Friend lexicomaniac, whom I am fond of pestering for movie reviews, upped the ante today with a birthday post request. It took a lot of thinking over, but here're some thoughts for the day:
Birthdays Past and Present:
Birthdays were always something to look forward to from the ages of 6 - 16. During the pre-10 years, they were the days you could come to school in "civil dress" (which in some cases, extended to fancy dress), the days you stepped up to the podium and got people to sing to you and - this was way back, when I was in class I at La Martiniere's Calcutta and had a really hot teacher - got a kiss from the teacher of your class (fortunately it ceased with that point, as hotness-wise, teachers have only gone downhill since). During the post 10 years, as you matured (realized how goofy civil dress was, and how idiotic it felt to be on stage for no reason) you still enjoyed the feeling of growth, the increasing respect people gave you and standing shoulder to shoulder with former giants (dads, uncles, PT masters etc.) Sixteen, however, is kind of a peak. It's the point where your cup runneth over, your springtime is at its bloom and well, you grow about as tall as you're going to. As the teens gave way to the 20s, I wished fervently for time to first turn back, then stop and with increasingly feeble hope, slow down. Needless to say, time chose (d) - none of the above.
Coming to the present age of 24, I'm apprehensive about birthdays. They're not a sign of growing any longer, but a sign of aging. I hope, as of now, people will pull off miracles with stem cell research and telomere engineering to reverse aging. Like Bryan Adams, I want to stay 18 till I die.
People in my life:
Another area of apprehension. Wierdly, I was a bit clamped with the opposite sex in high school. Not ''tee hee hee'' shy, which girls sometimes find endearing, but clammy, stone-faced and somewhat creepy. I haven't gained much skill in socializing since. I mean, UG at Guwahati with it's ~20 girls (or rather 20 ~girls) amidst 1000 frustrated males didn't help much.
In this day and age of orkut, when I see people ''committed" left and right, I feel scared about finding my own significant other and fast. Having never dated is forgivable (I guess) through high school, but in this day and age, datelessness beyond the age of 30 indicates "arranged" marriages or closet-exiting on the horizon, both of which call for a bullet through the brain.
Dreams, life and where it's headed:
I'm pretty sure as of now that I'm not going to be a billionaire businessman, a Hollywood actor, a song-writer or a television comedian (Yes, all of those were dreams at one point). I'm left with
dreams of being a writer of some sort, with which I'm making progress and a scientist, for which the PhD is helping. Where will they in turn take me - who knows?
I'm not too apprehensive about time with these two dreams. Writing and scientisting (let's call it that) both take travel and experience, which only come with time. So long as I keep at it, life's cool.
At the end, the birthday is a dry run version of the New Year. It's a time to take stock of what's behind and resolve to make the best of what's ahead. It doesn't hurt, in my case, that it comes 20 days before 31 Dec.