A few days ago, I celebrated my first ever birthday away from home. I didn't know what to expect..the day seemed like any other day anyway. I guess I just feel a bit older :) As the day passed by, I was surprised by the number of Kiwis and other non-Msian friends who knew of my birthday. Then again, of course.FACEBOOK. Some of 'em were pretty eager to know how old I was, and boy were most of them shocked to learn that I was 21! They assumed I was younger than them, and they were like 18,19 or 20. (oh, there are of course a few geniuses who were as young as 16!) It was kinda cute how they made such a big fuss over it - how turning 21 (the supposed legal age) officially transforms you into an adult. I could now (according to them) enter casinos and gamble! I should throw a humongous party (which they suspect is the reason behind me not going to med wine & cheese that night, I prolly have some private posh party planned) and should claim big, xtravaganza prezzies!
Funny when I thought about it, all I had planned was cooking my mum's signature dish - mee mushroom - for my flatmates..and I was gonna spend a quiet night with them, watching American Idol on tv,etc What else do you do on a Friday night. I was gonna 'jam' a bit before that..and Sarah's gonna spend the night at our house. Just simple and nice.
Becoming 21 to some is a huge deal...that's when you try something totally out of this world, something that you'd prolly never do..like get a pierce, a tattoo or jump off a cliff. Just like sweet 16. But personally for me though, I was scared as hell to turn 21. Coz it meant more than all that combined. It meant I've actually lived, breathed for 2 whole decades. And it made me wonder...where has all those years gone? What have I accomplished? Did I let all that time go to waste? or did I optimize everything I had?
The big two.one. Also means I'm no kid anymore. I'm on the verge of adulthood. More responsibilities. About maturity. No more childishness or carelessness. Although of course, I'd never let that inner kid that exists in all of us die; there still is a place and time for everything though. In a few years I'll be a doctor insyaAllah..and a few more, prolly someone's wife and mum. :) A long way to go...but hey. It's not as long as we may think it is. I'm done with 20 years. What's another 10?
Some people are against the celebration of birthdays...some may not be, but are not brought up with such traditions in their families. So their responses may vary...some may not like it at all, whilst some feel touched and happy at being the special one for the day. All we can do is respect their stands. Never force someone to like something, and don't have high expectations for them - you might just end up getting hurt. And I know this from 1st hand experience ;) Coming back to my point...even if some people feel there is no need to celebrate one's birthday..to follow those cultures of the West (especially the wild ones) ...there is definitely that one person who deserves to be celebrated and honoured - and she's none other than Mum.
A senior told me this during my surprise party and they're the words of a Muslim brother/scholar..can't really remember the name. But the meaning is deep.
"Who are you to celebrate your birthday when it is really the person whose womb bore you who should be celebrated."
And no one can argue with the truth. So let us call our mothers on our birthdays, thanking them for bringing you out into the world. For if it were not for them (and God's will of course) we would never have existed in this life at all. Surprise THEM for a change. and Mama, I know you won't be reading this...but I want the whole world to know that I am ever grateful for being your child. And I know my 20 years of life wasn't thrown away at all...because I have you as my mother. You as my guide. You as everything anyone can ever be to me. You bring meaning to my world. THANK YOU. - my very late Mother's Day dedication. Although I feel it should never just be a day. It's every day.