March means a LOT of milestones in my family. The first week of the month, my step- brother celebrates his birthday. He lives in India and I adore him so.Source:dreamstime.com
Next comes, my baby girl, Krista, whose birthday is counted as the latest addition to the list of celebrations I am trying to catalogue here. Originally her due date was on March 18th which was our Wedding Anniversary. But due to some complications with my health, the doctors induced me by March 13th and there she came, a week before her scheduled birth date!
The day after Krista’s birth is my Dad’s birthday. I do not get any chances to meet with him on his birthdays anymore- that is one of the things I had to give up when I got married and moved away from home. Up until my wedding, I was always present on his special day and enjoyed those moments with him and my brother.
After this, comes our wedding anniversary. Every year, my husband and I go out for dinner on this day except last year when the anniversary fell just a week after Krista’s birth. As you can imagine, I was just back from the hospital at the time and did not have the situation or energy to have a nice celebration or anything. But we had a quiet and peaceful time together.
Then, towards the end of the month, is my birthday which I do not even care about. But here in the family, everyone comes together and order food from a good restaurant when one of us is celebrating their birthday. The company will include my in-laws, Sister-in law and her family and us. We all eat happily and have some real good quality time! Each member of the family’s birthday is celebrated this way- I would also consider it as ‘bonding time’ for all of us.
Last, but not the least, there used to be someone else who used to have her birthdays on March 31st. She was a writer and my role model who urged me to explore the world of words through her works. Her name was Kamala Das while she wrote her English pieces of literature and took the pseudonym of Madhavi Kutty for the writings in Malayalam- hers and mine, mother tongue. She passed away four years ago but still lives in the hearts of the people who love her. I was a die-hard fan of hers especially in my teens and one day, I learned that she lived very close to my home town. I excitedly shared the news with my Dad. I thought wistfully about running into her someday.
My good old Dad that he is, searched online and phone books to get hold of her contact information and managed to book an appointment to meet with her in her apartment. Of course, I did not know about any of this and my Dad took me for a ride one day. He drove for a while and finally we reached at the upscale suburbs where all the luxurious looking condos and apartments are lined up. It was the first time that I am even setting my foot in that area and questioned my Dad about the reason of our visit. We always used to go for long drives at the time and when we set out, all I thought about it as one of those trips. But I clearly knew now, that was not the case.
My Dad asked me: “Who would you like to meet most if you get a chance to meet your role model, if you have any?”
I raised my eyebrows and said instantly “Dah! Kamala Das, who else?” and gave him a defiant look, clearly convinced that he is just playing with me.
Dad with his smug look then delivered his punch line: “Well, here we are!”
“What? Where?” I asked him uncomprehendingly, thinking that he is turning crazy or I am.
“Honey, Kamala Das lives here!” He pointed to a beautiful looking white mansion towering over us.
I became speechless and felt like I was hit by a huge moving truck.
No, that can’t be. How can it be? Who said that wishes can come true this easily? A mind-war raged on inside me.
By that time, my Dad already started walking to my dear Author’s door and was knocking his way in. I stumbled after him.
“But, wait! Do you have appointment?” I whispered in horror, but of course, he didn’t hear.
Her maid greeted us and showed us in.
Okay, he does have appointment. Gosh, how cool is this? I tried to suppress the goofy grin threatening to break out of my face.
My heart was beating faster and I thought I am going to die with a cardiac arrest. But I wanted to see her before it happens.
Then she gracefully walked in.
Kamala Das- she looked so lively and vibrant and just as I imagined! She was beautiful and I forgot to smile back at her when she welcomed us with her warm gesture and a tight embrace.
That day was one of the most beautiful and rewarding days of my life. I got to spend a whole day with her. We talked about the poems that she wrote, her works I liked best, her hobbies, my interests etc…I was very pleased that she and I shared birthdays on the same month. She was awesome!
After that, I saw her few more times until she moved to another state. I kept in touch with her writings and she never failed me in words. I kissed my Dad with all my gratitude and the excitement of an adolescent on that eventful day. My birthday was in few more days and I told Dad benevolently that I do not need any other birthday gifts from him as this one was perfect! The gift of meeting Kamala Das in person made my day and ten more years of birthdays to come! I also added this rendezvous with my favorite author on that hot and humid summer day in India to the list of milestones for the month of March!
Do you have a special month that comes packed up with a tonne of milestones you cherish? – Be it birthdays or any other special occasions? Would you care to share how you celebrate them?