Why do we celebrate Birthdays?

Birthdays. These are those awkward days on which we are made to realise that we are growing old. Albeit, in a celebratory mode. Why do we celebrate the day we were born on this Earth? What's so special in our births? Maybe the fact that all the cells, atoms & molecules in our bodies have fought hard to make it till date. Maybe every birthday is a reminder of the fact that we are born fighters. But, maybe also of the fact that we are slowly disintegrating into nothingness (or, everything-ness?!).

One aspect of the way in which we celebrate birthdays has intrigued me. And that is the so called "surprise" birthday parties. Is celebrating our birthdays even a surprise to us? As if we wouldn't know it's a special day unless we artificially create this "surprise" element? What's so surprising about the birthday parties? The materialistic gifts? The time and money spent in arranging for the event? Or the mere fact that we are aging? Isn't the calendar an artificial construct? Can time ever be trapped like this in dates and days? When did time even begin? When does it end? Isn't it eternal? And given the fact that our bodies are composed of stardust (Yes!), we are only completing cycles of eternity through every birth & death (a very Hindu-ish philosophy, I know!)

Coming back to my question: why do we celebrate birthdays? Or, birth anniversaries? I feel that, its a homage we pay to the miracle of creation. The "surprise" element of our birthday parties is the chance we give ourselves to appreciate our own selves, because we are unfathomable Energy manifested in the form of fragile, yet beautiful, human bodies. It's a time when we are penitent towards the indefeasible energy that holds us all together, even though seemingly we are all separated by various separations. It's a celebration of the eternal time itself. A Birthday is a way of raising a toast to God, the Aura, the Spell, & its unconquerable sway on all of us.

Over & above all, a birthday is our way of bowing down to Nature and accepting that all of us, one day, are going to Die, are going to become one with Nature, are going to become a Star, Stardust, and a form of Eternal Being Himself! All the pampering & molly-pollying that happens is actually our awe of the Universe that manifests through the Birthday boy/girl...it's actually we telling God, "Boss! Tussi Great Ho!"

So here we go, Happy Birthday! :)

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