As has been a repetitive practice, developed most inadvertently in my teenage years, on the date of my birth, every year, I take a few minutes (sometimes hours, rarely days) to think through what I have done, where I am in that present moment and how many pathways there are left to tread. I can acknowledge that I realize and see the change. The difference.
Every year I grow up a little bit more because there are 365 days worth of events to account for, however an insignificant dot of a breathing life form I am in the vast unknown of the universe. As I do every year, there is always one thing new or different. Naturally things happen in the course of time, but I make a conscious decision on my birthday. Last year, I cut my hair to the shortest length it has ever been. As my mum put it, “That’s almost as much hair you had when you were born!”; I had a head of jet black curls falling up to my jawline, there are pictures to prove it. Anyway, apart from that, it also signified my dedication finally pay attention to exercising and eating. This year, I decided to get my driver’s license!
I have driven a lot. My first license, I obtained at the age of eighteen and immediately took to riding my scooter everywhere and
practiced driving my Dad’s, uncle’s and Granddad’s cars. Driving through every possible situation, with music playing in the background, my dad providing the foreground track of a constant stream of, what he called, instructions and mindful suggestions, my mum gently cautioning me to not respond and my voice adding to the cacophony of horns, curses, yelling, music and so forth. This time around, I did it myself. In a matter of two weeks, I was finally armed with an Illinois Driver’s License. There was an immediate sense of accomplishment that coursed through me the moment I was handed the red coded card. So much so that a week later, I was already zipping through the city in a very nice Audi A3. Yeah, I go for the luxury vehicles and have an extreme soft spot for Audis.
That was just part of my celebrations though. Most people that know me are aware that I usually spend the whole of July bouncing about and doing things using my birthday as an excuse. Instead of going through the whole month in words, I though I’d use pictures, since I seem to have taken to some form of photography (a fancier term for photographs taken on my Galaxy S3 and sometimes enhanced with Snapseed or PicsArt).
The running theme of the month was food, tea and the outdoors (as much as I despise summer).
A vacation after six months definitely adds to the festive mood. Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota in four days. The wondrous outdoors with the family, whom I hadn’t seen since our winter trip to Miami. Four days in the Rockies, near 14000 ft above sea level for most part, delighting in the wildlife and simply enjoying being together.
The day of my birthday dawned bright and clear. The weather was perfect. And the mood was one of fulfilling happiness. A dozen fresh croissants from a hidden gem of a Belgian bakery kicked off the gastric indulgence. A Mediterranean dinner and two tea parties, one Russian and another prim and English at the Drake.
Afternoon tea is quite my thing. The proper way, I mean. Biscuits and scones with lemon curd and clotted cream, finger sandwiches and quiches, with a dainty tea cup of full bodied black tea, some milk and sugar. My friends were of the agreement that it really was ‘me’ – music, conversation, ambience and the general idea of being posh, apparently.
As summer draws to an end, much to my complete relief, I find that I spend more time reading and hanging about my balcony drinking tea and listening to my neatly selected Pandora stations (stuck on a Chopin, London Symphony Orchestra, Carl Orff, Heavy Metal and Globus as of now). I, once again, vow to write often as I continue to explore the city and other places and rediscover several forgotten things. My mind screams for an outlet, which I understand since I seem to feed it a lot of information and being the sort of person that likes to have a written record of anything, putting those thoughts into words is the ultimate goal. Though, of late, pictures have made their way into my vocabulary. Simple, everyday moments of beauty transfix me.
And so I shall continue. 9861 days on Earth, every tide and turn of a clock that still ticks on, as I hurtle through space with billions of other living organisms into the vast unknown, cutely encased in a nutshell that we term ‘life’. I will make the best of it. It is my one aim. The driving factor of it all, other than integrity, independence and poise is that little voice that whispers, “Knowledge for knowledge’s sake.”