Guwahati: As a part of the annual birthday ritual, near and dear ones bombard us on birthdays with pictures, messages and phone calls, and social media is flooded too with wishes pouring in from people we may or may not have ever met.
But this annual affair is different for leaplings, that is, those born on February 29, as their birth date appears only once in four years in the calendar.
EastMojo spoke with a couple of leap-year-babies to understand what they actually feel.
For Nanda Kirati Dewan, the youth president of Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangha, he feels that his birthdays are all the more special. He said that people tend to remember it more as it comes once in four years.
One plus point is that you have to spend only once in four years, but the grandeur at which the party happens sort of equalises the cost for the three missing years.
Dewan said that there is nothing negative about being a leapling; in fact, it is extra special as it comes after over 1,400 days. Also, his friends put in extra effort and care to make it special.
And anyhow, since officially it is his 8th birthday, it keeps him younger than ever.
While for Shamim Mokles, a graphic designing head settled in Bengaluru, being a leap-year-baby is no big deal. It doesn’t make him feel special, he just feels different.
He said, he usually celebrates it on February 28, and for his mother, she wishes him through the month.
However, there is an aura which has to be maintained, the cool factor.
On a great aspect of being a leapling, Mokles said that he shares his birthday with Superman! Also, he turned 32 today, which happens to be the exact age at which Superman took his first flight as a superhero.
He feels that sometimes, people do not believe that your birthday is on February 29. Sharing an experience, he said once at Delhi Airport he was made to step aside and go through an extra layer of security when authorised persons saw his birth date as February 29 in his driving licence. Though there was no issue, Mokles said that in certain situations, people are sometimes not convinced.
Sivraj Gogoi, who turned 36 on Saturday, has a different type of birthday altogether. A native of Assam, Gogoi hasn’t been home for his birthday after Class X, as he is settled in New Delhi.
But this doesn’t dampen the festive fervour around his birthday, as his family back in Assam is throwing a party, and treating the neighbours even without him. Meanwhile, he is having a gala time in Delhi with friends who are leaving showering him with gifts and cakes.
He said, it does feel very special to have his birthday on February 29, and it feels as if the day is just for him.
On the positives of being a leapling, he said that on his birthday, the people he has lost touch with also call and message him, as they know how special the day is for him, and definitely he receives a lot of gifts.
Gogoi, who is manager-copy at a digital advertising agency, was born on Shivratri, and hence the name Sivraj. And he has no dearth of birthday options as on normal years, as he celebrates either on February 28, March 1 or on Shivratri.
However, he said, until it is actually February 29, it doesn’t really feel like his birthday.
For those who become parents on leap day, the feeling is quite natural. Dr Abhinab Bhattacharjee, a post-graduate resident in gynaecology at Jorhat Medical College, said that 8-10 babies were born at the hospital (till the time of filing this report). The parents have a “unique feeling, it makes them feel special”.