It's 9:39 pm as per my bedroom wall clock. In approximately, 2 hours and 20 minutes I will have lived on this earth for exactly 45 years.
And today, strangely, I have been receiving more birthday wishes than I can ever remember. The first to wish is my wife of course, although, her actual words we.... 45 today huh? Perangai tak berubah... Then, my phone started to tinkle, and the wishes started to pour in.... ok, I got 5 text messages. One was from Maxis, the telephone company, one from an insurance company and another from the electrical goods store where I bought MP3 players for the girls. The other two were from my female friend (as opposed to girlfriend) and the other is from Edward, who sold me the insurance from the aforementioned insurance company.
Then, there are my facebook buddies... all 4 of them wrote a birthday wish on my wall....
A few years ago, I told myself that I will be retiring at 45. This milestone, just a couple of hours away, seems unlikely to be achieved. I realize this while I was inching towards the Duta toll plaza this morning, having to relent to an insistent woman who was intent on squeezing her BMW 3 series in front of me, when she looked ahead to see that she was not aligned to any of the four smart tag lanes.
Then, it dawned on me. Alas! I exclaimed, all is not lost. Did the government not increase the retirement age from 56 to 58. So, mathematically, I, too, should push my retirement age by two years. Yes, my new retirement age will, therefore be, 47, i.e. on 9 October, 2011. Thereafter, i felt much better about myself.
At the office, I pretended to not know, that my secretary and my assistant manager was planning a surprise birthday bash for me. We were having our annual departmental Hari Raya gathering, and the pink Secret Recipe box perched on one of my staff's table was a dead giveaway. After, my speech and doa makan, to my "surprise". the cake had my name on it.... who would've guessed.
Then, the thing that has never happened before in my adult life, happened. They lighted candles, 4 big ones and 5 small ones, and they started to sing.... the Haji Bakhil birthday song.. you know.."Allah selamatkan kamu....lalalala". It was really embarrassing, and I blushed and grinned through out the song. Finally, as they reached the end of the song, I took a deep breath and (thank God) blew out the candles with one puff, and there was applause. The last time I blew out a candle on my birthday cake (with my name on it) I was five years old (I think).
It's not that nobody ever care to celebrate my birthday. It's me who never wanted and prohibited people from celebrating my birthday, apart from a simple birthday wish and a birthday card, perhaps. But, I must admit, that this was probably the most fun birthday I ever had.
Thanks to my secretary and my staff....
To top off the day, I got home today and found a hand made birthday card from my children saying the one thing that will always melt my heart.... I LOVE YOU, DAD...
Thanks kids.... I love you guys, too.