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Claim your birthweek!

This year, I didn’t celebrate my birthday. Instead, I celebrated my birthweek. It was fantastic fun, and I recommend it to everyone. Claim your birthweek, says Anoushka Shankar.

india Updated: Jul 17, 2009 19:51 IST
Anoushka Shankar

Happy Birthday, Priyanka! Your column yesterday made me giggle, and so allow me to answer your question. I’m shamelessly gleeful on my birthday. I can’t deny it. In fact, no one who knows me would let me deny it even if I wanted to: I’m definitely a “Hey, it’s my birthday” kinda gal.

Case in point: this year, I didn’t celebrate my birthday. Instead, I celebrated my birthweek! It’s true, we celebrated so much that my friends and I had to coin a term for the mass extravaganza. It was like carnival or a festival, except it was birthweek!

Yes, I’m rather shameless, but I’m not as obnoxious as birthweek makes me sound (I hope). I love birthdays in general, not just my own. All holidays and celebrations are wonderful, however, a birthday is the one day a year that is for you alone.

And it’s a beautiful thing to take that time to show people what they mean to you. I often get wildly caught up in the birthdays of people close to me. I’m the type of person who likes to plan an entire day of special surprises. I love
planning parties, making cards, wrapping presents, and all those wonderful things. Everyone deserves that one
really special day of their own.

As for birthweek, the plan didn’t start out like that. Last minute, I had decided to have a birthday party. But half my friends couldn’t make it on the planned date, so that’s when I decided to have two small parties, one week apart, rather than one large party. That’s where the trouble started! With my actual birthday right in between two parties, we started to joke about the term birthweek, without realising how true it was going to end up!

After a fantastic party in Los Angeles the first Saturday, two guys I know, who are gourmet chefs at a restaurant near my home, invited me to dinner on Monday. As a special birthday treat they cooked an incredible, not-on-the-menu six-course meal for three of my close girlfriends and me. On my actual birthday, I spent the evening with my parents and we went out for a lovely Greek dinner.

By then it had all become a big joke and some of my friends got into the festivity of it all with me; we spent the rest of the week doing silly things like wearing tiaras when we went out, eating ridiculously large, gliterry cupcakes, having sleepovers like when we were children and eating chocolate for breakfast. All in the name of birthweek!

And finally on Saturday we had a huge girl’s night, wreaking havoc in my tiny hometown near San Diego. I really must have the world’s best girlfriends. It was fantastic fun, and I recommend it to everyone. Claim your birthweek, people!

Let me end with a personal message to someone very dear to me. Happy birthday (and birthweek), Nishant. So much love to you, always.