Bosco, Rosita’s brother, asked what other birthdays can one have other than one’s biological birthday. He was reacting to Su’s FB post on the subject. To the rhetorical question, I acknowledge that while there can only be one day on which one was born, a person can celebrate one’s birthday on more than one occasion every year, by himself or with his friends, including on the dates selected for one’s identity card or passports, one’s official birthday, or on the real dates by the Gregorian or lunar calendar reckoning.
To cut short the rigmarole, today is my biological birthday, and today I turn 76, and today is also the 7th Day of the Third Lunar Month on the Lunar Calendar, on which date I was born, based on written records passed onto me by my Mother, which I had lost but had since found. I was told or I have learnt from impeccable sources that the dates on the Gregorian and Lunar calendars will match and fall on the same day every 19 years. It follows that on one’s 19th 38th 57th and 76th birthdays, the two calendar reckonings would match those on the biological birthday. Today, 26 April and the Seventh Day of the Third Lunar Month, therefore marks the fourth recurrence of the match; and the next or fifth would arrive 19 years from now, or in 2042 when I would be 95, if I live to that date. I know it’s a mouthful of nonsense, but I have been wanting to clarify this for quite some time. It doesn’t change a thing; it won’t; but it’s nice to know.
Indeed, we had not planned any celebrations for the occasion. Yesterday, Su bought some shrimps and a fish together with a fresh bottle of sake, bottled in October 2022, and we had a quiet celebration. Over dinner, we listened to Matt Monro (1930 -1985) and Frank Sinatra (1915 – 1998); and many of their songs brought back so much memories. When From Russia With Love was playing, I asked Su what came to her mind. It was a 1963 song composed with the James Bond movie of the same title. I recall vividly the days I went to see the film with my buddy Joseph Au – who has since left us – and the times we learnt to say the lyrics from listening to the music on the radio. Su was much too young, barely born, at the time; and she couldn’t register that it was a theme song from Bond movies. Same with The Impossible Dream, which featured first in a 1965 musical Man of La Mancha made more famous later after the 1972 film with the same title featuring Peter O’Toole, which I like so much. Su probably had heard me sing or hum the tune and she recalled a chain of thoughts. Indeed, memories are made of this.
Today also marks the eve of our first serious overseas sojourn in more than three years; and there are always loose ends to be tied up and some last minutes errands to handle. In my case in particular, my left leg began to act up on me from Sunday and I could only rest the body lying in bed. I called my physio who managed to squeeze me into a last-minute appointment today. She also reassured me that the bones and nerves were OK, but that I had probably over-exerted myself with the gym routines. She urged me to be careful in my travels, particularly during the flights.
Back to my bio birthday, a group of young brethren recalled the date and sent me greeting, as did a couple of well-meaning and thoughtful friends. We have largely packed our bags and taken extra caution not to over-pack, to avoid trouble at the airports and train stations, and so as not to incur addition costs and mental strain. The flight leaves tomorrow at 8am; and there’s so much that one can do in the few hours in between.
I wish you all well, and I hope to talk to you somehow, sooner rather than later.