19 September, 2020

On Coming (Out) Of Age

What truths and wishes do I quietly reiterate when I greet my host, this young weekly, with sal mubarak? That its integral skills cannot atrophy, that the sapling will grow giant, sheltering boughs, that its years are without end.

On Coming (Out) Of Age
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Birthday bashes for children are about cake and candles and tasty snacks, pampered darlings and exhausted mothers—and recently the noisy innovation of a professional compere braying jokes into his mike and conducting party games... Or, if there is little time and energy for such an elaborate to-do, a tots and teenybopper invasion of McDonalds is an easy option. All that for the brats. But who or what ushered the rituals of janam day into adulthood? For bachelor boy Bunty, just turned 50, for Chhotu beta, 60, going on 61? Certainly this is not a case of cherchez la femme. She may not permit her husband to forget his birthday, she may evolve her own strategy for nudging connubial memory but in public she is silent about the day on which she first opened her eyes on a wondrous world. Even your loquacious hostess is secretive about totting up her years and her spouse only has to quote her age to muzzle that mobile mouth; whereupon he may conclude his hoary anecdote in peace.

Was it, then, a jilted lover who conceived the idea of setting aside a day in the year to celebrate the...
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