Every year we get to spare a day to review our balance sheets. To check the assets and the liabilities. To re-evaluate life so far. To rectify our mistakes. Call me a cynical bitch (which I am), but to me, birthdays are not just mere happy occasions. It comes as an annual reminder that no matter how seriously I take myself, I’m going to die someday. And I’m getting closer every day. And hence comes the blow. What the fuck am I doing with my life?

There are different phases of life that bear different significance to us. Birthdays are happy days when we are too young, when the innocence is still there. We look at life with zest and naivety. Then soon we grow up; innocence bids adieu to us. We are not going to meet again until the next birth. Then we start to comprehend that birthdays are not as happy as an occasion as we put label to it. It is more like a scary monster that we are trying our best to keep tamed, covering up its ugliness under the pile of superficial fun and frolic. We know what waits for us behind that false sense of celebration, but we are just too young to care. The reckless abundance of youth also fades away with time, and before we know it, we catch ourselves standing in front of the mirror looking and feeling like a complete shipwreck. The balance sheet, it appears to be anything but balanced.

Over the years, the assets have run down and the pile of liabilities has started going out of hand. We begin to realise that we are already halfway towards the inevitable end and yet, we haven’t started living yet. We have wasted years, months, days worrying about the future and regretting over the past. We have loved the wrong persons. We have been hurt. We have learned to live without people we thought we couldn’t live without. We have stood watching our well chalked out plans go astray. We have gone to bed hoping not to wake up ever again and yet we have somehow managed to survive and go on with our miserable, pathetic life. But amidst all those sleepless nights, suicidal urges, oceans of tears, Valium and alcohol, we did not realise that our precious present was being wasted in the tug of war between regrettable past and capricious future. That every second we are wasting lamenting over the deed that cannot be undone, is being added up to that very pool of past mistakes in the next second. That our life has turned into a time series with cumulative multicollinearity of past and future and our present is lost in the gorge in between.

So this birthday I promise that I am going to love myself a little more. I will make her laugh until her stomach hurts. When those irreparable, open wounds start to bleed from time to time, I will comfort her and tell her that it’s okay to be not okay sometimes. I will pamper her; take her to places she has never been before. Oh how much she loves to see new places. I cannot promise her that she will fall in love ever again, but I will teach her how to live despite that little ache in the bones; that it is perfectly necessary to let go of a few things in life.

I also promise to be more appreciative of the people who have never lost faith in me despite my uncountable flaws and mistakes. I don't know what I would have done without them by my side through thicks and thins.

Happy birthday.