I should not have been surprised about a Birthday in India. This was by far not the first birthday at our nice middle sized agency in Delhi’s Dwarka Sector 7. However I do think it was the best. Or the worst. I have never been so happy not to have birthday. I have been very familiar with the Indian tradition to feed each other with cake all the time like we do it in the west when we marry. One more thing that looks so normal in Indian friendships and looks like sweet romance to me. Like holding hands or writing deep letters. This time it was Aman’s turn to be reminded of the wonderful yet a little dangerous fact that he was born that day years ago.

 

Wait? No Cake?

They got me a little disappointed at first. Usually if there is a birthday here in our office, there is always a nice gathering and cake. And we all made sure not to wear any good shirt that day. But when somebody got out a few flowers and a bar of chocolate I ought this to be rather boring. When they slammed the chocolate into Aman’s mouth the fun began. With cake the whole thing is rather messy but I don’t ever see any danger in it. The way they press that hard chocolate in his throat looked like they might break out all his teeth. They didn’t. It is always more fun than pain for everybody and accompanied by joyful laughter throughout the whole office. Expect of Aman’s. He couldn’t laugh with all the chocolate in his mouth and I guess he was glad to be able to breathe at least.

 

Cake!

The office got back to business as usual for a few hours until the real cake arrived later on. So then like for every birthday the cogs gathered in the office to sing Happy Birthday and have the cake. Everybody is so excited for the cake and the mess that comes with it that we didn’t even sing Happy Birthday to its happy end. Instead somebody cuts out a little piece and feeds it to Aman to be fed in return. The chief cog comes to feed a little piece and get fed in return. Than the first finger full of cake is gently spread over a cheek. And therewith is all escalates.

birthday cake india before and after2
Everybody is acting know. India is a big country and people learn to cut the lines to be sure not to be left out. Quickly we make sure of two things: To get some cake to eat. And to get some cake to smear into Aman’s face. It is so splendidly messy that it, no wonder, awakes every inner child. Of course he smears back a little but nobody would have a chance with the overwhelming amount of loving colleagues smearing you very enthusiastically. I didn’t know that the idea really is a gentle smearing, and so I gave more like a quick face cake slap. That wasn’t appreciated as much as the loving smearing of the colleagues. Why is India so complicated? Anyway, such mistakes get lost easily when cake is everywhere. If it would only end with cake…

 

Birthday in India: Bumps.

India birthday bumps

Sometime is does end with the cake. A birthday in India often doesn’t. Because sometimes we just feel like birthday bumps. It’s the others that feel like the bumps. Certainly not the one affected the most. I learned in high school that you give one bump per year but the Indians don’t care about age. They do it as long and as high as they can manage. And whilst the poor man is in the air they kick him. The whole thing looks like a mix off bullying and proper torture. It’s a bit better of course. Most people are laughing during the bumps. Commonly most but one. And afterwards everybody smiles and our birthday kid sure feels special. I was never so happy that my birthday is in June.

 

 

Another random episode

There is a guy who cleans my room every day. I guess he is like 18 but he sure looks like 15 simply because he is so small. He sleeps in the hallways in the second floor. Which is already a lot better than the hallway in the third floor, cause this one is the cafeteria and food doesn’t taste as good with somebody sleeping on the floor next to the table. So the other day I met him in the fourth floor, god knows what he was doing there. It was late and rather dark in the room without windows. He must have had taken a bath as I meet him with only a towel around his hips and a toothbrush in his mouth. And a boxer shorts on his head. I first didn’t realize the underwear on his hair, because it had such a similar color. And whilst I still stare in wonder and surprise down on the small boy. He looks at me, takes out the toothbrush to laugh happily and then disappears in one of the rooms. Toothbrush in his mouth. Towel around the hips. Underwear on his head.

As I write this he is walking around in my room after he had slammed the door til I opened. And know he wants me to get up and get my stuff from the desk so he can clean it…….

And a cute picture of a guy on an elephant in the water.