This post was supposed to come a month ago, but you know, there is a saying "better late than never" :D. Ever since I was a kid, I had the fervor of excitement for birthdays. Although, I grew up with a different tradition of birthday celebrations at my home than cutting the cake etc., I liked the special attention given to me that day. I guess, every kid does, well, apart from Sheldon who wanted a Titanium Centrifuge on his birthday :P. Being from a highly spiritual family, my parents and grandparents believed in thanking god for the completion of one more year of existence. I also grew up quite spiritually oriented, but then I got introduced to science. And, beliefs changed for me. Well, this post is not going to be about those beliefs. Rather, I will try sharing some of my "special moment" experiences on my birthdays that I have had in the last few years.
Eight years ago, I was a Freshmen at ISM Dhanbad. And, then came my first birthday away from home and family. There, I got introduced to the idea of birthday-bumps. It felt like an amazing way to celebrate birthday, provided it was someone else's birthday. It scared the hell out of me, as my birthday came closer. To be true, there were two really big guys in our wing, who could literally lift me up single handedly and then the others could do the beating. Yes, that very idea scared the tiny little me. So, I came up with a plan :D. I asked one of my trusted friends to lock me up inside my own room. Even, the roommates got their share of birthday bumps, so I and my dear roommate, Sid, stayed locked up after dinner and spread the rumor around that I will be at my local guardian's place for the night. Somehow our plan got leaked and we had no idea about it. How could we have, we were locked up inside, and none of us had a cell phone back then. As the clock ticked 11:45 pm, we heard people gathering in front of our hostel room, and my facial expression was enough to convey Sid that people knew about our plan. It was good that our trusted-friend had slid the key back to us, after locking us in. 11:50, and first knock on the door, only to affirm our suspicion that they know we are inside. Repeated knocks and screams then followed to make us come out of our room, while inside we were just trying to breathe, without uttering a single word. From the whispers, I could easily figure out that there were at least 20 people outside. I would skip a heartbeat with the thought "what if the door fell down?". It went on and on for like an hour or so, intermittent knocks and shouting. And, then people got frustrated and left for their rooms. Next morning, everyone's expressions said, "Not fair, kid", and I would wanna say, "I never kicked anyone's ass, so no one should kick mine :P". Sigh.
My next 4 birthdays were celebrated in our own R-land, and I knew that the old plan was not gonna work here. As the day came closer, I had started to accept that I will be getting birthday bumps this time. I and my roommate, both were quite skinny. Well, my roommate was quite taller than me so he looked even skinnier :P. At the stroke of midnight, on my birthday, people arrived in my room. Hugs and wishes followed and then, the deed. Yes, I was tiny so it was very easy for any two of them to lift me up, and I got my share of birthday bumps. The bad part about this celebration was that there were stories about people wearing their NCC boots especially for giving birthday bumps to their dearest friends. Well, my tiny skeleton made them spare me off NCC boots. It hurt a little, for a while. But, then, they lifted my roommate and he was getting his share of birthday bumps. One guy took out his flip-flop and started giving his share of bumps to him. Just as he went through first flap on his hips, it literally turned my roommate upside down. Everybody was literally rolling on the floor laughing on that sight. It became even easier to beat his tiny bums with those flip-flops :P. Then there were usual celebrations in hostel canteen and a treat in a restaurant. Second year onwards, I had shifted to another hostel with smaller group of friends. The tradition went on for next two years, without the beating part though.
The last birthday celebration in R-land had a lot of nostalgia added to it. For past three and half years, we had made some truly great friends, and the time was coming close to say it all a heartfelt goodbye. Well, I don't need to say what happens to saying goodbyes, if you start adding a little alcohol to it :P. Daaru-chapos were getting common way to celebrate someone getting a job or for someone's birthday or for any god-damn reason to spend some quality time together. I was mostly on the non-drinkers' side, having fun of the conversation and then, reminding everyone the next day what they did :P. So, it was my last birthday and there was a cake. And, then some daaru. And, then there was a rage against a Professor X. Let me back you up a little. We had classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and we tried to move the classes from Mondays and Fridays along with other classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but the Professor X didn't agree to move his classes, citing simple enough reason that he didn't want us to have long weekends for the whole semester. So, coming back to my birthday now. It was Thursday night and after having cake and some drink, we all had "some great fun" and went to sleep. Next morning, at 9 am sharp, kids had to go for Prof. X's class. And, the professor began telling a story putting his sarcastic smile on his face. It went on as, "Something funny happened last night. Somebody locked my apartment door from outside". Well, what else can I say. Apart from that, we had our legendary Goa trip few weeks later. And, that Goa trip will remain the best birthday gift I ever got. Thank you folks.
Birthday bumps on my 25th :-/
Nostalgia of leaving R-land was just getting over when I landed in the alien land of US of A. First birthday celebration was okay following similar tradition as college. I was still nostalgic about my last birthday celebration in R-land though. I didn't know a lot of people back then, but slowly I have made some truly amazing friends here. Then I turned 25. Time passed by. This year, I had my last birthday celebration with these amazing folks. Yes, they will be friends for life. Yes, I will miss you guys a lot, wherever I will be. With all this nostalgia, I look forward to exploring the adventure of being in a new place pretty soon and begin a new phase of my life. Soon enough.