March 12th is my birthday, and there are lots of facts which are related to this particular day. I have never been that much fond of celebrating this day, even though when the friends were there, it was kind of different – giving and taking those treats were essential things. It had become a tradition to celebrate the birthdays more than the rest of the celebrations. But things did change, and I was back to my normal situation, of not celebrating anything – celebrations did leave me, and I was a lot happy to skip them all.
But sometimes, the birthdays become more than just birthdays – it will have other memories and special things happening on the day which will make it the memorable day, but not directly related to being the day on which you were born. There is something special about this year’s birthday – it will be the first birthday of me on which I will be working; the first time on a birthday that actually have a job; it has a special status in that case, but there is something about the last year’s birthday too.
The last year’s birthday had me at three different cities – in the morning, I was at Cochin, at noon, I was at Mumbai and in the evening, I was at Delhi – well, that was surely a different day for me. Usually, it was like, each and every day, I am either at home or at the theatre watching a movie. This one special advantage of not going directly to a city – well, I had so much to spare at that time, and so this kind of journey was not going to waste my time! The return was through Bangalore for some change.
That was what happened on March 12th last year, and then the big moments were to be on the next few days. It was about attending the India Today Conclave at Delhi, and it was what I was there for, even though visiting Delhi for the first time was also a priority. After winning the contest, I found myself at Taj Palace, and right there in the hall to listen to those eminent personalities. I also found my new friends there, my co-winners and delegates – Arvind Passey, Shoma Abhyankar, Shreya Das and Yogita Aggarwal.
When a day has Sachin Tendulkar in the beginning, you know how awesome it can become. There were people like Katrina Kaif, Lisay Haydon, Chetan Bhagat, our honourable central ministers and others on that wonderful first day. On the second day, there were Viswanathan Anand, Ranveer Singh, the ambassadors to India, Shobhaa De and the others, along with the Chief Ministers of a number of states – and when everything ends, you are not happy that it ended, but you can’t wait to travel through Delhi!
The memories stay so well that I often wonder if this is my birthday or the conclave anniversary; a few things are a lot meaningful than the rest, and it changes according to the person; for not everyone thinks the same about their own lives. Maybe I was never really going to think about it as my birthday and as the reminder of myself getting older; it was going to be remembered for my big journey rather than anything else. I didn’t think that much in that way at that time, but now I feel that it might have been the biggest moment of my life, and nothing bigger is to come; especially related to writing.
There are more facts about the same – I have never seen a Malayalam writer this close, but Chetan Bhagat was right there; I have never seen a Kerala cricketer close enough in my life, but I have seen and heard Sachin Tendulkar speaking in that hall; I have never seen a Malayalam movie star in my life, but I have seen and listened to Ranveer Singh, Katrina Kaif and Lisa Haydon – I consider that surprising, but it is something that I am a lot happy about. I guess that some things just happen in life, and there are others which will never occur.
***The images used in this blog post were taken by me during the 2015 India Today Conclave at Delhi.