I was thinking and infact told everyone that I only turned 30 this year. Sheer miscalculation from my side. I called my mom and was arguing with her until she said, “You are 31. I know it because you are my son”. There is nothing to argue after that. So, I am not 30, I am actually 31.
Too old… 😦
This birthday was so different than my previous ones. My family was not with me. My wife and daughter left to India few weeks back and I m Alone in San Antonio.
This is yet another time I am not with my family on my Birthday. The first time it was when I joined TCS and was in my initial training way back in 2003. That was a very special birthday for various reasons.
First, when I joined TCS, my goal was to better at conversing in English. I was able to understand and respond but was very bad in talking, atleast when compared to where I am today. I am not saying that I am good at it now, but surely I am better compared to what I was. So, as soon as I reached Trivandrum (where we had the training) I decided to make friends with people who don’t talk Tamil (tamil is my mother tongue and the only language I was comfortable conversing). So, I started talking or atleast be around the people who talk English and only English. It helped to a good extent.
On my birthday, my fellow batchmates arranged for a small party. Around 30+ of them were there to sing Happy Birthday to me. You know Happy Birthday is the most sung song in the world. Out of these 30, there were only 2 or 3 who can talk Tamil and all of them were my classmates from my Masters. So, mission is kind accomplished. On mid-night 21st Oct 2003, I celebrated my Birthday with a lot of people with whom I could only talk in English. I assumed that I am better in talking in English or atleast it gave me more confidence.
This is not the only reason why that birthday was special. There was another reason. A girl. At the end of the day, I started from office and this girl offered to walk with me to the hostel. TCS arranges transportation to commute that distance. But guys that age will be ready to walk the whole world with bare foot, if there is an opportunity to walk besides a girl. Also, her voice is so0 sweet that you can talk forever. I instantly agreed, thankfully and happily.
I don’t have to tell about climate in Kerala. No wonder they call it ‘Gods Own Country’. It was awesome. We were walking in this main road with hardly any traffic. I appreciated Kerala’s climate and the time I could spend with this girl. I really loved her voice and so I asked her to sing for me. After the usual girls’ hesitation and reluctance, she finally sang. To be honest, I liked her voice more than the song. The training was going to get over in couple of days and I purchased an audio casette to record her voice (too). On the last day, I actually had few girls sing and recorded them. I would be lying, if I say that one of the primary reasons behind the recording, is to record her voice. There were some other girls who really sang well. But, post training, I did not listen to that casette that much, may be twice, max.
Anyways, that day, after couple of songs, we kept talking about several things, I truely don’t remember now. But that day is something that I cannot dismiss as yet another day. Its a special birthday for the special reason, me and this girl were walking alone for the first time.
There were couple of other birthdays that I celebrated without my family around. Both of them in San Antonio in 2005 & 2006. 2005 was more like a fake wedding than a birthday. For some reason, my roommates felt that I was ready for marriage. So, they arranged this party, inviting everyone for my surprise, fake wedding. As always, there will be one person who would unknowingly break the surprise. It happened in this case also. I got tensed. I have been talking to a girl over phone, almost everyday. I assumed that she flew from Denver for this. I started searching for her in the apartment and almost anxiously waiting to see her. The party started, I had to put on a ring to mark the marriage. Fortunately or unfortunately it was for a Barbie doll, which I think I left behind when I moved back to India.
2006 was more of an Halloween costume party than a Birthday. I was made to wear this frightening ghost costume to cut the cake. I cannot say that I like it that much, but I really appreciated my roommies efforts, especially Ashok. I love my roommates for what all they have been. You can read this to know more.
This year’s birthday is kind of different. TCS at San Antonio celebrated its Family Day. They booked this huge Auditorium and several stage performances that spanned for more than 4hrs. I like it for the fact that the entire arrangement were pulled off by all these people, as an additional activity apart from their regular work. Given that they are not professional program organizers, they did a marvelous job. I enjoyed the day. TCS as such couldn’t have made my day better. Yet another reason for me to thank TCS.
But… What an irony! My office celebrated family day on my birthday, however none of my family members were with me. I felt unhappy about that.
My team arranged for a small party, right in the office at mid-night. My project’s production release was that night. All our work for the last 6-7months were going to go live and earn fruit for the people who trusted us with this job. I guess our team did justice and met their expectations if not exceeded. Anyways, the party was great, I liked the cake. I don’t know who in my team knew that I like Strawberries. It was a Tres Leches cake with Strawberry topping.
In all, this birthday was different for various reasons. One, we had this major project, that I have been concentrating for the last few months, that went live. Two, the great family day celebration. Three, the small birthday celebration at mid night.
I missed my family a lot. Especially my daughter. She is the first one to wish me. She said with her cute little voice, “Happy Birthday Daddy”… What more a father need, other than his 2yr old daughter wishing him on his birthday.
Now I like my daughter’s voice more than the girl I met in Trivandrum. That girl will definitely not feel bad about me saying this.
BTW, I cannot say for sure that my family wasn’t there for my 2003 birthday. As it turns out, the girl, who walked with me that day and sang a song for me, is the one who I am married to. At that time she was not my family but fate had it, that she will become my family in the next 5 years. Thats the same girl whom I was expecting to sit besides me on my fake wedding in 2005. She ended up sitting next to me in 2008 for my actual wedding. No wonder I did not listened much to that casette I recorded. Instead I kept talking to her almost everyday after that.
I surely missed her this birthday.