Its my father's Birthday today. He would have been 61.
We celebrated his 60'th birthday last year with a traditional ceremony called the "Sashtabyaburthi". Staunch traditionists are requested to forgive the spelling.
I had just finished college and the family had gone on a trip to Bangalore, Calcutta and Darjeeling. We came back and I gave the aptitude tests for company P and company Barry. I'd cleared both of them and was in a rather exultant mood on that particular day.
I wore a rather nice light blue checked shirt with a veshti . Not to mention, the traditional Iyengar "Sri Charanam", a vertical red line on the centre of the forehead. I revelled in my cultured brahmin look :-).
Every relative we had attended the function, either to bless or be blessed.
A small hall, packed with people and smoke from the traditional fire. I squeezed my way around, trying to play a gracious host. I must admit my cousin Prashant played a better host than I did.
My entire circle of friends attended. The only topic of discussion then was which companies were hiring, how the aptitude tests were and how the interviews were.My very orthodox friend Bharat took some out from the discussion to scowl at my forehead and comment " A Sri Charanam alone does not make you an Iyengar!"
"Poda Naye" I grinned back and stole a glance at the most beautiful girl in the hall. She looked stunning in her black Mangalagiri salwar.She smiled back and my heart leapt and burst with pride.
I couldnt sit down and talk to her though, my friends wouldnt stop pulling my leg each time I came close to her.
Life seemed perfect at that moment. I wish I could freeze it and live it everyday. We were so incredibly happy as a family then and I thought it would last forever.
Now I only have memories to relive. So much has changed in the last year. I've been buffetted by the winds of time and change.
Still, life goes on. I have a job in hand and a chance to have a great career. My sense of humour seems reasonably intact. I just have to be thankful for what I have now and move on.
Happy Birthday Appa.