banno, dhanno and teja in bumm-bumm-bhole-land

indian birthdays defy calculation

coconut

As I slide gently, inexorably towards five-zero, my conversations, more and more, seem to take on a note of pontification. We could be talking about a movie, a dress, a dinner, a friend, and Dhanno will look at me and say, a little querulously, “Mama, are we now talking about life?”

A cousin, a few months younger than me, just celebrated his 51st birthday, by the Gujarati calendar. This Gujarati calendar is a lunar calendar, but one specific to our community, which ensures that we are out of step with everyone else in the world, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Isaai. And because it has 14 days lesser than the Gregorian calendar, the years pile on thicker and faster than they ought to. The thickness also comes from too much rich food, too much and too rich.

The Gujarati birthday is marked by some apparently well-meaning people knocking you on the head with a dry coconut. The English birthday on the other hand, involves cake.

It does not require too much deduction to surmise which birthday I am setting store by.

So, yes, I am going to continue being 48 for as many days as I can, until the very last day. And then, I will be 49, in a week or so. And no, that does not mean, that I will be 50 running. Thank you very much.

Meanwhile, there is always Maya. May you live for thousands of years. May each year have 50000 days.

 

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23 comments on “indian birthdays defy calculation

  1. harveypam
    June 23, 2014

    Happy Birthday in the future!
    May you be 48 for years to come and that is in fact true.
    We both are, in fact, twenty. Twenty-plus something, but twenty nevertheless. I for myself find the year 29 very nice. Has a round feeling to it, as if on a verge to something. So if I can be 29, why can’t you be 48?
    But that is all not true, at least, in my case. It seems, I look forward to getting older. When asked I always tell my running/going-on age.
    So, my dear Banno, my dear hariyale Banno, may every day in the year to come bring-in a new you and celebrate the good-old virtues in you!

    • Banno
      June 23, 2014

      Thank you, Harvey. Lots and lots of smiles, you brought to my face. :)

  2. Atul Sabnis
    June 23, 2014

    An echo of sorts to Harvey’s comment above. I’ve always been 27. Even when you were invited to the 42nd bash. There’ll be always many calendars that we can use as tape to measure time, but we gotta rely on our own mental calendar, no? Happy whatever-your-age-is-th Birthday :D

    • Banno
      June 23, 2014

      Thank you, Atul. I don’t know about 27, do I want those uncertainties again? :)

      • Atul Sabnis
        June 23, 2014

        Haha. I don’t know – make your own calendar :D

  3. Atul Sabnis
    June 23, 2014

    BTW, aapne 45,000 din kam kar diye! it’s 50,000, not 5000! :P

    • Banno
      June 23, 2014

      But then, numbers are numbers. Added the zero. :)

      • Atul Sabnis
        June 23, 2014

        Number-type ka post that, couldn’t hold back! :D

  4. memsaab
    June 23, 2014

    Hey, nothing wrong with being in your 50s! I’ve been there close to three years now and it hasn’t hurt me a bit, although that’s maybe because in my head I’m more like 84.

    • Banno
      June 23, 2014

      Memsaab, no, nothing wrong with the 50s or 60s or 80s for that matter. I am looking forward to dancing like a tapori when I am 80, I hope so. It’s just the ‘running’ concept that amuses me. And are you 84? God, you don’t look it. :)

  5. Anu Warrier
    June 23, 2014

    Banno, It is not just the Gujarati calendar – our calendar (Malayali) also follows the lunar calendar, so 28 days is one month. :)

    You could be like Elaide, my Brazilian friend who, when she turned 35, flatly declared that she only knew how to count backwards.

    So, from an old Celtic blessing: “May the most you wish for be the least you get. May the best times you have ever had be the worst you will ever see.”

    And from me, with all affection: I wish that sorrow steps lightly by your door, not crossing its threshold, while laughter tarries awhile at your hearth; that contentment follows in its wake and shuts the window on life’s frustrations. May your fears subside, and stresses reduce, if not disappear completely. I wish you joy, and health, and happiness. I wish you fulfilment of all your deepest dreams and long-buried desires; and above all, I wish you the dreams themselves, for what use this life if we cannot dream?

    • Banno
      June 30, 2014

      Thank you, Anu. And I cannot believe that such a beautiful message got sent into spam by WP. :)

  6. dustedoff
    June 24, 2014

    Happy birthday, Banno! And since I always end up looking at the mirror and wondering: “Why are my hair so grey when I’m still so young?” – we’re all in the same boat. So many years totted up on the calendar, but inside still in our 20s or whatever. :-)

    • Banno
      June 24, 2014

      Dusted Off, Grey hair, now that’s another story, or saga. Well, inside, 20s, or 80s, like Memsaab. :)

  7. dipali
    June 24, 2014

    Enjoy your fifties whenever they finally do arrive!
    Saal mein pachaas hazaar din seems a bit too much, as does living for thousands of years. maybe they are singing about our immortal souls. In any case, time and age are both so relative.

    • Banno
      June 24, 2014

      Dipali, I am sure I will. I think as long as you remain healthy, age is relative. I know, living for thousands of years, multiplied by thousands of days, seems really tedious. I wonder what one would do for so long, how one would fill the days?

  8. coolone160
    June 24, 2014

    Wishing you a very very Happy Birthday in advance and prosperous life ahead!!

    • Banno
      June 24, 2014

      Thank you, Coolone160.

  9. Unmana
    June 25, 2014

    I only wish I am as cool as you are when I’m your age (or now, for that matter). Happy birthday in advance.

    • Banno
      June 26, 2014

      Thank you, Unmana. :)

  10. Maith
    June 30, 2014

    Happy Birthday (Belated I think) – and I’m looking forward to the 50s – found the 40s very liberating. No more living up to anyone’s expectations :)

  11. sukanyabora
    August 7, 2014

    Happy (belated) wishes to you. Will check in with you to get some tips when its time for me to hit half century. Enjoy the fives!

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This entry was posted on June 23, 2014 by in Banno and tagged , .
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