Saturday, 4 June 2016

Birthdays Now & Then …




May is my birthday month and I am one of those people who just get way too excited about birthdays. My birthday is on 2nd last day of the month but my excitement starts as soon as May begins.
 

I am the youngest in my family and the first girl born in paternal side. My parents did not know the gender until I was born and all the guesses, symptoms and prophecies had prepared them for a boy. But I was born on the 30th of May. The legend says that my birth was celebrated with fireworks, though my brother says that those firecrackers were being wasted away in the store so they decided to use them the day I was born! I believe in the legend, of course. Because even though I am 34 years old now, without a fail my uncles, aunts and cousins wish me on the correct date every year.

I was dressed up as a fairy on my first birthday. My dress, wings and the magic wand was made by my mum. I know there was a homemade cat shaped cake and Swiss rolls in variety of flavours. It is still one of the best ‘first birthday' ever done in the family. Thereon, my birthday was always celebrated with a grand party for friends and family until I entered the phase where I just wanted to party with my own friends. I would take them out for my birthday treat and spend all my birthday money that I used to ask my family to gift me instead of presents!
My first birthday 30th May 1983
When I got married, very soon I realized that buying a gift for my husband is one the toughest things to do. He needs to try his clothes before buying because his size is not easily available. If he wants a gadget, he wants such specific thing that only he can buy himself. He doesn’t like flowers and teddy bears and since everyone else gives him perfumes, he always has enough. So very early in my marriage, we happily decided that our birthdays will be all about celebration without expectation of gifts. So, we’d just buy each other something or anything that we needed at that time and considered it a birthday gift. When we moved away from home to live in a different country, I became appreciative of quiet and simple birthday celebrations. That does not dim my excitement though just in case you thought it did. I look forward to the birthday messages from my friends and relatives that I have not heard from for a while and love blowing a candle on a slice of my favourite cake that my husband tries his best to hide from me by keeping it in my fridge… but yeah.. that is how I have been celebrating for a while.

My birthday this year and last year were celebrated with (almost) strangers that I had met a day or week before the date. My husband’s venture Travel Photographer Asia’s award ceremony and exhibition clashed with my birthday both in 2015 and 2016. I just had casual dinner with professional and aspiring photographers from different parts of the world who were either a part of the jury panel or winners of the contest. Half of them unaware of my birthday as I did not want much attention. But, I saw my hubby beaming with joy as he hosted this group of like minded people, enjoying this rare chance to have them all at one place.

I realized that birthdays are not about the birthday person. It is not about gifts. Though in his guilt, my hubby planned surprised gifts for me, going against our no-gift policy and it warmed my heart to see how much attention he pays on stuff I like. But, I would have been happy without a gift too. Honestly. Birthdays, like other days, are about being happy and the happiness of those we love. The point of celebration is joy and if your joy is connected with someone else's happiness, you can sit back and see that person shine in the limelight.... 

I love these unplanned, one of a kind birthday celebrations and I look forward to making more memories without typical cake and candles.....  


20 comments:

  1. I love that you shared that picture from your first birthday! So cute!

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  2. Thanks Rachel. I love all the photographs from my first birthday :)

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  3. First birthdays are always special that we cant forget them.

    Danjuma.

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  4. I love birthdays, especially other people's birthday's! Great pic of your first birthday.

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  5. I love my birthday as well, and I"m also a May baby (3 days before the last of the month). As a child, you're so focused on presents and getting what you want. As you grow older, it definitely changes. It's more about who you spend the time with and being with the ones you love.

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  6. I too used to be so excited at the beginning of my birthday month, my how things have changed as I've gotten older.

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  7. It sounds like you had a lovely birthday even though it wasn't what you thought it would be. So sweet of your husband to get you gifts too. Love that picture of you from your 1st birthday.

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  8. Mary Welby - Happy belated birthday!

    Thanks Beaut13nBrains - My reason of my excitement has changed but it is still there ;)

    Shann - Yes I did :) ... and he got me something really pretty ... I will post on the blog soon :)

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  9. lovely little fairy....may u celebrate many more dear

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  10. It's so very true. Birthdays are a time of celebration and simply enjoying happiness. In whatever form they come with.

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  11. Great reflection. After turning 25 and hitting the milestone of being able to rent a car without paying twice the price, I've dreaded birthdays because it just means you are getting older. It's great to think of a birthday as a time to look at how great life is. :)

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  12. You are absolutely adorable in your birthday picture! And you are so right, birthdays are not about gifts. They are about celebrating the happiness of life! And it sounds like you had a wonderful time for your last two celebrations!

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  13. I wonder if anything has to do with it that we used to have a limited number of pictures that were printed out. Nowadays that it's mostly digital, there is no limit of how many pictures we have, who has them, and accessibility. A birthday doesn't feel quite the same.

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  14. Birthday is still a birthday .. only the way you celebrate it has evolved. Photographs still make me smile, whether digital or printed :)

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  15. Birthdays are special, it is amazing how we change the way we celebrate them throughout the years though!

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  17. Yes... that is why I did this post :)

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