Saturday, July 26, 2008

The way to celebrate

I think it’s blatantly unfair to wait for 364 days (365 in this leap year) and then get just one day to celebrate the day of ones birth. With this in mind I declared birthday plus week. It began on my 33rd birthday on Tuesday, 15th of July 2008 and ended on Tuesday night the following week, 22nd of July 2008. I know it’s a day over a week but remember this is birthday PLUS week, not birthday week - which would have been a whole day shorter).

The day was simply marvelous. The short and long of it:
1. We fell asleep well before midnight. And anyway my mum had declared my birthday begun at midnight in India, 7.30pm in the UK.
2. Woke up to a madly beeping mobile at 5.10.
3. Tried going back to sleep. Couldn’t manage it.
4. Waited till 5.30 and managed to wake a groggy V up instead.
5. A singing boy by my side is what this girl needed. And got.
6. He went back to sleep. I went to the gym.
7. Felt like a martyr throughout my workout. Convinced myself that I deserved to eat ice cream all day. Straight from the tub.
8. Reached work at 8 to find two gifts and one gifting colleague singing at the top of her lungs.
9. Spent all morning juggling calls, answering texts and emails, facebook-ing it and trying valiantly to work.
10. Home baked cake (not from my home; again one of my lovely colleagues), tea, repetition of the birthday song and a hilarious card at 11am.
11. Went for a quick lunch to Pizza Express and treated myself to a yum pepperoni and jalapeno pizza. No dessert though.
12. Came back into meetings punctured by yet more calls and texts. Ignored colleagues with new superpowers gained as result of being ‘Birthday woman’ – she who blanks out all irritation/ irritants.
13. Changed out of my stodgy office garb and dressed to the nines in a fab new bright orange and pink top (totally not me usually), cut off black trouser, fashionable jacket, make-up, pointy heels and delicate pearls. Teetered out of work with the broadest smile.
14. An early evening glass of forbidden cold coffee and a quarter of a divine chocolate slice at Apostrophe with a friend.
15. Then gabbed with her all the way into town on the bus, bathed in the sunshine and the glow of being 33.
16. Met V at Tottenham Court Road for a divine meal at the heavily booked Hakkasan. Believe me when I say Hakkasan needs a post all its own.
17. And then the joys of a black cab ride all the way home, no tube and walk to stagger through, rolling on the weight of our stuffed stomachs, on my high heels.
18. Then the tiniest pot of chocolate mousse with a tea light perched atop it, and yet another rendition of happy birthday. Just half the pot of mousse though!
19. In the fading light of the day we took some random pictures to mark the day. Self-portraits if you will. I think we both look happy and our joy at life and each other shine clearly through. I hope they sustain me through the year. And that many years later I can look at them and remember how happy we felt.
20. I went to sleep tired but deliriously full of food and utterly happy. It was such a busy yet full birthday. I think I like things this way.

The week continued on and the celebrations never stopped. With everything I did all week I told myself it was part and parcel of my birthday celebrations.
21. Big fat meal with a friend at Tayyabs on Wednesday.
22. Repenting in the gym on Thursday.
23. Taking stock of all my birthday presents on Friday.
24. Watching the hilarious Henning Wehn at a comedy evening with friends at the Betsey Trotter on Saturday
25. Helping my friend organize and pack on her last Sunday in London
26. Cooking a big old meal for V and I to enjoy on Monday.
27. Spending a relaxed laughing evening with two girls, eating Chinese food and discussing all matters including death and ambition.

So it has indeed been birthday + week. The weather has mostly co-operated. There are things to note about this week though, things that should remain the same or change for next year:

28. I had no ice cream. Although I ate to my hearts content there was just no opportunity. Not even for a single bite. Next year I will be having an entire tub.
29. Taking self portraits on ones birthday is an excellent idea. I will do it again.
30. Some people take the day off on their birthdays. I have never given in to the idea. In spite of having to detour a lot during the day I managed to get everything on my plan done. Also everyone at work got to help me celebrate my birthday with me. And my day went by in a flash of sunny-ness.
31. Choosing a place to dine well researched well in advance meant that V had it booked ahead and that both of us lived in anticipation and hope for all that time. It was well worth it. It’s important that I remember this but also the flipside that it could all go horribly wrong.
32. I got just the best gifts. No bookshelf like last year though. Next week I shall put up the whole list. Accompanied by pictures – taken by me, not stolen off the web. I promise.
33. The sun shone all day. My bones felt nice and warm. I hope it is as benevolent every year.

All 33 points (curiously in tandem with my age!) point to the fact that one day to celebrate is just too short. I’m glad I decided to think of it and do it differently. I hereby declare that everyone should have birthday + week. Think about it.


  1. Anonymous7:13 AM

    One week is too short. You should have celebrated for 33 whole days!

  2. Anonymous7:00 AM

    ooh! celebrated my 33rd a few months ago and so wish I'd done it in style like you instead. To be kept in mind def. for the 34th.

  3. Anonymous4:39 PM

    Sweetie, you do everything is such style!

  4. Anonymous7:20 PM

    Really enjoyed your birthday blog - particularly close to my heart as I turn 40(!!) in a few months time.

  5. You do realise that with this precedent, you are going to have to list 33+ such points every year :-)

  6. Anonymous5:42 PM

    Hi ,

    I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be wow.. u write well.. Why don't you popularize it more.. ur posts on ur blog ‘30 in 2005’ took my particular attention as some of them are interesting topics of mine too;

    BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

    This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. :)


  7. Anonymous12:14 AM

    "birthday + week"

    Very good idea indeed!

  8. Anonymous6:36 AM

    Hey celebrating it for 33 days sounds like a great idea. I might take that board this year