Birthday Stress: It’s Your B’day So You Know You Want To Cry


Birthday Stress: It’s Your B’day So You Know You Want To Cry

Illustration: Juergen Dsouza


xcited for the birthday?” she asks, with a smirk and a thorough disregard for what a massive buzzkill she’s being. “Yeah, no, I don’t know,” I fumble. While that might sound like I exhausted all my possible responses in one go, it’s the most accurate way I can describe my mid-20s. I’ve wrestled with the thought of being 26 various times over the past week and have come to realise that at some point, birthdays stop becoming a milestone and morph into a ticking hourglass of how long you have before that perfect job, perfect marriage or even… perfect life.

I grew up in an upper-middle-class household. So as a kid, birthday parties usually meant samosas, wafers, and a piece of Monginis Black Forest strewn across palm-sized paper plates. This was usually followed by the birthday boy’s dad bursting a balloon which lead to copious amounts of Maha Lacto and confetti falling from the ceiling fan. Cue: aggressive seven-year-olds volleying to catch candy like their life depended on it, oblivious to the fact that we’d get the same Maha Lacto if we just bothered walking to the punch bowl on the dining table.