So I turned 28 on Sunday, many thanks to everyone who remembered and wished me despite me not setting up a reminder on Facebook. I am kind of disappointed I’m not part of the ‘curse of 27’ dead musicians club, but then again I’m not a musician either. Also, I’m not pulling a Cobain, I love myself too much. And therein lays the problem.

Sooooo…..28, that means I’m one step closer to the ‘M’ word… nope, not ‘marriage’ (yeah, I know most of you thought that)… I am referring to ‘maturity’. ‘28’ is apparently the age where you are no longer forgiven for ‘the mistakes of youth’. Most people my age have more or less figured out what they want to do in life and who they want to be with. I know many who have kids big enough to start saying the F word, and not stop saying it over and over again if they hear you say it. (No, that did not happen, but I have this bad feeling I’m going to be the propagator of some new vocabulary to some of my friend’s kids). While I look upon my friends who are so sure of their careers and lives, I can’t help but feel I’m a fairly different from everyone else. And I don’t know if it is a good different like an Ernest Hemingway or a bad different like a Hannibal Lector.

Society deems marriage (followed by children) as signs of maturity. Yours truly does not fall into that category. Well, who else gets a tattoo on their birthday after deciding on the design at 8 in the morning over coffee. So much for ‘maturity’. While most people my age are busy working their butts off making money and dying to go onsite to make even more money, I’m more worried about the set list for the show my band has on the 24th of June (subtle marketing….tick) and finding a jam room for the ‘other’ band (subtle marketing part 2….tick)

So is it wrong for me to be this way? And it isn’t like the parental unit has tons of money which affords me the luxury of not caring about where my next paycheck comes from. So where is the wiring in my head all wrong? Shouldn’t I be clamoring a trip onsite to make money, shouldn’t I already be scouting for the will-settle-for-you-to-be ‘the one’? Shouldn’t I be incurring loans for a new house, new car? None of that seems to figure in my head. Going by general consensus, it’s all going horribly wrong for me….but I don’t seem to really care.

While one is looking for a relationship with a member of the fairer (and lovelier) sex (subtle hints….tick), one is not killing oneself over it. One is just happy to be 28 and still be able to pursue his silly dreams of being a part of a popular rock band and hopefully quit his day job because the band pays enough for what he needs. To be honest, if someone were to give me the following choices –

a)    A career where you play with a band and make enough money to ensure 3 meals a day, all basic amenities, a house and tons of friend with whom you can talk music. No fancy car or holidays in exotic locations like Mexico or Argentina.
b)    A career where you work for a big company, slave all day long, marry a nice girl (maybe the one of your dreams), drive a Mercedes Benz, live in a house in one of those ‘Palm Meadows’ type places, travel the world but never play music

…..I’ll probably choose the first one. There is this huge part of me that wants to just be on stage playing guitar and singing for people every day. Writing songs that people go to when they are happy, or sad. But then, one does understand that life rarely gives it to you that easy. And I need the monthly pay check to keep things moving along. I understand that my parents are not getting any younger and as their only son, I need to start saving up to support them and myself financially in the next few years. And I guess for 28, that’s enough maturity I need.

So on that note, thanks to everyone once again who made my Sunday awesome…especially my new tattoo guy who played Metallica, Pink Floyd and Iron Maiden while I got inked. We should put him in one of those ‘Bengaluru ink’ TV shows. For those of you who missed it, it is fine I know we’re still friends….but do note the same for next year…10 June…mark in big bold letters. My thanks to my awesome parents who allow me to get tattoos (and once even paid for one) and are not badgering me to get married just because I am 28. A special thanks to my mum from whom I get all my musical (lack of) genius. My thanks to cousins, who patiently waited at home for me, with a cake while I went and got drunk on Ultimate Long Island Ice Tea and Jack Daniels. It was a fun day overall.

Birthdays are a time hopes and aspirations for the year ahead. Here’s wishing the bands (yes…plural) go places, the new job goes awesome, and it won’t hurt if fate ( or any of my friends) is/are kind enough to at least introduce me to ‘the one’ this year. BTW, next blog topic will be about how I think ‘Penny’ from Big Bang Theory is ‘the one’. 

PS: A friend told me that I am getting way too cynical for my age and that at 28, it is high time to get married. Dear friend, do you expect me to become less cynical just because I’m married? And you call yourself a ‘Business Analyst with a leading IT firm’.

PPS: Below is the picture of my new tattoo….it’s my 5th. It’s a ‘Nautical Star’. It was used by sailors to find their way home. Hence, symbolizes direction….. So here’s hoping I always find the right direction wherever it is I happen to be going….. And I don’t mean that in an ‘I need to find the route to 18th cross Malleswaram’ sort of way.