A bang wakes me from a jet lag induced stupor. It is midnight. As my eyes get used to the darkness I realize with a start that it is my birthday. A smile curves into my face and I cuddle laddu as I sink back into sleep. Three hours later, all of us are awake and crowded on the king size bed. The twins erupt into giggling fits even as their dad and I shush them.
‘Did you hear the fireworks at midnight?’ I ask.
‘Christmas’ comes the answer. I wait expectantly for the ‘Happy Birthday!’ to follow. Crickets. The conversation meanders to other things while a part of me is moored to the weight of expectations and disappointment that will forever mark this birthday.
The morning wears on and the phone calls trickle in. In a matter of hours the belated wish will come from the one quarter I most expect it. Yet, it will lack the happiness it should be met with.
As much as I tell myself that these social constructs are overrated, a part of me longs for the trappings that go with it. Ebullient wishes. Balloons, Cake and of course being serenaded all day. Age is yet to dull the child in me.
So, happy birthday me!