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Sunday, December 27, 2009

On Joining the Mid-Twenties Brigade.

So, Happy Birthday to me! Make that Happy 25th Birthday to me. 27th December 2009. And indeed it was a happy one :)

Birthdays have usually meant major sulks for me seeing as how they come bang in the middle of Christmas holidays. It didn't help that I studied in a school run by Christian missionaries so we were given more holidays than other schools. Nor did it help that after a point, friends always lived too far away to really be there at any birthday parties. Or maybe, the problem was more that I expected more than I could have and ended up disappointed. There have been a few birthdays which were, if not fantastic, very nice indeed! Like in 5th standard when my then girl chums descended on the house (they had to be invited, of course) and we proceeded to have a typical mid-primary party with too much oil in our hair, ghastly outfits and bright smiles as I cut a home-baked cake and fed on mum's cooking. The photos are around somewhere. Girl chums of yore on the other hand ... we've drifted far apart. As was bound to happen.

Or take the one in tenth standard. Held a few days early (for some now-forgotten reason) ... when my then bunch of friends stopped by. It was a fun day! My parents were away and it was Ajji who took such pains to make pav-bhaji and the requisite sweet-dish (I'm ashamed to say I can't remember if it was narali-holgi or sakhar-bhath), ensuring my day was special. And of all the people who were there that day, Gem is the only one I'm still in touch with. Gem who was with me on my birthday last year, in Singapore. Who never fails to wish me on my birthday, proving on that one day that he isn't all the forgetful-absentminded prof everyone accuses him of being :) Okay so he was trying a number that I haven't used in two years today, but he did IM AND email, I ain't complaining ONE bit!

Today's though ... something else again.

I had friends ring my doorbell at 12 prompt (while I was yakking on IM with another friend and on the phone with celestialrays) ... and while they didn't bring a cake, just the sight of all those friendly faces, having given up plans of a 'boys only night out' just to be there at 12, that nailed it for me. They stayed for tea and left. All the time narrating tales of who had farted the most in the car and how they had maintained a defensive attitude and how everyone else reacted, endless repetitions of dialogues from 3-idiots in random contexts (to me, to them they were in-jokes) ... and they produced a bottle of wine. Which turned out to be a recycled birthday present of another friend who leaves the country tomorrow. They're honest. I'll give them that. And it was bloody good wine!

And after much faffing about, I dozed off and woke up early-ish. Folks've long ago learned not to call me at early hours, even on my birthday, simply because I won't answer. I value sleep above all else, sorry. So, for a change, I was up and calling the folks. No, I wasn't demanding to be wished. I just wanted mum's naan recipe. But of course, everyone had to wish me first after which I got afore-requested recipe. After which I went out to get needed groceries. And had to do a quick re-arrangement and re-planning of chosen menu. That done, I got down to cooking and with the help of two absolutely lovely people, lunch was made. Mint and peas 'pulao'*, seviayya kheer, raita, a chhole-aloo hashed sabzi and kneaded atta (we forgot about making 'naan' which were actually going to be chapatis, owing to leaving it till everyone else arrived so they'd be hot. And the sabzi was too less :P).

And then there was a 90 minute wait while the rest of the party was aroused from deep slumber and told to get their asses here fast. Which they did. And the rest of the evening whizzed by as we ate hungrily and then people played Bluff and Poker while I played 'DJ' and generally faffed around. After which a round of chai happened amidst watching clips of Omid Djallili, Russell Peters and The Mitchell and Webb Look.

They left a while ago, after helping me clean the place up AND do dishes. The house suddenly feels empty and it's beginning to hit me now that tomorrow Life will be back to its routine hum and I will be a year older than I was, a day ago.

So what's it like to be 25? It's only a number, what are you talking about?

