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Having Two Birthdays

Gone are those days when only very organized had the opportunity to religiously dig into their diaries and earn the delight to spread the bday word [or date]. No longer could forget your own birthdays and miss out on the party [because in the 20 century sometimes no one else remembered to ask for one – unless you announced it].

These days apart from the Ministry of External Affairs, Income Tax Department, Transport Department, ICSEs/CBSEs, Universities everyone else including banks, LIC companies, hotels, airlines, credit card companies and a host of other organizations religiously send Bday wishes/sms-es before the end of the day. The day isn’t far off when the Govt depts. Above also compete to wishes earlier than the rest.

To add to that, thanks to FB and other collaboration enablers, there are whole host of wishes - from friends, family, extended family, acquaintances – from every nook of the world. No wonder, everyone gets to feel like a star - as if the whole world was waiting to wish and had penciled in the calendars and set reminders in their PDAs. Great that everyone has a special! day.

So far, so good.

But what happens. If we have more than bday. Which many [maybe most] of us willy nilly do. The person with one bday is probably a rare variety, but though not as rare as the variety in the Mumbai Mirror campaign posted in FB. [FB post – ‘Mumbai mirror campaign. People who have not paid bribe, accepted bribe, paid tax honestly, never bribed traffic police but asked for challan, never made illegal change to house, paid flat money by cheque and did not pay donation for kid admission, 5 such people will be taken to meet Anna Hazare’]. Coming back to our story, the additional bday is normally meant to be for records only! And stacked away to be forgotten, initially, under a heaps of files SLCs and subsequently under millions of passports, pan cards, driving licenses. However, suddenly they have come alive and have become ubiquitous. The one meant only for the records, becomes the zing thing. Mails, sms-es, fb posts, linkedin msgs, phone call blast that happen throughout the day, thanks to the Blackberrys, the Smart Phones and Androids.

What does one do, to such factually incorrect wishes? Say, thanks!!. Or get into a monologue about inside story of having two [or more! for the extra fortunate] birthdays, a few dozen times during the day. Or the slightly rude variety – just not acknowledge the wishes on the day they were not supposed to show up. That’s a tricky thing. I for one, just accept the thanks. And avoid any elaborate discussion. The people asking for treats – are politely told I don’t give any [which anyways I have not given after class 4, but for a few years here and there]

For me another dimension has been added to this conundrum. Thanks to a wee bit of RAM failure of my dad on the day I joined school, for records, my bday falls on the ‘real’ bday of my bro. So sometimes when I get a wish on the ‘recorded’ bday, from a name which sounds familiar but which I cannot place with certainty, I wonder whether this actually meant for me or should I forward that piece of e-kudos to my like sounding senior bro.

Probably to avoid all these ‘double standards’ some smart companies – ask their employees during their joining have two questions for bdays - (i) what is your bday on records [to be verified with School Leaving Certificate and forgotten] and (ii) the bday in which you want to be wished [and be expected to throw-in a treat in lieu of it]. Guess, this idea can be circulated to all organizations who dig into their databases and blast mails and sms-es.

But for me, having two bdays actually suits me fine. I can snooze in my den on the real day [this year however the Stewart87 gang thanks to Tanuja’s batch xl and Soumen’s mail hunted me out] and say the polite thanks the other days and ignore the call for festivities with due callousness. One parting tip to half unsocial fb-ites like me – you can actually remove your bday from the fb profile – like the same way ever young [or evergreen as they say] boyz and babes, ladies and gentlemen, guyz and galz hide their year of birth.

With due apologies to where it is appropriate. despite all the awkwardness involved it is fun to have two birthdays for all tickles that it provides.

Aug 19, 2011


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