"Ah so it's Angel's first birthday, you must be so excited? What grand plans?"
I smile sheepishly and say "nothing much just a family dinner with Mom Dad and Grandma.
The look of bewilderment is obvious. First birthdays are always special, one year into this incredible journey of parenting, the little bundle of joy who was so tiny, has bloomed into a cherubic one year old bobbing all over the place. So many memories over a period of one year and no doubt that it's a moment of great joy to see your little one turn a year. But when it comes to the manner in which I would want to celebrate that day- I am probably those among the few that has a different view.
I have attended a couple of birthday parties of kids and I have always wondered " why are there more adults at these parties than kids?" Shouldn't the birthday party be solely for kids where they play games, probably have some performances like a clown entertaining them, puppet shows etc, lots of goodies. What work do the uncles and aunties have in these parties? You will usually find them gossiping about something or buried in their phones and the mouth stuffed with a samosa. I have never seen them join in the games or seize the opportunity to entertain the little guests. So why o why are they present in the first place? Sometimes they outnumber the little guests and the party turns into a sordid affair of just the cutting the cake , eating, giving gifts to the birthday child and then bade goodbye. So did the child whose big day it was, have even a moment of fun? I dare you to say yes!
When I take a walk down memory lane and think of the good old days when my parents hosted birthday parties for me, it was kids only party and that's why I had a great time amidst kids my age. Wonder why the trend has changed so much that a child's birthday party has become no less than the big fat Indian wedding.
Coming to one and two year olds yes they are oblivious to what a birthday is so all the more reason to think before you decide to throw that bash inviting 100 uncles and aunties for dinner. I have seen the amount of money splurged on these parties, it really looks like Mommy Daddy are out to exhibit how perfect a Disney theme party we can throw rather than share their joy with these guests. Mostly in the case of small children aged 1-2 years, they are not very comfortable in a crowd and specially when all the unknown uncles and aunties want to pull the cheeks and carry them. Ours is a small family and my daughter is not very comfortable in the presence of adults though she loves the company of kids. I can imagine the maddening rush at a party thrown for my daughter where she hardly has a moment of fun, we are busy attending to guests and ensuring the party goes on seamlessly. What are we left with at the end? A tired body, a cranky baby, a big credit card bill and a host of dolls and dresses for the kid. Thank you very much but I would rather have a cosy dinner at my favourite restaurant with my family. Angel is too young to comprehend what a birthday is, for her it's just another day where she goes about playing gleefully and spreading cheer everywhere.
As she grows I would no doubt want to host parties for her birthday but I want to do it her way for its her big day right. So it will be a only kiddie party, uncles aunties strictly prohibited. And a birthday ritual that I want to have every year is spending time with less fortunate kids on this day, have a meal with them perhaps. This is not to make Angel realise how blessed she is to be born into a family which can provide her everything but to make her aware that there is a life beyond the 4 walls of her house, not everyone gets everything on a silver platter, let's be compassionate and learn the joy of giving.
Many people might disagree to my idea though these days I have seen lot of young couples celebrate their child's first birthday in a somber way. So come 7Dec we would have our own little celebration for our little doll sans a crowd of people.
So yes here it is - my plans for my daughter's first Birthday. What was your experience/ thoughts. Feel free to share them.
Now let me confess- I am really NOT someone who loves watching
daily soaps. I know reading the tile you thought- what the heck, if it’s a
daily soap on TV it is bound to be stereotypical, full of nonsense and drama
and if you watch such stuff why complain, and if complain why watch? There was a
time when I was in college, all naive, and this was when internet was all about
going to the cyber cafe and getting all excited about entering the chat room
and typing asl (age ,sex ,location) and talking to strangers. At that time, the
only source of entertainment for young people like me was the idiot box so I won’t
lie- I used to watch the Ekta Kapoor soaps and probably even like that at that
point, that’s why I use the word Naive. As I grew up, met
diverse set of people, read and experienced new cultures, my thought process
changed. With a hectic job, I hardly found time for any TV watching. My Mom who
is also a working woman used to watch a few Marathi soaps. She always told me
Bhagwan you speak English with your daughter? What is happening these days?
People want to show off and are forgetting their roots”. I have heard this many times. Earlier my
reaction used to be - apologetic. I would keep quiet and try to ignore the comment
and find an escape route. But now if someone dares to talk to me about this
matter, I snap them off then and there. I am unapologetic I don't think I have
done anything wrong which I need to feel ashamed about. So yes I do speak in
English at home and this is my first language. No qualms about it. And
it's not because of an inter caste marriage in fact I have been speaking
English as a first language right since childhood. To give you some background
on how this came to be. My mother’s parents belonged to Mangalore ( it's a
coastal town in Karnataka) they migrated to Bombay in search of a livelihood
when they were young. They married, had kids and their kids were brought up by
a maid. As my mom and her brother lived…
As Aesha tapped her heel restlessly at the Visa Consulate, one
might just think of her as yet another young woman who has set her heart on an
overseas dream, a future in the greener pastures and she is probably nervous if
her visa will be stamped or not as her fate can either be made or broken by
this one seal (or the lack of it). But for Aesha , her tumultuous mind couldn't
be tamed today. While she was at
the cusp of an important milestone in her career and getting the visa would
mean she inches one step closer to her dream professionally- somewhere she
shuddered to think of how it would impact her love life and the very foundation
of her marriage. It seemed like
yesterday- Aman and Aesha met at a sangeet and got talking. They hit it
instantly and never realized where time flew. They would always chuckle when
they got to know later that this had been set up by their parents. Aesha was a young, dynamic, super smart, intelligent woman who was
a great fan of Sheryl Sandberg and truly…