I'm kidding. It doesn't work like that though you know. You don't suddenly feel different at the stroke of twelve (or, if you want to be really pedantic, then whatever hour that you were born at). There's no nirvana-spray that hits you, nor are there moments of epiphany just because the clock has struck. Not for me anyway, if it's happened to you, well then, good for you! (And do tell! ;) )

But do I feel different? Hell yes! :) It's been a fantastic year. Fantastic. Even if not everything has gone per plan. But I guess that's the beauty of it. Or maybe, that is the point of it. I don't really know. Maybe it's not your plan that you focus on but that of the cosmos because it cancels your plans and makes you do things you wouldn't otherwise, which go exactly as per its design. I don't really know, I'm only 25!

I feel different though. Not in a "Gawd I hated beans last year but this year I'm willing to eat them, but only if they are prepared in a certain way" different, heck, I doubt I can actually begin to describe what this 'different' is. But, it is. Different. (Insert quick ad for Maggi Hot and Sweet Tomato Chilli Sauce.)

Take today's party for example. Birthdays so far have meant a day of major sulks because friends couldn't/wouldn't be around and I had rathe large expectations of a birthday party. But this year, I am incredibly happy at having organised things myself and even spent my 'special day' cooking for other people. Well I didn't do it all by myself but I bothered. As opposed to being whiny kid wanting things on a platter. God, I've been awful. Prolly still am, a whole lot.

I'm a teeny bit more responsible than before, maybe. But I have a long way to go. A very very long way. And I only hope that those around me will have the patience to deal with me while I grow up still. That even more, they will tell me off when I need it.

I've done loads of stuff I've wanted to but didn't really get around to. Sometimes, I've even managed to step out of my comfort zone. Not necessarily big hulking steps that took me far out, maybe just teeny-tiny baby steps which still do make a difference. Some difference.

I might've learned a lasting lesson or two about relationships. And I hope I can act upon them. Consistently.

I have a good life. And I'm very very thankful for it.

Presents? With an entire year that was one huge present, they seem rather ... insignificant. It seems a bit silly to want material things I mean (and believe me, I was hard pressed to come up with a wish list at all because I invarably thought "But I already have everything I want and need!") But I did get presents. The girls gave me soaps etc from Lush (with the boxes stuffed with popcorn which tasted of soap [duh!] ... it's put me and our male chef off popcorn for a while), and the guys got me curling tongs! Of all the inexplicable things. No, apparently there is some convoluted explanation, some in-joke of sorts. Boys! I was rather delighted with it though because I might've wanted one of those vaguely.

Oddly enough, the lack of books hasn't really bothered me. 25 working it's magic, hah!

And, I'm being taken to the theatre one evening :D

I also bought some stuff, which is to be considered as given by the folks:

The funny thing is, this isn't stuff I'd have picked up earlier. I don't wear sunglasses. Ever. But I have a pair now! And boots! Well, I've wanted them for a while but I've put off getting them and a watch for so long that ... it's a bit of a surprise, having now bought them just like that. Seen, loved and bought. You can keep looking for something for ages and then you'll find it when you're least expecting it. Enjoy window shopping in the meantime, and don't fret about finding what you're looking for. It'll find you.

I guess that really is the lesson in all this turning-25 business.

And now for the best bits. Always save them for the last ;)

Words from two very precious people, girls as dear as none other, souls without whom this year wouldn't have meant as much as it does and without whom, Life would be dull, dull, dull (and who make me wonder how I ever got by without them, before).

Says the Lady of Lorien, our Kind Galadriel:

"Of books and cats. Of photographs and memories. Of intellect and unnatural humility.

Dewey is all of the above and so much more. Over the last year or so that I have known her (has it really been a year?!) we have become very close – I feel a connection with her that I feel with so few other people.

I’m not referencing any of her posts because it is simply impossible to find one that is better than any other. That being said, her blog is just one of the places where you can see the tremendous potential she has as a storyteller, as a thinker. If you know her as I have, you will realize that this is just a very minuscule tip of the enormous iceberg of talent lurking underneath the surface.

That doesn’t mean that she isn’t fun. What it does mean is that she has the ability to separate the serious from the silly, to know exactly the difference between cerebral and crazy.

