoke, I have done kick boxing! I have finally figured out the order of my cols preferences with Pepsi Max winning the top honours.

On the flip side – my grandmother still can’t figure out what I do for a living.

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