I don't remember my first birthday. I don't think anyone on earth would. Many would have seen photographs of their first birth anniversary. I haven't seen that too. During those days my dad did not own a camera. In fact, he did not ever have one.
The earliest memories of my birthday celebrations date back to the mid 1950s. In our home, birthdays were celebrated depending upon the "star" in the local Malayalam calendar month in which I was born. In fact, the horoscopes were written based on the position of the various planets depending upon the longitude and latitude of the place and the time of birth.
The celebrations were restricted to a visit to the temple and some special prayers there. Also my mother made it a point to serve food to me on a plantain leaf with a few extra items like payasam. Cutting of cakes was never heard of. There was no practice of distributing chocolates or sweets to the classmates at the school.
During my college days, very close friends came home for a simple treat prepared by my mother on a convenient weekend after the star birthday.
My dad used to make fun of me that I wriggled out of my mother's tummy in a hurry when my mother was in the bathroom. The "delivery" took place before the local nurse came home. That was on the 14th January.
The Secondary School Leaving Certificate however showed the date as 16th April for reasons unknown to me. And that became my official date of birth.
During my service in the Bank, birthdays were celebrated for two reasons. As a deputy manager (administration) I had initiated the practice of wishing every staff on his/her birthday with a card and bouquet by singing "happy birthday" as a matter H R policy. It was also a ploy to extract a party from the birthday boy/girl during the day.
The number of staff members and colleagues wishing me on my birthdays grew with the position held by me in the organization. It reached the peak when I worked as a Zonal Manager and later as General Manager at Head office. The electronic scrolls greeted me as I entered the lobby of the Head office. The number of bouquets I had in my cabin depended on the departments I controlled. As such, a few birthdays just before retirement were remembered by many of my colleagues. But after retirement I realized that all of them didn't greet me out of love......!
I have detailed the different birthdays I had namely the real calendar birthday, star birthday, SSLC book birthday or the official birthday.....Now there comes one more.
Since this morning, I have been getting a spate of messages and calls wishing me happy birthday day.....By noon I found out the real reason. Somehow Facebook has propagated today as my birthday. Hence my FB pals thought of greeting me. A few of them who happened to be friends even before face book was born did call me to wish me.
Anyway one more addition to my birthdays.....the Facebook birthday!