As she steps into a new year, a new age, I can only expect that she will achieve everything she sets out to do and more. And I hope she does plan the much promised trip to the USA!

Happy birthday, girl."

And how could anything be complete without the wisdom and insanity of the High Priestess of the Temple of Crazy and Her Royal Madness, Catty? So she wrote:

"jab we met: the story... as most stories... is different...
loca had done a piece abt this new blogger from london who was looking for other blog-pals. and i, who NEVER ever click on links *dewey will vouch for that*, clicked on it and reached DDD.
i read her for a while, commented *NOT the random comments i leave these days... relevant-to-post-comments*, then got busy with that thing called life. then, all of a sudden, i was to go to london for a work stint... and i wasn't sure abt the whole deal. bijli kadki... realization dawned... and i went back to dewey's *again, from loca's*... and left her a rather vague comment asking if she'd mind helping me out.
i got an instant reply... like she were waiting for my mail... the rest, as they say, is history. she was there at the airport *altho, an hour and half late* to greet a nearing-panic me. she found me a place to stay and made sure that i never... not for a day... felt lonely in the strange new country. for that itself, i can adopt her.

she sings songs for me on FB. sends me nagging offlines, mails and scraps. ALL if i'm not online for ONE day. no, it doesn't annoy me. it makes me feel rather special... coz i know she means it! reason # 2 why i could adopt her... i doubt anybody else misses me as much. and yes, she DOES get points for being so darned vocal abt it! :)

it's rare that i get along with anyone this well... and it's even more rare that she doesn't annoy me. never ever. in fact, no matter how blue i'm feeling, if she's online, i'll login for 10 mins... JUST to say hi to her. and that, in itself brightens my day considerably.

right now... in the midst of a lovely xmas holiday, here i am.. ignoring my mom, unreturned phone calls and the man i married... to write this piece for her. bcoz i hope it'll bring a smile to her already lovely face. and that, is worth ALL the effort.
and of course, i have to sing a song for you... so i shall repeat what you'd set as ur FB status, dewey:
door kahiin jab din dhal jaaye,
lovely dewey...
b'day manaaye... khaana khilaaye...

here's wishing you a wonderful bday! and hoping that you get LOADS of lovely gifts!
love you loads child... come over soon. we'll have a blast, i promise. and yes, i will still label ur wedding album as "ek vivaah aisa bhi". no matter when you get married!

Did I not say, fantastic day and year? Oh, hang on.

Hey, Cosmos! You're fabulous!

I certainly would not have done such a post another time.

*the voice of culinary authority [between us three], who is a pretty good cook [alert, is MALE], informed me that it was NOT pulao unless everything was cooked at once, not rice added to masala as was my chosen recipe.


  1. Anonymous1:23 AM

    You seem to have a wonderful B'day and am sure you will have an extra special year..
    Happy B'day DDD.

  2. Your birthday sounded lovely. Here's to a fantastic year ahead filled with many more happy moments.

  3. happy bday dewey....wish you another fantastic year ahead!

  4. Happy Birthday Dewdrop! May you have a lovely, fun-filled and fulfilling year ahead!

  5. You did seem to have a great day Dewey!

    Happy Birthday Sweets! :)

    May you have many more such wonderful years ahead of you! :)

  6. wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!o.0!! you sure has a great birthday bash!!! and the messages of your friends were really nice and touching! especially the first one..XD

    happy birthday!!!

  7. The happiestttt of birthdayyy :P:P

    we december babiess rockkk...Dont we ;)

  8. Happy Budday!!

    I had such a warm gooey feeling reading the post.. The birthday sounds wonderful!

    I guess that would be my post next year, because this yr was great..And gosh, I turn 26 next month - late twenties?!?

    P.S. I somehow thought u were much older because of the writing and depth in ur posts.. Ur YOUNG!!

