Swathi reminded me of her upcoming 25th birthday. Excited for her birthday but, never realized it's her 25th. "Abhinay 18-25 years is a kind of tutorial life, preparing you for the adult life which is post 25." Never realized it.
"Reflect on it," she said, "It's 25th birthday." And here I am, reflecting my 25th birthday.
November 18 9 PM.
Few hours before my birthday, I was busy typing the draft I wrote and the front door got opened surprising me for real. Saket entered, surprised to see me with a laptop and stacks of books around me. Then came, Priyanka, Kaveri, Hemraj, Bhuvaneshwar. Bhuvaneshwar came from Jalore. Dyu arranged this small gathering as he was leaving for Abu road early morning. Thanks, Dyu.
Delighted to see the gathering, I made the room cozy with dim lights and caught up with the group on the banter and the latest updates of our ISTT experiences.
Soon after the cake cutting, Kaveri gifted me two journals. Thanks, Kaveri for the thoughtful gifts. I loved the journals.
Too cold to hang out at the terrace, we called it a day soon after we spent a good time talking a lot.
'It's another day,' I thought.
I woke up early out of dream scribbling the lines I was reciting in the dream. Those lines do not make sense to me even now but, I recited these lines with so much of rigor and passion.
"Faceless. You are honest at once. You are reflecting. You eye for the hornet and at times all you see are the lustful eyes in the sea of crowd.
Age-old crowd of getting down to meet people, we walked down to people. I walked out without shoes. The feet are cold and the hard ground is hard to pelt the stones. And we walked around. No, we sneaked around.
We people. We were made to constant rounding of the building, we were made to run into people. We ran. No! only few ran. Later, we got into the conversation. We had a book in hand, full of contradictions. Reading the book that I read or write, the story starts."
I wrote this at 5.36 am, under the cozy lights that we used during my birthday eve. 'Weird' I felt, as I was not writing these lines out of consciousness but, through the subconscious. Strange to encounter my subconscious thoughts in this fashion.
Satvir Ji wished me on the phone assuming, I was going to fieldwork. I headed to the school and many of the students realized that today is my birthday. Naanu got to know that today is my birthday. She walked to me and asked if today is my birthday. 'Yes,' I said. 'She came after a few minutes with the greeting card she made. She wrote Happy birthday in her own words and shapes.
'Happy birthday' she said and ran away, as I was in fourth class talking to children. Dhawal got enthusiastic in preparing a birthday card for me and took all the stationary focusing to draw a huge cake and different patterns to wish me.
Grateful to Nanu's wishes. I spent the day at school answering the question, 'Bhaiya, Aaj aapka birthday hai?'
At the assembly, Lalit, Chaya, Suman, Paramjit, Dhawal, Payal, walked on to the stage to wish and said a few words about me. Everyone made a greeting card and handed it to me. Cute and nice.
Of all, Ashok, a 4-year-old kid, made his own card and gave it. He walked onto the stage and said, "Abhinay bhaiya accha ladka hai."
He usually, never comes on to the stage. For the first time, he walked on to the stage to wish me and testify, 'Abhinay bhaiya accha ladka hai.'
Grateful for all the wishes. Being in school, I never checked the phone and missed many calls and messages. Smruthi, as ever wished me without a break. All other friends called up to wish.
Before I realize that the day got ended, we went to Jora Magra to hang out with Bhuvaneshwar. Caught up with crazy conversations with Saket, Bhuvaneshwar, and Dyu.
Looking back at my birthday, I was overwhelmed to celebrate my birthday with children. Last year, I hitchhiked to Bidar. This year, I am in Rajasthan.
Tutorial Life birthdays.
At the age of 18, I celebrated my birthday with 60+ friends in a hostel. My birthday was the first birthday celebrated in the college hostel and it was a huge party. Vinod, Aswath, Hemanth, Iragam, Nikith and many more friends organised it. First birthday party at college hostel was held at B-1, the duplex villa. I still remember the mess we made with the huge cake people got it for me.
I celebrated my 19th birthday with the loved one, grateful to happy memories. The second birthday part at hostel went violent with lots of shoe kicks and birthday bumps. I couldn't walk properly the next day. College parties are at different levels. We can't run away. Need to brace ourselves for the worst.
Celebrated my 20th birthday with the snickers gifted by Vikas, as he walked down to court practice. I spent the evening at the practice among the brothers and enjoyed the birthday gift, 'the snickers.' Due to semester exams, we planned for the post-birthday celebration.
Celebrated my 21st birthday along with Jishan. It was such a melodrama. We all gathered at Elli's place for a festival gathering. My friends knew and I knew that we are going to party for the night. But, they acted and I acted. I told that I would return to the hostel. They also said, 'okay.' Too clear about the party, every one of us drove to Jishan's place and gathered for the celebration. Both of us share our birthdays on November 19th. I wrote a poem on my 21st birthday. Last birthday in the college.
Celebrated my 22nd birthday at home with no hungama. I returned home from Bangalore. I was recovering from chicken pox. An okay birthday.
Celebrated my 23rd birthday with all the friends who were in Hyderabad. A party with the friends at the workplace and another with the college friends. I had a surprise birthday party hosted by Elsa, Prosenjit and Manisha. I can't forget the way, Elsa fooled me to rush in and took me to the birthday place. So sweet of everyone. I enjoyed it. First birthday at the workplace. Thanks to all the loved ones.
I met my college friends for birthday. And only 4 of them were there, rest were off to the U.S and other countries. Elli, Shyam, Ding and Bala. E I realized that the utmost thing, one can give to others seems to be time.
24th birthday, By this birthday most of the people left and there were fewer friends to call out to celebrate. I was too individualistic to feel the loneliness. I am grateful for this sudden birthday party. I met Pooja for the first time and we realized that we met on my birthday eve. Quick decisions, we ended up at a stranger's house celebrating my birthday. Their whole family sang birthday song for me as I cut the cake. And also, I hitchhiked to Bidar introspecting on my life. I visited Gurudwara and had my dinner at their place. One of the most memorable journeys.
25th birthday, a simple one, with the children full of love.And I realized Birthdays are not about crazy celebrations but sharing the love with loved ones. Grateful to be among people who love me and share the happiness.
I wish to be surrounded by the loved ones during the birthdays. Good to reflect on my birthdays. And yes, I turned 25 and slowly, I realised I am gaining so many experiences through my life.