Birthday shopping, birthday week, birthday month, birthday dress, birthday cake, birthday party, birthday gift..
These have always been the terms that light up my face with excitement since childhood. Thirty two years of age and nothing has changed. Well not completely true, but yes some feelings have remain intact. The excitement has not faded away.
From the days where my birthday looked like the best opportunity for me to demand things, I have reached the days where I no longer wait or ask anyone to buy me things. It gives me the sense of self dependency but at the same time I miss those pre birthday conversations with my parents. My first few learnings to negotiating deals and the pleasure in winning it as a 7 year old brought a different kind of childish pride and a foolish sense of achievement.
For this birthday, I did my shopping 5 months in advance- yes 5 months!!
We went to Hongkong and the United States in October and I bought beautiful dresses suitable for spring and summer. This was followed by booking a trip to Brussels with my girlies on my birthday. For a three day trip, I had 5 dresses lined up with matching accessories. In short, this birthday was going to be probably my most planned birthday ever.
And then came the wave of Corona virus which lead to cancellation of the trip on my birthday. I was heartbroken but some part of me was happy that I will spend my birthday with my 2 year old munchkin who was otherwise not a part of my birthday plan.
Two days before my birthday came a call from my family in India that my father has been hospitalized in emergency around midnight. His creatinine levels went sky high, ten times the normal levels in human body. Till date, we count it as a miracle that he survived. The days were filled with numerous calls to my family and a deep sorrow of being trapped in other end of the world at this time.
Just like many other Indians in Denmark, I also get to have a birthday of 27 and a half hours as the wishes start pouring in as per Indian time, while it all ends as per Danish time. As it struck midnight in India on 24th April, I got a call from my mom wishing me ‘Happy Birthday’.
With a chocking throat, I asked her – ‘will Papa wish me on my birthday this time?’ We both cried over phone at the end of which she assured me he will. I had not heard his voice since he was admitted in ICU two days before my birthday. My only and only wish for my this birthday was hearing ‘Happy birthday’ from him.
Next morning, my husband said to me while I was busy in the kitchen, your father has wished you happy birthday on the family chat group. My immediate reaction was – ‘my brother must have used my father’s phone to fool me and type a message from his phone’. To which he said – no it is an audio message. I came running and his precious voice just brought the first smile of the day on my face.
Celebration plans were still off as his state had not improved. Around afternoon, his CT scan report came and my family called me saying the results are exceptionally good and we should be rejoicing. An atmosphere of happiness and relief appeared suddenly which I do not know till date, if was made just to encourage me to celebrate my birthday.
I finally put on a nice dress and went out. The beauty of spring and the company of my little wonder made me feel normal again for a while.
It has been a month now. The situation has not changed much. He is still on the phase of recovery, I am still stuck here. For sure this is an unprecedented state for all of us, this birthday made a deep mark on my heart.
I don’t need birthday presents, flashy celebrations, expensive foreign trips, beautiful dresses and exotic dinners on my birthday, what I need most is the company of those who brought me in this world. Who made me what I am and infused in my mind that my birthday is special.
Birth givers.. this is the term that matters most now over any other birthday related term..