  9. Oh! What a warm birthday + year end post. Seems like you had a wonderful day :) Loved those buys - the boots look delicious! Hope you have just as nice a year ahead!

  10. Happy Happy birthday to you!!!! will read the post now. :)

  11. yayyy that sounds good
    happiness was oozing inbetween the lines :D

    PS: what's with guys and fart jokes?
    tell me one guy, one guy who cannot be cracked up by fart jokes!

  12. itna lamba post!? :D
    i like the watch... high time, actually, that you bought it!!

  13. happy birthday dewey!!! Have a lovely year ahead.

  14. As a person who had a b'day one week into summer holidays, I can feel your pain.

    Happy B'day! I guess I already got you a gift on my book blog, so now, where's my cake? :D

  15. i also wants cake.
    cheesecake, would be nice.


    Haemoglobin - May life's most positive spirit runs in you haemoglobin.

    Sunshine - May you always walk on sunshine.

    Baccharis pilularis - May your life's experiences be as nourishing and flourishing as Baccharis pilularis.

    Damn I am running out of colour models but I wish your life doesn't. Have a deep fulfilling life.

  17. Anonymous8:25 PM

    happy budday happy budday happy budday !!!! *tight hugs*

    God, I felt sooo nice reading this post that I have a smile stuck to my face :))))

    I love the watch and I *heart* the boots!!! They are TO DIE FOR !! :D I can already imagine you wearing all that chic stuff and walking down the streets :)

    Wishing you a very happy happy happy new year from us both :)

  18. Comfortablynam: Thank you :)

    The Bride: Thank you! I hope you have a great year too! :)

    Titaxy: Thank you, to you as well!

    Anu: Thank you, Anu! I hope the coming year is a good one for you too!

    Pixie: It was! Thanks :)

    Ayu: :) Thank you.

    Dido: Haha, yes it was. December borns ... yeah, different sort of samples altogether ;)

    Dee: Thanks, Dee! And a Happy Birthday to you in advance! I'm only a year younger than you are then, so that means you're pretty young too :D I've been told on occasion that I come across as older than I am, my parents would beg to differ though :P

    D: It was a very perfect day, really! :) Thank you very much, hope your year is fabulous too! I;m still waiting for delivery of my presents! :(

    Purnima: Haha, thanks! :)

    celestialrays: Yes it was! And seriously, what's WITH men?! It wasn't even jokes, just the mention of bodily functions sets them off ... men and their ways!

    Catty: :D Zaroorat se zyada lamba tha na? Lekin tumko sab detail mein pata chala :D And yes, finally, ek saal baad I bought a watch! Phew!

    Loca: Thank you so much! muah! *hug*

    Amey: Aieee ... one day into summer hols?! Harsh! Cake toh tha nahi, we had kheer and that's also been polished off :P But if we meet then you're welcome to demand cake, bday or no bday :)

    Catty: Tumko main banake khilayega. Khush? :)

    Zephyr: Thanks :)

    snippetsnscribbles: Thank you thank you thank you thank you ever so much! :)

    I'm yet to wear the stuff because it's not been delivered yet! waaahhh!!!

    And Happy New Year to you both too :)

  19. Not one day, one week. One day would have been fine, within a week, everyone runs out of town :(

    OK, I will plan for the cake visit now.

  20. I actually aged an year reading this post, but it was absolutely worth it! :P . . .

    Belated happy birthday to you, and a happy new yr!

    Also, YOU'RE JUST 25?

    *Stares, in horror*

  21. Amey: :( Awwww ... That does suck! But your birthdays must've gotten better as you finished school and college no?

    Rambunctious Whippersnapper: Ouch! :D Yeah I like to ramble :P

    And thank you very much, Happy New year to you too!

    Erm, yes I AM 25 ... is that a bad thing? :S

  22. Hoppy Belated Burrday! I turned 30 a few days after you.. Funny how I don't feel a day over 16 :D You know what they say: Growing older is compulsory, growing up is optional!!

  23. give me more credit..