"Happy Birthday to you"
Out of all the birthday wishes, I remember our help Kamala's wishes to me early morning when I was still in junior school, in my skirts and ribboned hair. Kamala did not speak or understand a word of English.
There is something about a birthday. And a birthday wish.
Have realised this even more after Facebook .
Last year ( am just two years old on FB) I lapped up all the wishes greedily and was quite smug about the long columns of wishes from friends and friends of friends who we have not met for years.
Why do we feel so special on our birthday?
Noone really goes philosophical about remembering the day we were born and contemplating on whether we have spent worthwhile years and what we shall do with the remaining.
Birthdays are fun because of the celebrations associated with it.
It's a day when we get lots and lots of smiles and gifts and hugs. Even the biggest pranks ( as kids) and mistakes ( as grown up kids) get a benign smile and a nod of "It's ok". We can get away with just about anything.
A day when we are definitely in the spotlight. From the time we wear our "birthday dress" and share a packet of Morton's in class to today where we walk into work with something special.
A day when official flowers and a card make workplace feel extra nice.
The gifts. The excitement of getting the big parcels with teddy bears and flowers printed on the wrapping when we were young to the more demure wrapping now. The thrill of opening a gift makes one feel like a child.
And the cake. How can a birthday be complete without the cake. With the icing. The cursive "Happy Birthday". The candles. The knife sitting consciously on the side. Standing behind a cake makes one more conscious and more happy than any podium in the world.
None of this would have made a birthday special if we were alone.
Birthdays are what they are because of people around us.
It's a day when everyone forgives and forgets and heads pop in and out with genuine smiles and wishes.
A day when a simple birthday song is sung with more harmony than the best practised choirs.
When we leave cast off our grown up cloaks and get to smashing the cake on the hapless victim with a gusto no team work workshop can ever get.
No matter how old we are, birthdays never fail to bring out the child in each of us. It is a day when we truly feel blessed.