Why do we say “Happy Birthday”?

  • Post category:Social
  • Reading time:7 mins read
Today we can find Social networks full of “Happy Birthday”, “Congratulations on your birthday” messages. Advancements in technology have made it easy to send these wishes. We do not even need to remember or mark it in calendar or diary. Social networks will send a reminder email, then mobile app notification. If you miss it then stream of these messages will definitely remind you of it. I am not sure if all those people really mean it or is it part of many of those social gestures we are simply used to. One example of those is, “Nice to meet you”, when we meet a person for the time. We have not even talked to a person and we start by putting rosy picture. It is quite possible that we have no clue why we say it. One of my colleague once asked another friend of mine, “Why do you say so, what so nice in me to make you say so?”. My friend had no clue. It is a normal social gesture. He had no answer to this question. We have never thought of many such things that we have keep on using regularly in life. ” Happy Birthday” is the one that recently got stuck in my random useless thoughts.
I do not have any special grand memory of celebrating birthdays. There were no big parties, no collection of gifts coming our home and no return-gifts either. It actually saved a lot of effort on going to market, do selection of assorted toys and other gift items. Not only that we used to save a lot on finally sorting through the received gifts and rejecting that we did not like or we already had. This day my family used to pray to God and if all is ok may take us to visit temple as well for blessing. As we grew little older it added samosas, Pakoras and may be a sweet that my father may bring home from local sweet shops. It was a reason to eat something different at home, to bring a change in the regular schedule; very simple, but very effective way for family to get together. This simplicity meant that we had time for each other rather than being extremely busy in arranging the event itself.
Reliability of mother 
As I moved forward with life I started to receive the messages of “Happy Birthday”, “Congratulations”. Cards were received with similar messages written by some writer somewhere. I got introduced to cakes, gifts and modern way of celebrating birthday. But I never learned what it really means when someone says Happy Birthday or Congratulations. What did I do to receive those congratulations, those wishes? I still do not know what exactly it means. But, today we say these words and we all go out to eat, drink and celebrate. There is no harm in celebrating. And we should not even need a reason to celebrate. We should be able to celebrate or rather be in state of celebration all the time. But when we attach reasoning behind, it is worth to understand it.
Almost all children when born, they cry. I am sure when I was worn I would have cried the loudest in the room. I would have needed that attention. People would have come to look after me and make every effort to shut me up. But who was happy? Certainly it was not I. The nurse may not have been happy handling a crying baby like me. Her only happiness would have come when I would shut up. I cannot comment about others, but the mostly happy was my mother. She did not care if I am crying, making trouble to other. She was simply happy on my existence. She is the one who carried me, talked to me, walked with me, slept with me, sang for me and cajoled me for a long time. This was also the time, when I was probably not even aware any of these humanly expressions and feelings. She carried me throughout the journey and went through all the pain to bring me to this world. She was the one who need all the “Congratulations”. She is the one who did all the effort. I just happened to be there without even being aware of it.
I continued my journey as a kid, started talking, and took my 1st walking step, learned the clever ways of life early as a kid. I raised repeatedly non-stop all the questions that one could think of about simple things. Still, there was one person who was simply happy to look at me doing all the mischiefs that I could to disturb the harmony in house. During my teen and early adulthood, I moved away from her range to do things outside our house. My interests changed, my activities changed. She kept on doing things as she felt were needed for me to give me all the comforts possible. I did not even realize that I am getting used to her in a subtle way, although at the same time I would like to state my independence and different way of life. I kept on moving on my path while she tried to arrange things, change things around house to the extent she was capable of. For sure, the famous ” Generation gap” would ensure that there are differences between us.
Mother's love is not just human feeling 
Now after many years, when I come home she talks about small things in her life. The maids who did not come for work today, the dishes that are left unclean, the garden that need maintenance, discussions about fruits and food, something that some relative did to upset her. All the shifting things that keep on happening in around the house, she keeps track of everything. In all those years, while taking care of us, taking care of this house we call our home, these things have become her life. She wants to ensure that things are perfect, even though age is catching up on her. All the things that she do, that at one time used to feel strange and useless to me, I see those in a different view now. When I am home now, I see her moving slowly in the house, arranging kitchen items, make one after another food items, asking for lunch even before I finish my breakfast, giving me updates on all the relatives in her own special way. When I see this happening, it tells me in a subtle way that things are perfectly fine in her house, in her home. By the end of the day when she has ensured that all is fine at house, she has watched her TV program, given me last instructions before I go to bed, it brings a smile on my face, a happiness in me. This is when I feel happy that I had the chance to live this beautiful life. This is when I feel the reason to celebrate. This is when I feel to say, “Happy birthday” to my mother; congratulations to her.
Keep smiling

Mother to son: I’m warning you. If you fall out of that tree and break both your legs, don’t come running to me!