June 9 is supposed to be a special day for me
Astronomically speaking, I complete another revolution around the sun. Demographically speaking, it’s another year after I added myself to the 1 billion odd population of the country. Philosophically speaking, it’s been another year of my existence; with me still trying to figure out the meaning of it all.
Yes; it’s my Birthday today.
Just that my Birthdays are no more happy, joyful occasions to look forward to. Instead, they are painful annual reminders of my still having done nothing worthwhile. Of having done nothing significant for the posterity to remember me by.Of having done nothing that will even merit a trivia question in my honor.
I remember long ago I desperately wanted to enter the “Youngest person to…” list of something. ...
I started thinking in terms of amazing feats ....At the age of 13; I learned that a 12 year old had become the youngest person to swim the English Channel.He mercilessly pushed the record out of my reach even before I perceived the English Channel as a swimmable one. Not that I had a chance; to this day I have not swum more than 50 metres at a single stretch (huff puff). But still; it sounds like quite a record to have.
I lowered my sights and thought I’l'll pine for the something in the “Youngest Indian to……” list. At least all those Slovenians, Zulus and Albanians could not compete with me here. As for the English Channel, a 13 yr old Indian kid had already swum it pushing that record out of my reach too. So I kissed the English Channel dreams goodbye and decided to focus on some other more achievable nearby records.
Ruled out all sporting records as all “Youngest” sports debuts/records have been by teenage kids. I watched Raphael Nadal win the French Open last Sunday. Both of us play left handed and are June born. But alas !!!There ends the similarity. Almost 9 years younger he has already made his mark in this world. I had never thought I'll see a day when all the Grand Slam champs are younger to me and half the Indian Cricket team were not born when I started going to school! Even worse is gymnastics where Chinese &Russian kids just out of their diapers perform those masochistic contortions. So no chance there either ...
I briefly considered becoming the youngest to climb the Everest but right away reasoned that some Sherpa kid would have got bored of the view from his window and strayed up to the top of Everest on a bored Sunday afternoon quite unknowingly pushing the “Youngest ever to climb Everest” record out of my reach.
I decided to forget records, as endurance has never been my strong point. I thought about being something less phyiscally demanding as becoming the Youngest Millionaire. But then Guinness Book told me that Shirley Temple had become millionairess before the age of 10. Ever an optimist; I thought of becoming the Youngest Billionaire but learned that Michael Dell was worth a couple of billion dollars (that he earned himself, not his Papa's handouts !!) by his mid twenties. And that time my bank account had never really crossed a 4-figure mark even in rupee terms!
Guess I’m just cribbing without considering my gifts. Guess I’m just on the way to becoming a grumpy old man. Maybe I’m destined to be in the “Oldest Person to …” lists. Maybe I should be a bit more patient. Maybe I’ve to wait just some 75 years. Maybe i'll find my own niche. And be able to stop wallowing in my mediocrity. And someday I'll start look forward to birthdays like I used to long ago....
After all I’m still just in my late twenties..
Btw I share birthday with Johnny Depp, Michael J Fox, Robert Mc Namara ( World Bank President and the first guy to score a perfect 800/800 score in GMAT) and the most famous of all Donald Duck (one of the few cartoon characters actually to have an official Birthday) !!! That figures, eh??. Anyway as a dear blogger friend wisecracked; I’m in august company though my birthday is in June. .
I’ll wake up tomorrow with that miserable feeling that “Damn!!! I’ m older” .(cough cough..) Maybe this will be my last bachelor birthday. Having regretted all I have done and regretting even more all I have not done. I will be just lying there thinking about it all. And then there will be wishes from parents, maybe a few messages and calls from friends who have not forgotten (not too many remember such things these days). And there will be my little nephew and niece lisping a “ Happy Birthday” song over the phone. Should make my day considerably better....
After all; as they say; growing older is not so bad when you consider the alternatives ;-))