Wednesday, 7 March 2012

On Turning 20

Yes, people, I have been initiated into the second decade of my life. Thanks to the Almighty, I've made it this far and have a had a relatively smooth journey.
The B'day wishes started pouring in at 6 pm yesterday. Surprised? Don't was 12 am in Malaysia..Around 9 pm here my friends in India began wishing me. It was fun to see wishes popping up according to the time-zones. I was 20 in all these places before I was 20 where I am right now . Makes sense? 
I was still up at 12 am here, in my room, with my friend Farah having a deep conversation on Islam. I checked my phone to see the time- 12.13- 'oh, I am 20 now'. Seriously, that was my first thought.

As a kid I would look forward to my next birthday from the eve of my ongoing b'day. It was such an adventure growing up. Turning 10 was such a big deal. I remember people saying 'You are two-digits old now!' And I would think 'Wow! I am old!' Yes, that's how keen I was to grow up. Then came teenage. Even though I acted all hipster and said turning 13 wasn't such a big deal, I remember counting down the days in my head. And on that day, I felt nothing. No teenage rebellion kicked in, I didn't bloom into the teen diva I see on tv..Nothing exciting. Nothing. I was still the awkward girl with bad hair and an oily face.
Since then each year I would wait for my B'day and see if it has made any difference. Most of the time it didn't. 

I dreaded turning 20. It's a reminder that I am moving away from youth. I may sound silly, but it's a reminder of my own mortality. It's screaming at me 'Go do something with your life before you die!' Today I am 20, before I know it I'll be in my 40s wishing I was 20. And it will go on like that. Will there come a time when I will be embarrassed to reveal my age? Maybe. But I don't want to be someone like that.
I don't want to compartmentalise my life the way society tells me I should. Does the earth revolving 365 days around the Sun have anything to do with me? I mature at my own terms. At 17 I could be the most mature 17 yr old in a group and at 20 I could be the most childish one. Age is a number in my head and in your head. What make me and defines me as a person is not how many times I've circled around the Sun. It's how I grew up, where I did, what I did while growing up. What makes me is my faith, my family, my education and things around me. Some of them are static and some are in flux, but age is definitely not one of them.

I didn't grow on 7th March 1997 or 7th March 2010. I grew when I had to go through an operation, I grew when I went for Hajj, I grew when I travelled, I grew when I came here and had to look after myself. I am still growing! But just this one day, I am not given the opportunity to grow as the society says I should be pampered on this day. I say no. Let me not waste away this day being passive. 

So today, as wishes come pouring in, from people I haven't heard from in months, I have just one request, please take a few seconds off to just pray for me and my family. And if there's anyone who has to be congratulated and wished on this day it's my mother, for bringing me into this world. It's her love which has seen me through my sniffles, pimples and other girl problems. I didn't have to struggle to be born, it was she who went through the pain. 
So please, A prayer for my mother :)


  1. Hey, you oldie.
    So I looked in my planner this morning, tried calling and calling and callingggg - before my shrivelled cranium kicked itself into gear and I remembered, oh so woefully, that you weren't a phonecall away anymore.
    Now you're a phonecall, a continent, a new SIM and a year (or two) away :p

    Hai meri jaan, all grown up *sniffle* - we never thought this day would come. Now when you come back you'll be terrorising us all (more than usual, ofc!) talking about rishtey, dentures and how your bones ache.

    Of course, the mothers that gave birth to bazinga-admiring prodigees are always to be appreciated and put on a pedestal for us all to wonder in silent awe at their resilience for putting up with the daily escapades and idiosyncracies of us twits - sorry, 'special kids'.
    In this matter I have and will continue to pray for her but as well as that I do applaud your mother: twenty years, twenty long years.

    Feeling old yet?

    However, let me remind you of what a wise whackadoodle physicist in Pasadena once said if you are having any niggling tiny doubts or even cold feet about entering your second decade:

    "Or maybe I’m part of a new species, that lives for hundreds of years, which means I’m still basically a toddler."

    So really, we still have to wait a couple of decades for you to actually 'mature' into a teenager. Sigh, and we actually thought you were entering adulthood.


  2. Ridaaaaa!!! You twit! I miss you sooo much!

    But seriously I do.

    And yet again you've fallen for my classical practical joke!

    The wise words that you've quoted bring peace to my heart and gives it hope. So thank you meri jaan!

    And don't you worry, in 6 months I'll be back to torturing you.
    Too much missing going on in my head. I really can't wait to get back and talk about *ahem* stuff.


    *aheh aheh*