Here I am,an 'ex-teenager'.It has been about 6 days since I started my 'tenure' as a 20 year old...and for the first time,the words "year old" seems significant.
On the 26th,I was still a teenager,barely holding on.Then,"at the stroke of the midnight hour",a sudden deluge of phone-calls and text messages followed,from friends and strangers alike ,and it dawned on the groggy me,that I was indeed 20..!
Morning broke.I opened my eyes to see both Ma and Baba looking at me,with much affection,almost a lost-and-found look.I was confused.I could still be Daddy's Little Princess ,right?I hope age was no bar here..!I think he sensed that.So before I could doubt a second longer,he pinched my nose,and I was relieved..!Mom tried her best to get me out of bed,and I was assured that I was going to be pushed around,even though I was 20..!Ahhh....sweet relief..!
The weather was gloomy.It was pouring.My birthday coincided with the last day in college before vacations.I wanted to be there.The rain was a dampener.I was dreading that College Street had turned into the Great Bath.I couldn't force my friends to come over,just because I wanted them to.Yes,I sulked for a brief period on my 20th birthday(matured,eh?)And then came the sun,"doo-dah,doo-dah",not in the shape of the great ball of fire in the sky,but the news that my friends were braving the rain to go to college.I was in 7th heaven.So I found myself in college,all dressed-up,which led to certain people asking me whether I had a date!?!I am 20,and yet,I like being the cynosure of all eyes on my birthday...!Hence,I thoroughly enjoyed being there in college.
Next stop was at Mainland China with my parents.I did what I do best,EAT.With food which could be a gourmet's delight,celtic music,and cute waiters(20 year olds,do get to call guys cute I hope!),nothing could have gone wrong.Even Dad falling off to sleep while the food was being served couldn't ruin the day...!His snoring too,acquired a comical glow...!
Evening brought along with it several guests,(a few unwanted ones too)presents,and a birthday cake.It was a warm gathering and all of a sudden I felt grateful for 20 years of love and affection that I had been blessed with.A stately dinner ended my celebrations for the day.
It had been a great day.My best friend called.My good friends made me feel special.Strangers were overtly nice to me.I got wonderful presents.I felt loved .Yes,I still wondered about whether a certain someone remembered that it was my birthday and felt torn between two eventualities as I do,on his.But I wasn't going to let that "steal away my thunder"!
Later,as I laid in bed,contemplating ,I couldn't help but feel a tad sad.I would never be a teenager again.That I would no longer qualify as a 'kid' ,an address that would have previously irked me,now pained me.That I would be expected to act as a matured adult,scared me.All of a sudden I felt claustrophobic.I needed air.I went and stood in the balcony.
And as always,it was darkness that helped me see.I saw the stars,how they shone.It was not a static,permanent beam of light.It quivered,glimmered,varied in intensity.Each spark different from the other but none, lesser in beauty.And there it was,the answer to all my doubts,confusions and sadness.Indeed my life was like a sky,and each age would bring with it ,its own charm,its specialities,its freedoms,that would make me look forward to the next step,its restraints,that would make me look fondly at the years gone by.I understood the look in my parents' eyes.While the little girl was now a fond memory,the woman now was their proud reality.And,so it was with me.
It has been a wholesome 20 years.There has been clouds blocking the stars,yet unhappiness too has attained a glow.There has been clear skies and moonlit nights and the light has shone through.If there has been heart-aches,failures and unpleasantness,there has been love and friendship,triumphs and joy.I am happy to be 20 years old for they have undoubtedly been the time of my life,and in no way,'hollow years'.All in all,I convinced myself,without any difficulty whatsoever, that it had indeed been a very happy birthday. :-)
Writer's note :- I chose to write this a few days after my birthday ,to ensure that my feelings then ,did have some constancy,and were not merely brought about by rationalization.I can safely say now,the feeling prevails,and will prevail.:-)