Today is P’s birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY P!
Well… at least in America. His parents called a few weeks back to let him know it was his birthday in Nepal, but P always forgets that date. It amuses me when those calls come, they always seems so random, “hello son, happy birthday. It’s your birthday today, don’t you remember?”
P has two birthdays because the Nepali calendar is different than the American one. Actually technically I believe there are two calendars in Nepal… the “official” calendar based on the Bikram Samwat and also the calendar often used by Newars (for festivals, etc) called the Nepal Sambat. Both calendars are based on a lunar calendar and so the months and festivals shift from year to year (one reason P never remembers his Nepali birthday and why we generally have to look online to see when specific festivals are celebrated).
Today is also Maghe Sankranti, a festival that marks (supposedly) the coldest day of the year, and the emergence of the calendar into the progressively warmer months of the year (Spring! Summer!). It also marks the end of the Nepali month of “Poush” an “ill-omened month” when “all religious ceremonies are forbidden” (funny… Christmas falls right in the middle of this!) and the beginning of the Nepali month “Magh.” For the first time since moving to New England Maghe Sankranti is on a Friday night, so we plan to celebrate (S-di and M-dai are having a dinner at their place). I’ll have to let you know how it goes, since I’ve never done this one before.
So back to the birthday stuff…
P’s birthday is today, but we celebrated it last night. We generally celebrate P and AS’s birthdays together since they are relatively close. N and I originally planned to take P and AS on a “romantic double dinner date” but true to form, things don’t always go to plan around here. It is really hard to celebrate without the whole neighborhood.
So our group of 4 for dinner turned into a group of 9… okay, I can deal with that.
Then it turned into a group of 12…
then a group of 14…
then a group of 16…
Finally I thought… guys! Come on! It’s a lot to plan if there are so many people! We have to coordinate rides (most people don’t have cars), and the restaurant we had picked at the beginning was in a city half an hour away. How are we going to do this? Then, P and AS found out about the dinner, but N and I kept the dinner location, and guest list a secret, so we were trying to coordinate getting everyone to the restaurant, on time, and before we got there, so it could be a surprise.
As we were driving, I was thinking of all the people scrambling around the neighborhood trying to get there before us. Sometimes I just can’t help my pesky American habit of feeling obligated to being on time for things, but I imagined all these guests and their propensity for “Nepali Time”… and I imagined them getting to the restaurant at all sorts of crazy times. To make matters worse, by the time we left, I was still under the impression that some people hadn’t figured out rides because more people were added to the guest list after I had arranged the car situation (yeah… don’t I sound annal retentive? Arranging lists of who was driving with who…).
All this stuff was going through my head while I stalled for time (meanwhile, feeling guilty that I told the restaurant 7 and was purposefully arriving late).
What I really should have done was just rely on a lesson I’ve learned time and time again. Chill out, things will be fine. If it doesn’t work according to plan, no problem. Let’s have fun. Hakuna Matata dude.
We walked into the restaurant… a Japanese hibachi grill… and… everyone was there! Some people took cars, some people took trains, everyone got there early! It worked beautifully. AS and P were really surprised, and a great evening was had by all.
Birthday Success… hurray!! :)