Just remembering how birthdays have changed over the years..
In the 80s – Adyar Bakery cake, home made sandwiches, potato chips, Rasna juice, multi coloured balloons, Happy Birthday written with streamers against the red brick wall in my living room, the knife decorated with lovely satin ribbons, games organised by all my aunts, handmade invitation cards and stationery kits as return gifts. The whole neighbourhood, relative gang, friends from school were invited and I blew away few candles as my dad clicked away in his Minolta camera. The evening always ended with my sister and I opening all the presents we received from friends… my prized posession was the expensive Scrabble i got from someone… My mom was the first one to wish me always.
In the 90s – Short denim dress, blaring speakers playing dance music, Pepsi replaced Rasna and no one really ate. Cake got upgraded from Adyar Bakery to Hot Breads. Parents were not allowed at the party. My neighbours called the cops when I turned 16. I got as many as 15 calls at midnight, crazy birthday gifts which I refused to share, birthday cards which I had to hide… the entire day was spent on the phone with friends and hanging out with friends… my prized possession was my Kindetic Honda, which my Dad gifted me… My mom was the first one to wish me always.
Birthday Now – Email wishes from Wayn.com, Facebook.com, Birthdayalarm.com, Linkedin.com, Jet Airways, Indian Airlines, Banks, Restaurants in the neighbourhood, placement consultants – These arrive on my mailbox earlier than anything else. Pepsi has been replaced with Red Wine and Beer. Cakes has moved up from Hot Breads to some rich cholocate stuff from Bandra. Food is catered from some expensive restaurant. Forget buying new clothes on your birthday. Birthday gifts are lifestyle stuff. But, the gift I still treasure the most is my Mom’s phonecall in the morning… now enhanced with wishes from my husband and my inlaws. Guess family stays forever !