I remember five years back when my sister turned twenty and it all seemed to be such a big deal. I would look up to her and think "Wow, she has really grown up!" And I can't believe those five years whizzed by in a blink and here I was, in the same place. First of all, I felt that I didn't seem like a twenty year old, I didn't look like a twenty year old and I certainly didn't feel like a twenty year old. I was so comfortable being nineteen, I didn't want time to move any more. It's just the perfect age. You don't really feel like a grown up, and yet you're not considered a kid. But turning twenty, now that, as one of my friends puts it, is 'big shit'. It's like life is nudging you to grow up, become more responsible, start taking life seriously and start making your own decisions.
Anyway, of course I knew it was inevitable and I decided to take it in the right spirit. So when the clock struck twelve on November 9, calls started pouring in. I don't think I've EVER received so many birthday calls. Courtesy: Facebook. My sister pinged me on Gmail and wrote "Welcome to adulthood!" And that's when it hit me. I just stared at that one sentence and muttered, "Oh. My. God. I really AM twenty, aren't I?"
The next day was nothing like I'd imagined. Some of my friends forgot to wish me, some did, in a very "Oh it's your birthday? Well then, happy birthday" sort of way. They weren't even excited to go celebrate it with me somewhere. What was worse, we were attending classes!! As the day progressed, I became more and more forlorn. It was like I was a balloon and someone had punctured me and I was gradually deflating. (Except for the time when a friend (Cheenti) sent me a dozen red and white roses and I screamed with joy! and also when mom and dad came into my room early in the morning, lovingly woke me up and hugged me and made me so so rich!) After college when I asked my friends to go out, they came up with the lamest of excuses:
"Don't feel like."
Anyway, we ended up going to this little restaurant very close to our college with four of my closest friends. I was mostly sitting there dejected while they happily chatted away, apparently oblivious to how I was feeling. Boy, was I bummed out. Back home, I plopped down on my bed, disgruntled and hurt. "20th birthday. Big whoop", I said to myself scowling as two tears rolled down my cheek. Right at that instant my dad told me that one of my friends (Bhakti) was at the door. Sure enough, she stood there holding a big bouquet! She asked me to come over to antother friend's (Smriti's) place. So I agreed.
When I reached her place, believe me, I had NO inkling whatsoever about what was going to happen next. I open the door and there's a loud outburst of "Happy Birthdayyy!" It took me about two whole minutes to register the entire scene. And my reaction was so idiotic! I was like, "Oh MY GOD! You guys. What.. When. But how.. Oh wow..I just.. Shit man.. Oh god..!" :P
ALL of my closest friends, around 15-20 of them, all standing there, grinning from ear to ear. They got me a chocolate cake! They'd blown lots of heart-shaped balloons and had put streamers in a haphazard and cute manner! Wait, there's more. Another friend (Samrath) made Bhelpuri and got cold drinks! And they did all of this in such a short amount of time! Smriti said she wanted to do something more extravagant and I just rolled my eyes. It didn't even matter what they do or what they get me. The fact that they all gathered together, took time out and were just...there for me and with me on my birthday, was more than I could have asked for!
I was.... overwhelmed, overjoyed and speechless. In the first five minutes, I couldn't even focus my eyes, I was just so perfectly, amazingly SURPRISED!!
Every year on my birthday, I organize the party and I get the cake. This is the first time I've ever received a surprise party! The first time my friends have gone out of their way to make my day! And trust me, it's the most wonderful thing ever! Especially when you're friends deliberately turn into assholes and lower your expectations to such a level that you have absolutely NO idea they're planning something! At first I was emotional, then I was excited, and then I was ecstatic. I hugged each one of them and was hopping and frolicking about in no time! I even let them put a little cake on my cheeks and nose! I love them! Each one of them! It was AMMMAZING!
I suddenly felt.. special. It's great to know you've got a bunch of friends around you who care. I know I'm never going to forget my 20th birthday. And I've quit fretting about it. What's the big deal? One day I'll turn 30! Even 40! and 50! I'd freak out then. Being twenty actually feels awesome now. I know childhood is gone, I'm not the same little kid anymore who would sit for hours with her crayons and who would write short stories and make everyone in the household read them. I know I've grown up and I'm a year closer to the grave, but that doesn't bother me at all. Life has been beautiful so far and I'm sure with friends and moments and experiences like these, it's going to be wonderful in the years to come!
Yay me! I'm twenty!!!! :D