Posted in Birthday specials

Turning 30

As it happens every year, this December 29 also, it happened to be my birthday. Not such a famous day till now, as the only celebrity I know whom I share my birthday with is Twinkle Khanna, born a good 8 years before me, better known nowadays as Mrs Akshay Kumar.
This birthday was a special one.
Like my thirteenth birthday, which gave me the special feeling of triumph, of a boy moving into his teens.
Like my twentieth birthday, which made me feel I really graduated from a teen to a big guy.
Like my twenty fifth birthday, when people around me told its time to show some level of maturity in my behaviour.
This was number thirty for me. 
As people say, it’s an age of transition. Even though I personally would still love to be called flirty at thirty, the number, like all the ones I had put up before this one, is not just another number. It is signalling that finally, I have stepped into middle ages.
I remember reading this line somewhere…. “The Age Thirty Transition is a difficult one; there is the danger of chaos and dissolution, the loss of hope for the future”.
Don’t know if that statement was true. But definitely I did not see that change in any of my friends who made the transition before me. They are as young (at heart) and trendy at thirty as they have been at thirteen.
And some people say that it’s time for a little grey hair to set in. I don’t really mind that too. MS Dhoni, who hit thirty a good one year before me has a lot more grey on his sideburns that I have. Only spots of the lighter shade on my tresses are the ones on my head that I had been keeping since my teens. Only that I have been losing tresses in the process of gaining glamour. As most guys say nowadays after the advent of Fahad Fazil, a bit of baldness is a good fashion statement. Add to the new greys coming up on the top left corner of the little French beard I keep nowadays. Hope it develops itself to the glamorous proportions of Big B.
One thing that’s special about birthdays is gifts. I had written last year too, about one of the special gifts that I had received on one of my previous birthdays. Some of you found it funny, some of you found it stinky, but most of you liked it.
This year too those regular things were there, but something special popped up.
My ex-boss told me once that people discover their way forward by the time they enter the age that I am in now. Before that, most of us may have had good careers and success, but something small or big that happens at this epoch, shows us the direction. He was speaking directly in reference to my specific interest in blogging that I had developed over the last two years or so, and how I went about from being an ordinary blogger to someone who is considered good enough to be picked up by Cinthol for the Alive is Awesome blogging campaign. He would say that maybe writing was the key to my life, instead of wasting time being the white collar guy that I am, I should go ahead and write in full throttle.
Some of my initial literatures have been inspired from the sparks that were given to me by one close dear friend. And it was she who sent me the special gift this season – a collection of Chetan Bhagat’s novels.
She did remember that sometime back, when she was reading my blogs inspired from her, I told her that I wanted to be the next CB. It was a pure hype and exaggeration that I had put into those words; just to show off that my blog was also world class. But those words stuck.
During our conversations, some time I casually mentioned to her that I had not read any of CB’s novels, despite loving the synopsis of most of those, and the ones that had been made into movies. And despite the urge to read those, I told her, I still don’t know why I had not bothered to pick a copy of any of those from those stores I visited or from
Those were the reasons I feel, that made her gift those books to me – a perfect collection of five CB authored books.
Now you would be thinking what is so special in receiving CB’s books on courier on a birthday. Well, the special was the message that came along with it….
“To my best friend – a small stepping stone to be the best writer”
Nothing has motivated me more than these words in recent times. It has come from a person, who really pushed the writer in me to be creative. And it has provided the right impetus for my ingenuity to be pushed ahead.
“A small stepping stone….”  
For me – “this small stepping stone, is a great destination itself”
Posted in Birthday specials

A unique birthday treat

Birthday gifts have been something that has not bothered to capture my attention. Significant birthday gifts in kind have only been the ones in recent memory, the books that Dhanya and Shyama have gifted, the T-Shirts and shirts etc.

Maybe, other than the books, nothing has made a significant impact on me – except for the ONE BIG SURPRISE I had before 29th December 2005. It was 2 days before my biggest ever party that we had on New Year’s Eve, of which I had written in one of my earlier literatures. The day was my 23rd birthday’s eve, and in those days, there was no social network giants like facebook or orkut to remind friends of birthdays.

It was the middle of a busy month end week, and being in the night shifts at HSBC, I always had a lot of sleep to catch up to. So every day, once I am back from Office, after the heavy lunch, I would be in a slumber till late night, most probably till 10 or 11pm. My shift usually starts at 1am, so my roommates Saju and Vinod usually brings me some parcel for dinner from the nearby Kairali hotel at Kamanahalli.

Occasionally when the sleep was difficult to catch up due to some disturbance, either Vinod talking on the mobile or Saju playing FIFA 2005 on the PC (It was not the age of laptops yet), I would wake up early (in this case, early means 8pm), and go out for dinner with them to Kairali or Empire Hotel.

On 28th also, I woke up to such a noise, I remember perfectly that it was quite a loud noise that day, Saju and Vinod shouting profanity at each other for no reason. Little did I know that it was a well planned out, stage managed act to wake me up and take me for a special dinner party (well… if you can call it that). I felt ok to wake up early, as it was my birthday right after midnight and was expecting a few of my close friends to call up just after midnight. I had no idea that my roommates had a thought that it was my birthday the next day.

We reached Kairali after a short 10 minutes walk, on the way as usual gossiping about the latest happenings at our office. The guys were absolutely kind to me that day and I had no inkling of the providence that was to befall me. At Kairali, at the table were already waiting Tijo and Shyam, my friends from College who were also in Bangalore and staying close by.

A smiling exchange of the usual loose talks between friends and we were yet to order the food. I had the first use of the wash and took my seat, the others then left the table for a wash. I suspected no harm in this…. and what happened seconds later was one of the most stinking, coldest and breathless (and yes… the happiest also) moments of my life.

What I got was a shower of rotten eggs on my head!!!

Gosh, all four of them rained one after the other at least 20 putrid eggs on my head and I was not in a position to make out what had hit me. My eyes were blocked of vision, but whatever little I could hear from the commotion outside, I could hear the entire mankind present at the hotel singing Happy birthday!!!

It was one kind of crazy way to treat a friend on a birthday. After all, it was a different kind of workout altogether. Although I stunk like I was the biggest rotten egg in the world, it gave me an extreme kind of pleasure in my mind as I had seen no other friend being given such a hit on a birthday. Also, I was quite amused that they took the effort to find my birthday, when I had never even told any of them that it was the day.

And don’t even think of the situation – I completed my dinner there and the walk back to our home… all in this form only. Back home, it took the next 2 hours to clean me up… well, those guys did not even think of helping me out. It was one of the toughest cleanup sessions of my life.

After it all ended, I was just in time for my cab to office. By the time it was past midnight and I started getting what all of us get on a normal birthday… wishes from parents, sister, close relatives and friends.

Those were the days!!!! After that, birthdays were mostly about the cake cutting (and of course, the facials that we get with the cream). But this one of a kind experience gave me one bright lesson in life – “Think Different”.

Only one regret – there are no photographs of the event 😦

It is the man who “Thinks Different” who is able to create an impact on others. Saju, Vinod, Tijo and Shyam – what was supposed to be just another ordinary birthday was made into an extraordinary experience by you guys!!!

It will remain etched in gold in my mind forever!!! Thank you dear friends!!!