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When birthday happens, it is really a calendar event and nothing beyond that

By NS Venkataraman* 

People all over the world celebrate their birthday, some people with pomp and show and others in a more quiet manner depending upon their position in the society and their affordability. Of course, some people also celebrate religiously.
While this is a normal practice, with celebrations being accompanied by cutting cake, blowing candles and wishes of greetings coming from friends , dear and near ones, in sub conscious mindset, it is inevitable that a thought would creep in the mind of the individual celebrating the birthday that he / she is advancing in age, causing a level of anxiety about the longevity of life . Of course, this may happen particularly in the case of senior citizens and perhaps not so much amongst the youngsters who could be thinking that a lot of time is still ahead of them and they need not be unduly concerned about this.
In such circumstances, one wonders whether birthday should be a matter of celebration or concern about advancing age.
Perhaps, the birthday celebration could satisfy the ego of the individual when others extend wishes and greetings and make him/her feel that he / she has lived well.
Per se, there is really nothing wrong or objectionable about celebrating the birthday of an individual. However, long term thinkers would inevitably wonder what is there to be celebrated about.
When the birthday happens, it is really a calendar event and is nothing beyond that. Days come and nights fall and life goes on in whatever way and whatever day it is, whether a birthday or any other day.
All in all, one may even wonder that remembrance day after the individual passes away (even though that would also be a calendar event) is more significant than a birthday celebration. On the remembrance day, the descendants and others still living would judiciously and carefully evaluate the life content and life process of the person and would pay their respect accordingly in the manner that they deserve.
In the case of birthday wishes, the extent of wishes could largely be dependent on the wealth of the person celebrating or the position held by him / her in business or job. If and when this would slip away due to superannuation or any other reason , the number of birthday wishes would reduce sharply , that could cause pain for the person celebrating.
However, such a possibility would not be there in the case of remembrance day.
Finally, can we say that birthday celebration is carried out in a vacuum with no real significance and remembrance day is more meaningful, being observed with respect being shown with greater sense of truthfulness and sincerity.
---
*Trustee, Nandini Voice For The Deprived, Chennai

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