30 years old. Sigh, Cry, Moan and Groan.
There, I said it. I'm finally old. It no longer matters that I'm a 'Child of the 80's' as some of my friends born in '79 refer to me. It's all downhill from here, my friends.
This was a rather unusual birthday, though. Thanks to my loving family and friends, who I think were mindful of the fact that I might get a bit depressed thinking about the fact that I'm now at the half-way mark. Mid-life, you might say.
Anyway, so Vijay got Peanut to sit with him for an hour and coaxed and cajoled her into singing 'Happy Birthday Mama' - it was really sweet. He played it at midnight for me. It began with a slightly freaky shout though. I think he had asked her to say it so many times that she got frustrated and screamed 'Hippy Burday Mamaaaaa' - he then looped it five times, but not before adding an echo to it. Then the song began, and it was heartbreakingly cute. If I could figure out a way to upload it, I would.
Then, in the morning, Peanut and I woke up really early and found that Vijay was already up. He insisted that we go for a walk together. I thought it was a good idea but didn't quite get the hurry. I asked him if it was okay if I went to the bathroom first. While I was in there, I noticed an SMS on my phone. I picked it up and it said 'God, she takes a long time in the loo. Bet she's reading a fat novel'. I looked down guiltily at my fat novel - Jeffrey Archer's 36 - and got out quickly to ask him what the hell he was up to and who that SMS was meant for. He looked a bit stricken and then quickly recovered to tell me that it was my sister, who wanted to know the plan for the day.
We stepped out for a walk, and I was in a contemplative mood. I was chatting with him as we took a few rounds of the park, and then he suggested that we go back. I said I wanted to meditate, as it was my resolution to take better care of myself in a more wholesome manner now that I was so old. He reluctantly agreed and after about 3 minutes of deep breathing, he broke into my reverie and said 'Let's go'. I had been thinking in the last 3 minutes about how I needed to make some changes and become a better person for the remaining half of my life and started to discuss it in earnest with him, the biggest being how I wished to become a kinder person and stop getting annoyed by the little things. He made a pretence of listening to me for a while and then abruptly stood up saying 'Ya ya, let's go back now'.
By this time, I was really annoyed with him and sulkily got up and followed him. In a bit, he realized I wasn't happy and immediately tried to make up for it 'Oh, yes, meditation will help you be a kinder person - I have something on my Ipod, 17 minutes of Loving Kindness, it will help you, I will lend it to you', he blathered on. I ignored him. He tried another card 'Just now, you said that you wished you didn't get annoyed at little things. Isn't this a little thing?' He beseeched me. We'd reached home and I didn't bother to answer him. I opened the door and went in, and to my shock, my sister leaped out towards me from the right - the shoe closet-type room we have there, with a 'Happy Birthday'!
I had just about recovered, managing a mild 'Oh-aah. Thanks', when there was a flash of blinding light from right in front of me, and the phenomena responsible for the same was my very own mother who materialized from one of the rooms where she had been hiding, holding a video camera to capture my stunned reaction. Scarcely had I got over this when my sister's friend A popped out from Far Left, from behind a sofa, with a digital camera that caught my open mouthed reaction. I think my exact words were 'Aa' and 'Gaa', respectively.
They then pointed out the breakfast table which had been set for me in my absence - with a sumptious breakfast of saugages, eggs, pancakes and maple syrup, brown bread - and of course, there was a dabba of alu-paranthas exclusively for Vijay. We dug in, but not before they made me open my presents, which consisted of about 18 sweaters. Very nice, they were too, and I was only sorry my birthday comes at the end of winter( and subsequently pretty happy about the continued cold-ish wave).
My sister informed me that they had been waiting in the car downstairs and then up in the house for about an hour, a consequence of my unusually early rising, Vijay's phone being unreachable, his failed attempt to get me out of the house on time, and his failed attempt to get me back into the house on time. Peanut had been excessively amused and delighted at the fact that the three of them scrambled to hide everytime a sound floated in from outside the house.
Frankly, I was really surprised. The evening surprise parties that have been a fixture for every birthday in our home for the last few years have surprisingly, ceased to surprise, although they continue to delight. This was really unexpected.
And the effort it took on the part of my mother and sister, who are not exactly early risers ( and presumably Friend A is not either) , to get up at about 6.30 a.m. and come over all the way, wait in the car, mystify the driver by saying 'Don't go near the house' when he decided to get out to stretch his legs a bit and generally make all the fuss, did a lot to make me feel loved.
(My sister also said that my mother's first reaction after they woke up was to look at her witheringly and remark 'What a dumb idea'. Shows how much effort it took, eh?)
Of course, there was the party in the evening at the club, to which I discovered Vijay had forgotten to invite some of my best friends ( I rectified this, embarassed) , but which turned out to be a roaring success primarily due to Vani's purchase of a White Board on which we all played Pictionary ( in two opposing teams - the silver hats and the pink hats) - and then a little dancing, the highlight of which was Peanut dancing with great skill to 'Ibn-e-Batuta'. Very cute. I also noticed that Vijay, my sister and A had done up the place with Balloons and Streamers, as if I was about six.
All in all, it was a fantastic birthday, and hard to remember that I was 30, and not 6. More importantly, I think I have the most amazing family and close friends ever possible.
Not bad, for the half way mark.
P.S - I guess I might as well tell you now. When I blogged earlier, I never really mentioned being an expectant mother and one day there was a post 'Oh guess what, I gave birth earlier today, here's a picture of the new baby'. Well, anyway, Peanut will be joined by Pickle, sometime in the next few months. But let's not make a big deal about it, shall we?