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Kasturi Roy

Contributor at LifeBeyondNumbers
I’m that person who is either focused about where life is going or glum about how it’s not going anywhere. Beating down bouts of wanderlust via equal parts productivity and complacency, I’m pursuing a Master’s in English from Lady Shri Ram college, DU. Let it be said that my spirit animal is an agony aunt and that it is all about the bucket list.

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Yes, there are people on this planet who do not like to celebrate their birthday, some because a terrible memory is associated with the day, and others, like me, who simply cringe at the attention everyone bestows upon them one day of the year. Well, how do you justify feeling irked about receiving loads n loads of best wishes on the (supposedly) most important day of your life. Since I know there are many like me who would rather have a quiet birthday away from all the attention, on behalf of all those people – and believe you me, there are many! – I will try to explain why I want to be left alone on this particular day.

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#1. Celebrating my birthday tends to feel superfluous as nobody is actually thanking my presence in reality. Everyone is mostly thinking about what to wear to the party, what to eat, and what to gift; it becomes less to do with the birthday boy/girl and more with the logistics. If people who love me wish to celebrate me then it should be every day. Because that is normal. Because random acts of love are more beautiful than a planned arbitrary day in the middle of the year.

#2. Celebration directly relates to partying and we should not wait for a reason to party with someone. Why make a big deal, get sloshed and create noise on a day which is a personal occasion made social! I am a social person; however I cannot handle large amounts of attention because it embarrasses me.

I prefer my loved ones appreciating me, my sense of humor and whatever bits of my person that they like on any day of the year. Flowers hold a special meaning when received on a day other than your birthday. 

#3. Birthday invariably means cake. Don’t get me wrong. I love cake. What I don’t like is chocolate. Alas! Everybody else loves chocolate, or finds a vanilla or a fruit cake less than acceptable. As a result, I have to forgo the luxury of eating cake at my own birthday or merely have to gulp it down for the sake of making everyone happy.

#4. Most importantly, I am getting older and soon will be decaying since the process of bed sores and sleeping at 11pm is already a routine. With more responsibility that I put upon myself and less time sleeping, I have not been able to embrace adulthood and don’t want to, yet. So, a deluge of birthday wishes only rubs it in that I am a year older.

#5. Birthday is a sure shot way of loosening your purse strings and that makes me anxious. I do not want to spend money on something I do not care about.

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#6. Social practices make us aware of this ritual of gifting which, more often than not, is an act of wastage. If you want to give a gift – hopefully chosen with love than as just something that fits the budget – why does it have to be on a birthday? It can be on any day.

Sporadic gifting is a good idea. No gifting is a better idea, because when you give a gift, you render the gifted with the perpetual ‘ball in the court’ and the vicious cycle continues with mutual gifting.

I hope I didn’t sound like an enormous prick there, or did I! There is a breed of people who do not like the attention birthdays bring, especially now that on social media, everyone just drops you a ‘Happy B’day’ on your wall, because facebook reminds them to do so.

Not wanting to make a big deal about your birthday does not mean that you don’t love your friends and family. It’s just that birthdays are given too much importance. Even more than the person whose birthday it is. And they are overrated. So currently on the older side of 21, I hope you understand that some souls find it extremely difficult to act like they are overwhelmed with all the sudden love and attention while inside, they’d rather be sitting in their room listening to The Beatles or out on a drive all by themselves, pondering the year gone by.

Let’s just go and get drunk without the gifts and toasting and special birthday lunch coz you know, You Only Live Once, or whatever.

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