It's nearly the same everytime - atleast has been for the last twenty years.
So this is how it goes - I try my best to stay away till the midnight bell strikes and brings in the 1st of July. I really try and sometimes have been successful at staying awake to receive the first of the calls at 11:45 pm Jun 30th so that this friend can continue talking to me for the next 16 minutes, promptly wish me at 12 am and then hang up rather abruptly at 12:01!
The morning of the b'day, my parents enter my room singing the b'day song just as the colors of the dawn pass through the curtains into my room. I wake up from my slumber later to find a gigantic b'day card - with love from Mom and Dad, the Great.
Usually, I am besieged by phone calls from 8 am to 10 pm on my b'day - makes me incredibly popular. Mom usually makes my favorite sweet - Pal Paayasam for me and the menu is more or less centered around what I like. Even if I have already made lunch plans with friends.
There is of course the new dress! Or dresses.
On reaching school / college, I'll be hugged and patted. Smiles everywhere. A huge one plastered on my face. Feels good to be born and live here, I tell myself. B'day cards and flowers come my way. There is the cake and then the gifts. s).(I am a real pain when it comes to buying gifts for me - cos I am horrible when it comes to accepting gift
Acquaintances sending me good wishes. Threats of the birthday bumps. Friends demanding that I loosen my purse. Some daredevils snatching away my wallet and treating themselves with the money in it!
Back home, dad will be waiting for me to return so I can cut the cake he secretly went out to get.
It's almost always a Black Forest from Monginis with the biscuit base. There would be the standard family dinner and I'll be back home, a happy girl!
As a kid, this would actually be different. I would share chocolates with all my classmates - after they sang aloud wishing me a Happy Budday - and then escape from the boredom of classes under the garb of sharing sweets with all the other teachers. Interestingly there was a lot of politics involved here. I was allowed to take another girl to accompany me in the adventure and you can just imagine how nearly everyone in class queued up to be my 'friend' for that day. In the end, loyalty won hands down and I'd take my best friend with me and we'd disappear for the next two classes.
In the evening, after my afternoon nap, I'd wake up to find my home decorated with balloons and other confetti and a large cake. I especially remember my seventh birthday with a cake baked to resemble a swimming pool - i still remember the aquamarine icing. It's quite amusing how most of the kids who would attend my b'day parties (complete with cake, wafers, samosa, sauce, chocolates, juice and return gifts) have all grown up and gone their own ways! I was of course the centre of attention and attraction - and my, did I love it?
It was different this year. Very different. The first sliver of silver in my life. A silver jubilee of birthdays...