April 5, 2007

Another Candle Snuffed Out..

Filed under: Chicken Soup For The Soul,Our Festivals,personal — Kaveeta Oberoi Kaul @ 2:10 pm

… guessed right.. birthday yesterday.

What is it about this day that gets you into ‘reflection mode’?


Amidst the roses and cakes ( black forest with its creamy spongy, layers) prayers offered and blessings received, the day was spent in lighthearted frolicsome banter. Perhaps to re-invent the charisma of childhood years when regular, fervent, announcements were made almost a month preceding the 4th of April, so as to circumvent, eschew any room for forgetfulness/misunderstanding.. ‘My birthday’s coming..just 29 days to go..filled the air, in an effort to counter the trepidation of “What if Papa Mama forgot? ..No presents!!!” Ah-Ah too risky..a little forthrightness in speech and ostentation at such crucial junctures ne’er hurt no one!

Not so discreet references to longed for gifts were generally thrown at the dinner table… ignored, discreetly by my older brothers who were past masters in putting up an act of complete deafness at such times, hiding their smirks at the thrill of infuriating me and frustrating my not so clever moves..Father dear Father was the only one who responded..Since the list was often long , he’d offer to help me with writing it neatly.. finally..! In some households, things had to be spelled out, especially if it meant a year long calculation and planning that preceded the making of the list, among others, that simply delightful pair of ‘ballerina shoes’, or the crimson (horror!) slacks, and the white lace top to go with it, or the shiny new compass box and so on to reach a ‘respectable’ figure of at least a dozen or so to-die-for items.

And then of course the excited, harried, plans for the party.. the oh-so-pretty frock, layers and layers of chiffon, and netted lace, crafted by the much acclaimed Parsi seamstress with matching ‘can can’, list of delicacies to be served discussed with ‘best friends’, and last but not the least choice of cake..what will it be this time.. the Marzipan ‘doll house’ or a ‘cartoon character’. ..sigh..there was just so much to do.

How times change…..4th of April is not as eagerly awaited. Too many arrangements to make..No more surprises left..another candle blown, just a tepid reminder of a year gone by.. life now spiraling towards the inevitable end. This is not meant to be as morbid, depressed, gloomy an observation as it reads. ..or at-least not entirely.

The truism ‘the more you celebrate life, the more there is to celebrate‘ oft repeated, mentally and attempted to follow, becomes the mainstay of ‘in-between thoughts’ that fill the day. . Coupled with a promise to take ones childhood along..It helps to sift out the non-essentials that keep one bogged down and facilitate embracing that which is as permanent as can possibly be, considering the intransient, impermanent nature of our existence.

So it foolish to celebrate yet another birthday? What are we celebrating anyways? The years gone by, those to come, or the next step down that path to final oblivion?

Is it wise to calculate the years by man made arithmetic of 365 days? After all we are’nt trees and don’t really develop rings for each year!

What we are is a mass of neurons and genes with such a degree of intelligible, indelible memory, that will not only determine our next moment but eventually shape our next birth. How does a ‘year’ figure prominently there by any measure?

What predominantly strikes one is the frightful ‘indelible memory’ detail.So beware of what you store in that chip pal…in the final analysis, thats what will eventually matter. After all as a wisecrack goes ‘ its not the years in your life but the life in your years that count’

Preciously preserve the moments of joy, blow away those of sadness with the candle, and light another with hope of being what you were meant to be. I am trying.. not quite there.. but ..efforts are on…Work in progress!

‘Life is only a chance to grow a soul ‘..certainly not Hinduism but a ‘spirited’ quote nonetheless.

Humph.. What is it about Birthdays that gets one truly philosophical!


  1. Hey..first of all Belated happy Birthday!
    second..Great post..
    third which is so frightening is that I am sight of man in life!Can u imagine how much more frightening is a b’day for biological clock is ticking..while my heart is snoring..not a flutter for any guy.. I tell u all the best looking guys these days are either married or gay!!!!!!!!!! Where have all of them disappeared?? I meet such geeks…need your feng shui help earnestly.

    Comment by Neha — April 5, 2007 @ 5:15 pm | Reply

  2. Aries !!!!! Like me !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I should have guessed!!!!!!!!!

    Happy birthday..mines on 16th:)

    Comment by Anonymous — April 5, 2007 @ 9:16 pm | Reply

  3. Thanks guys πŸ™‚

    Neha..’kabhi na kabhi kahin na kahin koi na koi to aayegaa..apna tujhe banaayega dil me tujhe basayega’..cheer up girl !..all will be well. Email me your d.o.b.

    Anonymous.. love to meet fellow Arians.. theres always a bond..Guess what ? Hubbys an Aries too.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — April 5, 2007 @ 10:08 pm | Reply

  4. Belated Happy Birthday !! πŸ™‚

    As for your prediction of me being Taurus..well you are there almost. I am an earth sign, Capricorn. Birthdays do tend to get me all reflective too. Maybe its just the underlining of the fact that lifes flowing past.I resist celebrations, much as wife hates it..but like u said ‘what is there to celebrate’?

    Comment by dilip — April 6, 2007 @ 8:34 am | Reply

  5. Hi Kaveetaa,

    Belated Happy Birthday.Many more to come!

    God Bless!! I read of it on the Op Nayyar post..Hope you have a great year ahead.

    Comment by Krishnan — April 6, 2007 @ 10:53 am | Reply

  6. heppy budday…..heppy budday….heppy budday..

    din know 😦
    Me Leo..No wonder na? Aries and Leo get along like a house on fire.My bestest friend in school was also an aries….

    AnD ManY mOrE To ComE

    Comment by puja — April 6, 2007 @ 4:37 pm | Reply

  7. Thankoo..thankoo..thankoo..

    Yep Leo n Aries go well as does Saggi..also Aquarius, Gemini and Libra..Understood? Look for among these..for dil vil pyaar vyaar.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — April 6, 2007 @ 4:45 pm | Reply

  8. aha… happy b’day!! hmmm.. wish u lovely words.. cozy emotionz n a blissful smile for all the candles tat wud bore into thee black forests!! moi best wishes…

    wat more… no debatez coz the b;day ‘girl’ shud alwayz be rite naa!! n who sayz ur growing old.. life begins at 60 naa.. till then rock n roll n scribble away!! may the halo of BIG B be there for u alwayz πŸ™‚

    Comment by saptarshi — April 6, 2007 @ 11:24 pm | Reply

  9. read my scribble in hindi… myy first!! dunno if its crazy but felt a silly happYness writing that… on my blog, want a serious feedback- consider it as a return gift from the b’day girl!!

    Comment by saptarshi — April 6, 2007 @ 11:34 pm | Reply

  10. Thankz.Sapt..

    Halo of Big B..would love that forever n ever..

    Left feedback sir!

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — April 7, 2007 @ 2:58 pm | Reply

  11. Dear Kaveetaa..I missed your birthday : ( My excuse is, my son coming home early that same morning from college!! : )

    And so, without further delay; a very happy year is wished for you… the quote you chose… a perfect example of your level awareness…

    with loving kindness,

    Comment by North — April 7, 2007 @ 7:08 pm | Reply

  12. Thanks so much ,dear North..and no bother about missing it..No biggie..

    Is your son now with you for his hols? How is he doing?

    Umm..taking baby steps ..faltering..resuming..trying..just trying to be the person my parents would have liked me to be and my children like to emulate..Tall order.. I think πŸ™‚

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — April 8, 2007 @ 5:58 pm | Reply

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