Today is Day Zero (apologies from my end for dragging my MBA graduate friends to this post by those two alluring words) according to the Hindu mythological calendar. Gudi Padwa was when according to the Brahma Puranas, Brahma the creator created the universe as we know it. Pretty significant achievement this by an old bearded nice guy, it must be admitted though since then it has developed an air of staleness and fosters a very high tendency of self destruction. All the same, this was no mean task.
The thought of Day Zero takes me back to my Day Zero, the day my universe of senses and memory was created and introduced to the outside world, way back on the 26th of September, 1984. The world may have existed before me (or so my parents tell me) and it may hang around long after I am gone (provided we are not stupid enough to end it ourselves through a wacky mix of clashing ideologies/civilizations/religions and succumbing to the ever itching urge to settle scores on the aforementioned topics) but my universe is what begins from exactly where my nose ends and I am satisfied with that definition. When it's my time to leave, I won't have much say in other people's universes anyways.
All my life I have kept meeting elderly people - relatives or acquaintances (elderly by definition meaning , anyone who was already born when I was air-dropped into this external world) who keep saying something on the lines "Oh! I have known/seen you since you were such a little kid! (Make appropriate hand gestures to indicate my not-so-significant size back then)" I never managed to figure out how and why this was important but apparently it was and when I'd reach their age, I'd do the same. That's just the way society rolls. Smile like whatever is being said is the greatest revelation in your life yet and you should survive these stabs of unwittingly induced nostalgia fine.
One day a couple of years ago however while mom was doing her shopping thing on a busy Gariahat evening, she suddenly grabbed my hand and tugged me towards a bespectacled man seated in a taxi caught in the horrific traffic snares of the busiest market in Calcutta. Turns out that this was Dr. Arun Mitra, the doctor who had delivered me in a hospital in Park Street. Not only me but my elder sister and elder brother too on their Day Zeroes. Even back then I had managed to overthink the simple process of coming out head first and this doc had to perform a Caesarian on my mom to help me and mom survive. To him, I owed my frequently spectacular, and once in-a-blue-moon curse worthy life. What do you say to a guy who has last seen you as soft boned blob of screeching flesh 23-24 years ago about all that has passed in between? Do you actually say something or do what I was totally tempted to do to simplify matters? Though I could not summon the courage to do this and had to make do with a tame "Hello sir! It's a pleasure to meet you.", I just wanted to look him in the eye and go "Gaa gaa, goo goo, gaa goo" like I may have done all those years ago. That in baby talk roughly translates to "What the hell have you brought me into? It's too much fun but it doesn't really make any kind of sense! Let me know if you have the slightest clue."