….of hogwash and gimcrack (nice words, eh? Thought it this post should come with a warning, just in case).
So the birthday blues have come and gone to be replaced with exuberance that borders on being hyper. But what’s the use of being a year shy of my silver jubilee if I can’t play the cute idiot for a little longer? And if there’s anything I have known about myself this many years, it is that I am the happiest when I am doling out random useless theories. Like last year I came up with the letter I had written to my thirty year old self on my birthday, this year it is again a birthday related theory, and just so it sounds all academic and professional I give it the name “Redistribution of birthdays among different age groups to ensure equal distribution of birthday-related happiness among all“. Alright, I didn’t come up with this name. My friend DeD did. But the theory is mine. Swear.
This theory was actually triggered by something my mother had mentioned on my birthday two days ago. She reminded me of this extremely obnoxious and quirky habit I used to have of counting the number of days left to my next birthday right after the day of my birthday each year. And I started wondering since when it got to be replaced by gloom and depression as I sighed and moaned through the whole of my birthday lamenting the loss of another year; bringing me closer to a time when “How rude is that!” would be my only response to anyone rude enough to ask me my age, rather than laughing and saying, “How old do you think I am?” and breezily waving it off because I simply know they think I look younger than what I really am. And that’s when I came up with this brilliant (forgive me for saying so myself) idea which will make everyone, but everyone, happy.
So kids like birthdays. Period. Kiddie birthdays are about birthday cakes in shapes of cartoons and cars, candles which proudly announce just how big they are now, loud and messy games with a free ticket to yell as loud as it is possible without bringing the roof down, and the gifts….Aah!… flashy new toys to be played with incessantly for a week and then to be tossed with the old ones without any regard. And grown ups don’t like birthdays. At all. Grown up birthdays are about worrying as to how much money to spend on the party this time, worrying as to how that dreaded age of 30/35/40 (and so on) seems to be hurtling towards them faster than they can handle it, worrying about receding hair lines and lovers’ handles and laughter lines that somehow appear without even laughing, and everything else under the sun, but basically it is about worrying after all.
And what do we do about it? Simple. We ensure a kid gets his fair share of birthdays when he can enjoy them. Say till a kid is ten, he can have like multiple birthdays in a year. Starting from the age of four (I am assuming that’s when they start understanding birthdays and stuff) they can have, say, four birthdays in a year. Fantastically messy and noisy birthdays. With the guests, the cake, the toffees, and the whole darn thing. And then maybe when he turns seven, we reduce it to three in a year, and so on till he turns ten, and the number is down to two in a year. Or maybe we can let them choose how many birthdays they want. Customized to their own needs, you see. Extremely gratifying.
So when the pre-teens and teens set in, we can have the normal, one birthday a year thing going on. With the exception of sixteen (Won’t it be nice to be “sweet-sixteen” for two years?). And when they turn twenty, we kind of slow down the whole birthday wagon wheel. We could start with a birthday in two years, and after twenty-five, maybe we could make it one in three years. See the beauty? But here’s the best part. One can remain twenty-nine for five whole years. Beat that if you can. “Twenty-something” for more than two decades and a half! And the process of slowing gets slower. So you can be thirty-five for six years if you want to, and forty for ten, and fifty for fifteen. No one thus actually gets to an age where you need to feel really “old” old. Time, for once, will slow down and wait for you to gracefully get used to being of a certain age before you are ruthlessly made older. The line “Abhi meri umar hi kya hain?” would be like the punchline of your life. In short, you will have had your fair share of birthdays, and an even fairer share of happiness. Nice, eh?
With that happy thought… for now..