Thursday 1 April 2010

Weird meanderings at the stroke of 12 am

These days I stay up late writing my thesis which is pretty much engrossing but every night at the stroke of 12 as if by some inner programming I start thinking whether it’s someone’s birthday and I ought to wish them. I never quite care to stay up late in order to wish someone but since anyway I am staying up late, I start to think about birthdays. Sadly none this far!

Now this trigger of thought had me meandering about birthdays and their significance as one grows steadily older.

As a kid birthdays are anticipated with much gusto right from the day the New Year dawns and I being somewhere in the last months have to wait a bit longer. The wait makes it all the more delightful. The joy of a new dress plus the cake plus the gifts used to be the highlight of the year and I actually looked forward to getting older. I remember proudly announcing: “I am five today!” Whoa, so much for aging.

Then came the teens -- the days of falling-in-love and out-of-love. Birthdays were special but not so much as when one was four or five. Teens were times for friends and only friends. This was the time of greeting-cards and presents like nail-polish, stationery, etc.

The first few years of the twenties were full of fiery idealism. Birthdays were only celebrated by the bourgeoisie, I argued.  It was just an adding of years, so what the big fuss. In fact I used to condemn anyone who chided me for not wishing on their birthday. I wished only a couple of them and would never utter “Happy Birthday.” I just muttered a “Have a great year ahead.” The wishing at 12 was there sometimes and not there most of the times. I personally did not like to be wished for I thought it was just a formality people adhere to.

The last of the twenties, I struck a balance. Relationships were indeed important and so wishing on a birthday made the other person feel nice and good. I started thinking about the others. Finally.

And today standing at thirty, I am much the same as the last of the twenties. I do wish people at 12, if I remember and am awake. I take time to count my years and feel that in this world where tomorrow is not sure, it feels lovely to add another year to one’s life. Birthdays are no long bourgeoisie, it’s a reason to feel gratitude and warm about the milestones crossed.

And all this began when the clock struck 12!!!
Image courtesy: Internet


  1. Such a beautiful post....
    When I came to the part where you have mentioned teenage birthday's.... I thought of us... how can I not:) that's the time we have spent our maximum time with eachother.... Missing those days a lot... you somehow triggered my memories of those days... wont go into details but I am smiling at those memories...:) especially of the birthdays spent....:)

    Cheers my darling Susan
    Love Seema

  2. Yeah, so true... that's how it is. The whole birthday experience changes from age to age. Now that I am touching 30 too, it's actually just another ordinary day, glad when people remember it though.
    By the way, thanks for dropping by my blog. Take care.

  3. HuH its one of those posts where again I had to check whether it is a post written by me or you???? Hmm even after trying to find something which is not in agreement with my feelings, I just could not. :P
    Great Post!
    The only difference being the month. I always had to celebrate it among the midst of exam days. But still I used to have a lot of fun as a school kid.
    I wish you complete your thesis comfortably without much effort.
    JOY Always (a la susan):P

  4. Totally agree Susan.. Birthdays did differ as we grew up... Your post reminded me of the days when I used to get a new dress for my sister's birthday and vice versa, that our teachers used to ask us whose birthday it was :)We were that silly :)And as we grew up birthdays became synonymous with giving treats to friends :)

  5. Hey Susan interesting things happen at the stroke of the midnight it independence of the country or that of the mind...haha!
    However this brouhaha about birthdays never got into me probably because all four(we 4 brothers and sisters) of us never had it as our parents never had fact my parents don't remember our birthdays even.And my father has been so cynical about this whole 'phoren' concept and very bitter about the pain it causes to certain people who neither have the resource nor the etiquette about this.And maybe all that cynicism has trickled down into me.But still whenever i can i wish my friends only because it makes them happy which in turns warms me too.But tell u what it doesn't come automatically to me...i have to drive myself to it...if u know what i mean?No offence intended just telling u my side of the story.:)

  6. I am such a sucker for a good night's sleep that I all thru school and college I used to hate the midnight wishes - now all my near and dear ones are aware of this insensitive behavior of mine and nobody bothers me at midnight anymore :)

  7. As a year passes it adds to your age
    like turning of the book page by page
    the passing time has helped to assuage
    my temper and now I search for my rage
    I can't find it anywhere, I have become a sage.

