Everyone has a birthday but not everyone celebrates one. Growing up in India I did not know when my Indian grandmother’s birthday was. I had never heard of any of the household help have or celebrate a birthday. Many of the poorer kids I played with were clueless about this date or celebration concept – it just did not fit into the family budget, it had not for generations and never became the tradition the rest of us are so used to.
Today I was at one of my favorite haunts – the panipuri guy. I was there later than usual – around seven pm. As I walked up a little kid pushed past me and handed his money to the panipuri guy. He had four rupees in what seemed like ten coins. Here a plate of panipuri has six pieces and goes for ten rupees. So, four rupees would buy you around two and a half pieces, three on a generous day. I saw the panipuri guy give him four. The kid was happy and I was surprised – hawkers are not always generous.
|Cakebox perched on top of the portable |
I got an extra panipuri too. He did not say why and I did not wish him. But I raised it as a silent toast to him as I ate it. I know there are way more important things in life but having friends and a birthday you celebrate is something worth squeezing in.