An evening before:
While the time was eager to run, my heart was still. I was sad, kind of hopeless. I was away from my parents who were sharing their lives through the threshold of their doors.
Here, I lived amongst my new family the same way. So, there was little to cheer about. After all, birthdays are meant to be celebrated together with family and friends. But this time everything was ‘distanced’.
So, I thought maybe tomorrow would be an equally boring day. Nothing special.
And my mind answered back-” Well, why not. In Fact let me celebrate my birthday the introverted way”.
My list went like this-
sleep late (not rush for your birthday party)
Put on new but comforting clothes (not trendy chic, mostly uncomfortable types)
Spend time with your plants (not get stuck in the traffic)
Have a hearty talk with every caller who wished (not small talk as in, thank you, ciao)
Watch your favorite travel movies (rather than sit in a crowded café)
Have your favorite cuisines in a mouthful (not worry about others having had enough)
And the list went on….
The day began late, while I woke up with a lovely glow since I had snoozed a bit more in my cozy comforter. The day felt all mine.
It was different too!
I pulled out the cake from the fridge, placed the candles, blew them, while my sweetheart stood at 6 feet watching me through the process. Not only that, I made sure I tasted every bite that I offered my family through a video call. I saw their eyes, I saw the endless love, the wishes, and the longing.
Back to the day of my birthday.
So, I took a break from the kitchen. My sweetheart pampered me throughout the meals with different cuisines. For breakfast, I had garlic breadsticks, mocha brownies, and a cup of hazelnut latte. Need I say more? I was blessed man!
It was time for my plants. Little by little I went up to each one of them, talking, asking about their health, and checking whether they needed something. I smelled them, brushed by and took a leaf or two of my favorite herbs, and savored my mouth. And reveled in their lingering fragrances-basil, rosemary, lemongrass, mint.
All this, while my well-wishers were lined up through calls. My phone surely had a busy day. But I poured my heart with everybody out there. From friends to relatives, to family, all of who were sad about the current state of affairs.
I gave them a laugh, had one too, they filled me with hope and I did too. Our hearts met, through voices alone.
Almost all my day passed in conversations- the deep ones I might add.
It was time for a movie. That too in complete solitude. Browsing through the genre of travel, I realized I had almost exhausted this category. All through Netflix and Amazon Prime, I struggle to find one movie based in Europe that I hadn’t seen.
And bam! I got one-In love with an Angel.
An Italian movie, based in my dream destination-Rome.
From the sweet and swaying Italian to the cobbled streets, the green-eyed Raoul Bova and the monument of Hadrian as a backdrop flew me all the way to Rome. (Who would want to choose an alley with countless heads and weary faces?)
Well, after my rendezvous with Italian charm, I had some chill in Rio de Janeiro too. Yup, in the comfort of my comforter again! While outside, the wind blew harder and the temperatures were low.
My love made sure to turn my room into a cozy green cafe, with soft yellow lights and my green children from the front yard.
Together with a tray full of my favorite Chinese cuisine with that rolls. I savored all, with sips of red, while dancing to the tunes of Samba.
It was almost 12 and yes my special day had ended. But did I miss anything? Anyone?
Yes, it was different this time and some may say it’s hard. But hard times drive you closer, at least that’s what I learned.