    The passing years definitely change your outlook to life, mellowing you down and softening you up.

  8. You've offered here a nice chronicle of your birthdays: as a kid, as a teenager, early twenties, late twenties..

    I totally agree with what is so beautifully said about birthdays in your last paragraph "'s a reason to feel gratitude and warm about the milestones crossed".

  9. I do not celetrate them with such gusto , because we have this idea that Oh alreatdy 44!!!
    But it's nice to be able to celebrate you are another year alive...

  10. Greetings dear Susan,

    You are still a baby . . . however turning thirty is special, as you leave the wild twenties behind.

    Once I had my open heart surgery at 56, I looked at birthdays differently. Now I am sixty and I see birthdays not in years but decades, while celebrating each day by following a dream as best as I can.

    Wishing you a wonderful Easter weekend,

  11. You remind me of my sister.. she is the sweet one in the family. She remembers birthdays, anniversaries, dates of every thing, person and event.. and makes effort in wishing by text msg or a gift.. (and she is a busy CEO..while i am NOT..and i don't even have time to do half the things she did) I can't stand her sometimes. She just has time to do everything. Irony?



  12. Our charm for our B'day decreases as we grow old. Interesting post! :) Enjoyed reading it. :)

  13. I have no issue with celebrating birthdays as long as they are done in good taste. In the US people tend to go all out and go into debt for throwing parties they can't afford. It's that entitlement mentality that I object to, not the celebrating itself.

  14. Wow...a great post...I stopped celebrating my birthday many moons ago...don't know just felt okay...a little reflection and then I just move one gets to find out:):)

    Have a nice day, friend:)

  15. How you put down your thoughts is bewildering ! I find indescribable pleasure in eyeing your blog and reviewing your posts.

    Amazing, Susan :)

  16. Words blended and sewn neatly. Hard task done. Superb.

  17. Our thoughts certainly are interesting. Birthdays do have a way of bringing us up short causing us to take account or ourselves. I think it is interesting the reason you did not want to be wished happy birthday - I find the same feeling when one asks, "How are you today." Do they really care? Probably not.:)

  18. Hi susan,
    thts a good post on birthdays n the hour of our tryst with destiny :)

    I guess I never got into the birthdays habit myself with no celebrations happening..but as i grew, I realsied that it is a nice token gesture, like nu rightly said time is short years fall by, so why not be happy at another year adding to your life :)

    keep it going.

    I would aslo like to invite you to my blog

  19. Well, Susan, as we grow older we do also grow wiser. I'm 39, and once upon a time, celebrating my birthday was something of great joy. Nowadays, it is a day for me to reflect on my life, where I've been, where I'm going. And I'm actually happy to grow older; I have no issues with it at all. I look at my few wrinkles and tell myself that I have earned them. Yes, I am proud of my signs of aging. Somehow, that is twisted, but it is also a sign of self-awareness, I think. And, thinking at the witching hour... well, I'm no stranger to that, Dear Susan! :-)


  20. Seema:

    A part of my life in inextricably linked with yours. I'm indeed fortunate to have you in this journey. Blessings to you always :)


    Thanks for coming by. Believe me, 3o is a lovely year to behold life. In fact all the years are. You are always welcome Karen :)


    I so liked this comment. Glad that our paths crossed. The dialogues are quite engrossing. Thanks for your kind words. You brought a smile to me by this comment :)

  21. Sukanya:

    I'm happy we agree on a lot of things. Not the nail art, of course. Joking here. Birthdays are milestones, don't you agree.


    Thanks for coming by the meanderings and allowing yourself to pour insights from your life. No offense dear Shivani. You can express whatever you feel like. i appreciate honest comments.
    Joy always.


    Good for you. A good night's sleep is very essential but not for me these days :(

  22. Govind:

    As I read your comment
    I cannot but lament
    why can't I comment
    like Govind, ARDENT.

    Not as good as yours but a trial nevertheless. Thanks Govind for the lovely comment, as always.


    Thanks for the kind words dear one. Time changes all of us so much.


    You must be growing sweeter over the years and that deserves to be celebrated. 44 years of sweetness is just amazing. Don't you agree dear Dulce.

  23. Egmont:

    Baby, yes. I loved the different perspectives on this post and yours was the best: calling me a baby! Egmont, your life is a testament of following dreams and taking one day at a time. That is definitely wonderful!


    I remember everything by default. It's not that I want to but it just stays there. Programmed that way dear Silver. Please let not a stage come where you can't stand me.

    Hugs always Silver.


    Thanks for coming by the meanderings. Lovely to have people writing their thoughts. I am glad you enjoyed reading this piece.

  24. Angie:

    You are right here. Birthdays are quite personal and yet communal. It's a reason to celebrate the living and the alive!


    That's the nicest way of doing it: reflecting and moving on. Have a lovely day Cyrus.


    You always have nice things to say to me and I am quite enthralled by your expression. Thanks Mohamed :)

  25. Stranger:

    Welcome and thanks for your compliment. I don't know whether I am worth it but the words made me glow with happiness :) Thanks for the visit.


    Seems like a long time. People care or nor, I'm glad they take the time to wish. Now this is the present Susan not the older one who did not liked to be wished.


    We should definitely be happy for having a year been added to us. I shall come over to your place and check out the spread in the assorted platter.

    Thanks for coming by and writing your insights.

  26. Nevine:

    I wait for your comments like a school student who waits for the last bell to ring. Nevine, we do grow wiser and that makes me think: Is that process for everyone? I am glad that you see your wrinkles as part of you. It is. The witching hour has become a creative hour as well.

    Joy always dear Nevine.

  27. Birthdays are such special occasions!!! :) And there is nothing which can make up for the joy which reflects on our loved ones' faces or in their voices when one gets to be the first one to wish them at 12!! :)
    Love the way you weave your reflections and give us such thoughtful perspectives. Very sweet post :)
    Lots of love
    Hope you are having a lovely , happy time Susan :)

  28. Ruchi:

    Long time huh. How have you been. Your words are always like cool breeze that invigorates my spirits.

    JOy always :)

  29. Beautiful thoughts my dear friend, I have been contemplating similar ones in my older posts.;)
    I recall when I celebrated my 30 and felt so old. Today I smile with amusement as being a few years pass forty as well, it seems inevitable that each round birthday feels a bit heavier on ones shoulder. There is a certain sadness when one says good by to a decade that feels so familiar and is replaced by this very unfamiliar, strange new number.;)
    But it is only a number after all and age is relative. Even when I am sixty, I will appear young to those who are ninety.;) And eventually, age is a mindset.;)

  30. Zuzana Zuzana,

    Wonderful to read your comment as always. I feel 30 is a lovely age to be.It's like standing in the mid way of life! Knowing you I can vouch for the fact that you will as resplendent and vibrant as you are know.

    Joy always to your formidable spirit.

  31. Hi Susan
    Thank you for your kind comment my friend:) It has been a hectic month...And I am glad I finally got time to come back to meanderings...I did miss it...
    take care

  32. Dear Ruchi:

    It's pretty hectic in this side as well. Hope I am settled soon.

    You enjoy the weekend :)

    Joy always.

  33. I believe I'm going to die soon, just like everyone else and I want to celebrate my birthday every year in my own way!Plus, it's an excuse to make people feel special. I am just reading your blog and I'm loving it! Taking a few pointers.


  34. Voice:

    Whose voice? Mine? Yours?

    A comment on an old post long written is like discovering money when you are searching for something else. Felt nice to read you comment. Welcome to the meanderings. Glad that you stopped by.

    Thanks for the nice words. See you around.

    Joy and peace always :)



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