This entry is not written impromptu, instead it consists of excerpts from my diary entry dated the 7th of March (my birthday) and additions and subtractions here and there.
I have always been a person who celebrates his birthday rather simply, i.e. no elaborate and expensive parties, but rather, just having simple meals and drinking sessions with my immediate & extended family, and some good friends. The 21st birthday, which is the birthday so much emphasis is put upon by society somehow, (because you become a LEGAL adult apparently…), is not much different from any other birthdays. Be that as it may, I shall still endeavour to provide an account of today’s happy events to the best of my recollection and the ability of my ‘pen’.
Today’s class was revision session for Company Law, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., so I had the leisure of getting out of bed slightly later than I usually do. I was, as people usually are on birthdays, in a rather good mood. After showering, simply grooming, and dressing myself, I went downstairs to a bowl of ‘red eggs’ and a birthday note from mother. Hard boiled eggs with their shells dyed red are served almost at every Chinese person’s birthday, and from my knowledge, they symbolise that a person is embarking on a new journey (another year older) after his birthday, and to throw the eggshells away symbolises the removal of ‘all things bad’.
I had two eggs, a cup of Tetley’s Earl Grey and off to school I went in dad’s car. Received a red packet from dad and he wished me ‘快高长大’, which seems a little late for such a wish since I have way passed adolescence and hopes in growing 5 inches taller seem futile, but what the heck?! Hahahahaha.
Got to class just before 9 a.m. and had a little time to indulge myself in Frank McCourt’s brilliant work, Angela’s Ashes. It was also nice to have my friends and classmates wish me a happy birthday as I have feared that my introversion may have led some to see me as a stuck up jerk.
Although the class was for 3 hours, it felt like it went by in a jiffy, this again shows how, in the words of the Buddha, ‘the mind is the forerunner of all things’, when you’re in a good mood and enjoying yourself, time just flies by……
When class was dismissed, the group I hangout with treated me to lunch at One-Utama. We went in two cars, and they treated me to Japanese food and even brought me a birthday cake, how nice and sweet of them. Much sweeter than the sugar filled cake itself, of course!
When my candles were blown, comrade 仲宇 asked if my birthday wish can be revealed, and I said that my wish is for every single one of us to do well in our upcoming exams and without any hindrance, get into the universities we want.
But,,, my ‘other’ and more powerful birthday wish is, for me to never have to ever wish for anything ever again, and to be able to be content, happy, and at peace with whatever, pleasant or unpleasant, that life has to offer-a truly ‘Buddhist’ wish.
After feasting, excitement was needed, and another comrade of mine, C W brought us to the ‘upper roof’ floor of the mall to get a taste of baseball, a sport familiarised by Malaysians through American TV programmes but not physically.
We played against the automated machines, where tokens are inserted and the balls shot towards you at the speed you set, and you try to hit the balls with the baseball bats provided. Helmets were also provided lest they get sued by law students who have a bit of knowledge on the Law of Tort if they get hit on the head. Every token entitles you to 15 balls, and the balls are quite difficult to hit despite it looking very easy in movies. Had great fun.
Unfortunately, we forgot to take a group photo before going our separate ways.
When I got home, I had a shower and had a round of 2 teas whilst waiting for the family to come back.
Mother bought crabs, chicken wings, prawns, and fried rice from Fatty Crab and almost inevitably, every time she buys Fatty Crab, we undergo a carbo-load.
As an advocate of handwritten correspondence, my mother and I have the practice of writing towards each other on occasions such as birthdays. Today I received a letter from mother and I take the liberty of producing some excerpts of it below:
21 years of having you has been the greatest experience any parent could achieve. I am confident that you will succeed in your studies and career and be a good person. We have never pressured you to be the top scorer in school. We just want you to be happy in your life, lead the life of a good Buddhist and be less critical of the people & situations around you.
Things, happenings, and people whom you have no influence over, just leave them out- don’t be bothered and don’t let them bother you.
…it dawned on me that you will be leaving ‘the nest’ soon in a few months’ time. Whilst I am excited about your leaving, I am also sad to see you go. Take care of yourself when you are away and stay out of trouble. 🙂
Words fail me in trying to describe the complex emotions I get from reading this letter from mother, I struggle to hold in some of the tears, and my eyes turn watery.
Me smiling and not knowing what to do in front of the cake~