I remember how I used to draw little glitter stars every year on the 2nd of September in my diary when I was young and happily dumb in the ways of the world. It's strange how fast, and with what vengeance the years creep ahead and very often it's with a jerk of strong emotions we realize that things have actually changed. I got my father's first email birthday wish today and needless to say, it felt 'capital'. I love the fact that in spite of the infinite miles we can communicate in more than one way. Although his mail has the natural eloquence that is expected of a retired professor of English, every time I read it I somehow stop at this one line --"Every year this day, I remember the night you were born and the subsequent birthdays we observed together." It has been more than four hours since I got his mail and I am still not able to shake off the nostalgia.
Birthday is the most awaited of all days in a child's calender and I was no different. I remember this day when Ma would prepare a grand feast for my friends in the evening and how after all the hullabaloo was over we would watch a movie that was rented especially for the occasion. A certain uncle who is a close family friend and also happens to be one of my father's oldest students would take my picture for what he called a 'memory photo'. This was an unfailing ritual for him every year and I reveled in the moment all decked up in my birthday finery. After all I was his beloved Sir's 'little girl'.
All this feels like a long lost era now. In the meanwhile this little girl grew up into a rebellious brat and now has a little world of her own. Where did those days go? Sure there are the ever faithful memories, and a trunkful of them I have, to revisit these happy days. But they don't help every time, they are not the real deal. Sometimes I wonder why do we have to grow up at all? Because then we grow out of certain moulds and fall into some less cherished ones. Here I am, a woman of 27, going on 28 arranging and rearranging the clutter of emotions inside my helpless head. Still, the one thought rules -- Why do we have to grow up?!