Once again, it's the 7th of January, and besides the 21st death anniversary of Emperor Hirohito of Japan and another Eastern Orthodox Christmas... some friends and family are also celebrating the fact that I was born, celebrating for the 21st time (22nd if you count the time I was actually born). All this while I pace alone at the midnight hour on the 2.2 kilometre long circular stretch around the campus, very creatively named "the 2.2".
So basically, I'm congratulated for not dying for another 12 months ... But then, I guess there may be more to it.
As a child, one sees elders running around fulfilling elderly social obligations, acting all mature and responsible, and then there is all the excitement about it. I'll be 18 someday, and then 20, and then 21, and suddenly I'll stop eating chocolates, and realise that I've matured. As if a moment will come and go, and I'll stop (or rather start) talking funny, and start about career and meaning of life stuff, and worrying about my Provident Fund, and that'll be it. Now that I'm 21, I know that's not true. Just because other 21 year olds have started pretending to be mature, for they're expected to be, doesn't mean I have to. There, I said it. Not only do I have Peter Pan's syndrome, I'm actually proud of it. And like last time, I must ask you to bear with me, it's my Birthday!
And frankly, I have always talked funny stuff. Meaning of life. The Universe. Indian Mentality. Politics. The I-am-God attitude (of the IITian who simultaneously has the I've-got-no-balls-on-me mentality). Education System. Ever since I can remember. So what does this 21st Birthday bring to me.
It gives me harder questions to answer, decisions to make. It gives me a chance to observe how much I've changed, how much the way I look at things has changed, and another opportunity for "stock-taking" of my life (Just an extension of the New Year's dawn, in my case). To acknowledge that I only have so many days on this earth. To see how much more can I enjoy the passage of time, how much can I be closer to the state of ultimate Peace...
A Birthday is one day of the year one gets to themselves. To really enjoy all that's going on around oneself, and to ignore some of it too. For everyone they know to deceive them and to make them feel like the most special person in the world. For them to celebrate, sleep in, take the day off of class or work, watch movies, party, do something... anything but ignore it. Come on, it's just one day, one whole day that belongs to the person, and they only get one per year. And today, is mine.
So - quoting Clint Eastwood (as Harry Callahan) from Sudden Impact - Go ahead, make my day!
And a bit of maturity at the end of it all, with my experiences in the past year summed up beautifully, by the great philosopher Jagger, in one song: