Birthday Bumps

Update for week ended April 18, 2013

You all know how little children are when it comes to birthdays. They count their ages in months and halves and quarters of a year. They look forward to that day we adults loathe, the day when one grows a year older… though technically that cannot happen in a day, but has to obviously take exactly a year to happen, but we like to celebrate these events on annual dates. Children’s birthdays are characterized by gifts, cards, treats and at times parties. And my children have grown up on 2 important and never to be missed parts – the birthday card and the home-made birthday treat! So when the little seven year old (or rather seven and three quarters) was going to turn eight, her demands were clear…. Dad to bake something, mum to make a nice Indian treat and all of us together to put together a birthday card that she would cherish – but no “powerpoint cards, please”, was her request this time. And she wanted to enjoy the birthday in school too, though that would not have been possible, because her birthday fell on the Saturday after the last day of school. And so, she chose a date that matched the Hindu calendar and took a bag of sweets to distribute to friends. Her friends wished her well and followed her all around for that “extra” sweet. They even offered to carry her bag to the bus-stop after school. But she stood her ground and said that those were reserved for the children on her bus. After that day, her excitement died down for a while, but to be resurrected for her birthday as per the Gregorian. Her dad had baked something new this time, not a cake, but a lemon square tart, and her mother could not churn out the “gajar ka halwa”, but instead tried her hand at a Middle-Eastern baked item, “farka”. And then the last day at school came and she trooped into class – full of excitement for the holidays that ensued and also the birthday party that she would have at home the next day. But she had more surprise waiting for her in school, as the teacher wanted to wish all those whose birthdays would occur in the “hols” and she read out the names – and the seven and three fourths going to eight was the first on the list… all her friends pounced on her. She got so excited, some wrote out impromptu birthday cards while others thought of a fantastic impromptu celebration. At the snack break, they surrounded her and two picked at her hands, two picked up her feet and a few others assisted to keep the head up and then they started the birthday bumps….. and the little girl was tossed up in air and as she “fell”, her excitement was tinged with anxiety, what if someone lost grip and she slipped down. But the bumps went on to celebrate her age and a few more for good luck!!!! Wow, what a rush of excitement she had. When she got home, one could sense the fun she had at school. She did not mind that her mom reprimanded her for not finishing off her snacks at school or even the water bottle in this warm summer Friday afternoon. How could one explain the satisfaction of those scintillating moments when one is given the birthday bumps????


Summer on D Street was setting in, as the D Boyz started wilting under the Indian summer sun. And with them fell the SENSEX. But the excitement of perhaps a birthday party of one of the D Boyz on the Street saw the swinging “bumps” reflected on the SENSEX. As it fell from its March end high of 18933 to rise in the first week to over 19000, but then thereafter the heavy D Boyz and the hot weather did not help in bumps, as it plumbed depths to as low at 18181, but in its wavy bumpy movement of a high followed by a low and then a high again, till some more Boyz joined the fray and pushed the SENSEX up again to finally end last week at 19016. It almost looked like the Boyz got inspired by the seven going on eight year old school kids…..


And of course, the excitement did not die as the eight year old got her foodie treats, a surprise guest for her birthday, cards that were handmade for her specially and dinner at a Chinese restaurant so that she could savour her favourite “tasteless” Chinese tea…. And that experience too was highlighted by an impromptu birthday celebration at the restaurant with a guitar toting waiter singing her the birthday song while she waited to blow out a candle over a scoop of ice-cream balancing on a gooeey fudge brownie. Small joys like this cannot be overshadowed ever by an extravagant birthday bashes at five-stars, I guess……..


Have a great week ahead … cheers…


One thought on “Birthday Bumps

  1. Narayan, you have captured exuberance of a Eight year old very vividly. I could almost see your little girl trotting all over, not able to contain her excitement ’bout her B’day!

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