August 4, 2010 the3six5

This post is cross-posted from The 3six5 posterous. Take a look around the blog, there are some really great entries and its based in Chicago, which is reason enough to love anything.

Happy birthday, President Obama.

When I woke up this morning, birthdays weren’t on my mind. On my mind was the wonderful dinner I had with an old friend last night that left a sweet taste of memories from college and excitement for the future. On my mind was the fact that these are the last few weeks of my summer internship in Washington D.C. before I head back to Chicago for graduate school.

But thinking about birthdays, I can say, I’ve had some good ones in my life.

2010: Spent with new friends in Beirut, Lebanon while traveling in the Middle East as a student. Saw the sun rise over the Mediterranean and ate some of the best kanaffeh imaginable.

2009: I got a speeding ticket while driving to Columbia, Missouri to perform with my best friends as part of a college a cappella group.

2008: a huge surprise party organized by my mom in my house, featuring my closest friends from college and high school.

2000: I had chickenpox and was cooped up in the house so my Dad snuck me out while my mom set up a cake and some gifts (including more Calamine lotion for the itching).

1997: a pizza party at Nirulas in New Delhi. (For those unfamiliar with late-1990’s New Delhi, India, this place was the hot spot in town.) I felt very special as a nine-year-old, with the entire top floor for my friends and family.

1989: I can’t say I remember this birthday, as it was my first, but I have been told some great stories about my mom cooking for 200 people who partied on a rooftop and how my dad provided liquor for everyone even though we lived in a dry-state in India.

Birthdays are tricky, but I have learned that they’re akin to a lot of lived experience. You have to manage expectations and also be able to draw meaning in ways that work for you. Tracing back my birthday means more to me than just the March 14th’s throughout the years. They’re a testament to the person I was then, to the important people in my life which all has ultimately helped me become who I am today.

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About the author: Samarth Bhaskar is a student at the University of Chicago, a blogger, a tweeter, a speaker of languages and currently an intern in DC.