Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Who ever constructed the ‘Happy Birthday’ song, had great foresight and vision

 Jalsa , Mumbai                    Mar  17 ,  2012                           Sat  10:24 PM


A day full of flowers around the house, colored, strong smells and in huge large bouquets … greetings for the birthday girl, Shweta … a quiet birthday just with family, but full of warmth and love and the little things that go to make a young lady happy …

Tomorrow its her husbands birthday … Nikhil turns the same age ..

Who ever constructed the 'Happy Birthday' song, had great foresight and vision. Or did he /she not ? Did they ever imagine that it would be sung in every corner of the globe each minute … and now I believe, there is a copyright on it, so when it is played publicly they pay IPR, or whatever it is that constitutes the regulations of payment for copyright.

And was it a confectionery that devised the concept of the cake and the candle on that wishful day. The number of candles signifying the years, the burning of them, the blowing away and the wishes, the cutting and the feeding … nowadays I see a very ugly side to it, where they smear the cake icing and all on the birthday candidates face .. so unbecoming and so messy … just not a very pleasant sight to see or to perform … birthday bumps it used to be .. now its this other facial routine. The posterior pain was better !!

Who started these practices ? And how have they defied time and distance and location to live on for decades .. !! My Father in defiance of this practice, perhaps influenced by the struggle for independence during the Raj, wrote his own birthday song, which on occasion we often sing ..

Varsh Nav, Harsh Nav … jeevan utkarsh nav …

I think my parents both Mother and Father sang it for the first time in Allahabad for Pt Jawaharlal Nehru's birthday ! I think .. I need to look it up and confirm … it has stayed with us and whenever possible is played out .. I do like it immensely … and instead of the cake , the 'khoya' .. I do not have an English convertible for it, but has condensed milk and heaps of sugar and is incredibly delicious .. the candles have been replaced by a single 'diya' and that is all the auspiciousness that gets associated with birthdays … this and the temple for blessings of the Almighty and the feet touching of the elders for theirs …

Todays generation sends emails and musical greeting cards and sms and mms and God knows what else to express birthday wishes .. oh yes and on the mobile too, jamming it to numbers in my case at least beyond 1500 at times… so that it takes almost a year .. perhaps till the next birthday to respond to it .. !!!

As kids we looked forward to birthdays, because of the gifts … even if it came in the shape of a new pencil !! You slept with it under your pillow for days, not wanting to lose its new look … kept the wrappings and the ribbons .. some still do .. for years inside folded pages of books … opening up at times just to remember the moment …

Ah ! the innocence of youth and the beauty of devotion and love … such wondrous thought and feel as you go back to those memories ..

Hey ! do I bring up the topic of memory often these days ? They say it signifies aging and perhaps, 'nirvana' around the corner … better stop then ..

Time to be spent with the kids now and in solitude with them for a few days .. alone …

Love to all and my sincere thank you's for all the wishes that you sent for Shweta .. I did attempt an entire brigade of yellow today, but did not cater to all … my regrets .. but I do live in your thoughts and your words .. Thank you ..


Amitabh Bachchan

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