It’s that time of the year again, when you start getting ready to go up the numbers ladder and blow more candles on your cake. Me, I stopped putting candles on my cake long time back. I now prefer just eating the cake and then spend the rest of the week worrying about the calories I piled on.
But it wasn’t always like that. As a kid I would wait 12 months for this special day. A day when I would feel like a princess and get pampered silly. My working Mom would take the day off for me and I would come home to a feast of my favourite dishes laid out in silver. The whole day would pass in a fervid state of excitement. Surrounded by friends, family and so much love – this was my day with me as the centre of universe. The icing on the cake would be late at night, after the party when all the guests had left. I would unwrap my gifts one by one, eyes shining, breathless with anticipation. I would feel like a character in a fairy tale, living my dream.
As I matured into a young girl, the gifts changed. Bye-bye boxes of crayons, board games, books and hello trinkets, flower vases (I used to hate them with a vengeance). Friends were taken out for a treat and evenings would be close-knit family affairs.
I started working, settled into matrimony, fumbling bumbling as a mother and wife, yet the day never lost its specialness. True, I stopped counting days and would come up with a new crib every few years. Damn, the last year of my 20’s....Can’t believe I turned 35, Gosh am old... 40! Sigh! I am officially old now. But no force on Earth could stop me from feeling like a princess, ok change that to queen. I would come home laden with flowers and gifts, plonk them on the bed, excitedly wait for the husband to come from office and proudly show off the saris, dresses, perfumes I had got. And yes, I was still getting flower vases, damn!
And now as I get ready to celebrate my 42nd birthday I can’t help but think of what my Mum used to say long ago. In my head I am still the college girl I was, only my body has aged and I would look at her with incredulous eyes. It took me close to two decades to fully understand what she really meant. Because in my heart I am still the excitable little girl who finds joy when she spots butterflies in that corner garden, hums a song for days that suddenly creeps in her head from a long forgotten past and loves getting pampered. She loves waking up to cards with those special messages from her husband, that cup of coffee that she gets to have in bed, the surprise that her daughter plans for her and the endless phone calls she gets from family and friends. Her parents come in the evening, her brother cracks his mandatory you are getting old jokes. She will try to cut out the thinnest possible slice of cake for herself and end up having another. She is also praying she doesn’t get another flower vase to add to her growing collection. 42 here I come!!!!