“When you both were married on the same day I born then why don’t you invite me on your wedding, now remember, I will not invite you people on my wedding”, the first time I angrily asked this to my dad on my second birthday when I could not even speak correctly. The same question I would ask my dad every birthday using the same words. The same answer I got with a kindly smile, “because you were new born and were so delicate to come”. My birthday celebration was an amalgam of excitement, joy, and amusement, which was so uncommon. We would already know the menu before dad came to home with food and cake. The coffee cake from Bombay Bakery and “karai gosht (specially cooked meat)”was the family favorite. Dad bought the same cake on every child’s birthday, which was used to cut at 12 o clock (midnight), as the birthday began.
My birthday is the same day as my parents’ anniversary. On every midnight of April 21st, three of us cut the cake together by using one knife. My mouth would become like a balloon as both mom and dead put the cake in my mouth together. All the family members would enjoy the whole night by sitting together, and playing different games. Dad would tell stories and give us knowledge about the historical and current events, and then we gave our opinions about those events. We used to play was “kasoti”.
In this game, one team had to think about a well-known person and then the other team had to pick that person by asking ten questions (the questions had to answer yes or no). In this manner, his little games would help us gain a lot of knowledge about outstanding people of the world in a friendly ambience. Dad used to take off from his job the next day. All of us (mom, dad, brothers and sisters) would go for the picnic; we used to walk a lot make fun and enjoy the mango ice-cream (compulsory item). Those were always great family outings. That birthday used to be so unique in a sense that we never feel any need to invite people to celebrate it.
Such a joyful life has seemed to be colorless after the death of my father. April 21, 2003 was my last celebrated birthday as I never celebrate it after him and try to forget that day which was considered my special day. The day that ones supposed to be full of excitement, joy and the best day of a year is now the one of the gloomiest day. “….remember, I will not even invite you people in my wedding”, I hear these words every year but do not get any reply. My ears wait to hear the same answer in a same voice every passing year. Days turn into nights and weeks and months and all I do is think of him. Neither my mom nor my brother and sister celebrate their birthdays, which make us realize that the best part of our birthdays was dad. I really appreciate the saying of an unknown author, which is “any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad.”