The Birthday Post

His birth-star glittered in the night sky. That day again.

The sell-sword felt his years. Every one of them. They had removed the arrows and dressed the wounds. Yet they still burned his flesh, more deeply tonight than on any other. As an old crone once said “A warrior carries his battles with him.”

He did.

Each scar. Each blow.

No one lives this long without having regrets. Certainly not a petty soldier of fortune.

The times he had raised his shield too slow. The times he had left his defenses open while going for the kill. The times when he had walked through the woods, opening himself to ambush and pain, rather than riding down the long winding highway. The false Gods he had worshipped. The false covenants he had made. The times he had been stabbed by the poisonous blade of treachery. The times he had done the same.

But most of all, he rued the moments wasted squabbling over trifles. The more summers he had gone through, the more he had realized how precious time is.

Regrets. They swirled around him like wraiths, their icy breath chilling him to the bone.

Having seen many winters though was not without its benefits. They threw a few more coins his way. He had good war stories to tell, some even true. The whelps bowed to his years. Of course they mocked him behind his back. He knew they did. He had been a whelp once too.

He dug into the mead with his fingers, as ravenous as a werewolf on a moon night. The strong ale hit the throat, warm like first love.

No. Not that bad. Life had been good. More or less. He thought of all he had known, better men than him, who lay fallen by the road, in the shadows, an arm or leg less, defeated by fate.

But he, he still walked.

The armor creaked. The steed wheezed under his weight. He feared the enemy inside, the one that kills silently without a sword, more than he ever did when he was young.

Yet he fought. Bled. Laughed. Killed. Lived. Dreamt.

He raised his goblet to the heavens.

And rode slowly into tomorrow.


54 thoughts on “The Birthday Post

  1. First!

  2. First!!!!

  3. FIRST … WOO HOO!!

  4. Beautiful post!

    Wish you a very very happy birthday, Arnab. Tum jeeyo hazaaeon saal… so that we continue to get brilliant, thought-provoking, funny, truthful reads.

    Have a great year ahead! Hope ‘The Mine’ does very very well and gets its due from the audiences and media alike.

  5. Lovely Post! Happy Birthday 🙂

  6. Wish you a happy walah Bday!!
    Have a great one!!

  7. Happy Birthday! Are you planning on writing a fantasy novel to follow “The Mine”?

  8. Thanks for the wishes. Erebus, maybe not immediately. But yes have an idea.

  9. Love your birthday posts. Particularly loved the one when you turned 30, which you ended saying that you’re getting a call from your 40 year old self. Hope you keep that in mind when you write your 40th birthday post.

  10. Did u just compare ur self to a warrior? 😀

    A fat arm chair intellectual is anything but a warrior

    Happy birthday 🙂

  11. Happy Birthday Greatbong! And good luck for The Mine!

  12. And now he also has Santa on his side! Happy birthday!!

  13. Happy birthday GB!
    I’m sure The Mine will get its due in 2012.
    Have a wonderful year ahead!

  14. Happy Birthday Greatbong … Hope that your next book — The Mine is a huge success!!!

  15. Happy birthday boss.

  16. Happy B’day to you GB!!

  17. Rima Bhattacharyya December 30, 2011 — 4:46 am

    Many happy returns of the day Arnab !!

  18. Great stuff Arnab. Have a wonderful birthday!

  19. Strong ale will always hit a tad softer than first love.

    Happy birthday, and many more.

  20. Rabi Agrawal (@RabiAgrawal) December 30, 2011 — 6:27 am

    Happy B’Day! Wish you great success this year.

    For me your best B’day post is the one when you turned 30.

  21. year end birthday?
    party,poop and pack yourself into the new year.

    happy birthday da!
    what is the name of the steed again?

  22. Happy Birthday

    So Sonia Gandhi is Cersei Lannister, Rahul is Joffrey / Tommen. Which hand of the king is Manmohan? I think he’s more a reanimated corpse.

    Who plays Jon Snow and Danaerys?

  23. Wish you a Very Happy Birthday GB!!

  24. Very nice. But I had hoped by the end of it there will be cake. Time to write a fantasy novel. Seriously!

  25. Happy Birthday GB 🙂

  26. Happy Birthday Arnab. Lovely post, one of the best in the recent times.

  27. Hey GB! Wish you Happy Birthday

  28. happy bday greatbong!
    hope u have fully recovered from your appendicitis operation.
    also wish you ride your lamborgini soon 🙂

    the post is sweet but thankfully not like your bday post on turning 30. that had hit too close to home.

    cheers and keep writing. many wishes for the new year.

  29. Happy Birthday Arnab! Lovely post…very different from the usual humorous ones. You are very good at writing those posts, but I like these which come up rarely. Keep it up! A very happy new year to you!

  30. Many happy returns of the Day Arnab! I like the medevial warrior touch to the post! A very subtle nod to “A song of Fire and Ice”

  31. Winter is coming !

  32. Happy Birthday Arnab da.

  33. Happy Birthday, Arnab!
    And a Happy New Year too!!

  34. Many Happy return of the day Arnab…….very well written . In recent time its just second to Sir Aggie blog. Keep up the good work.

  35. amazing post.i love your blog.amazing wit.and happy birthday..i just started writing a blog..i’d like it if people could check it out and leave their comments.i never wrote much before so inputs will be helpful in improving my writing skills or whatever it is i possess. 🙂

  36. Happy Birthday Greatbong..!

  37. Belated happy birthday Greatbong. anek shubhechchha roilo.

  38. Belated happy birthday GB. Wishing you good health and a great year ahead

  39. Happy B’Day and New Year, Arnab and wishing for many more years of entertaining and insightful writing from you!

  40. happy birth day
    for more humor

  41. happy b’day dude….@arp lol that was harsh

  42. Wishing you a very happy birthday Arnabda!!

  43. This reminded me ending of the movie “300”
    very nicely put though..

    Happy Birthday and many more to come..

  44. First of all
    Hope You had a great birthday. And may you have a fantastic year ahead. May the release of your book and your trip to india be great too.
    I actually wanted to ask you a question to which no one i know could give a satisfactory answer.
    “I have recently written some articles for a online fashion magazine. Is it a copyright or any other infringement if i put my article up on my blog?”
    I believe for a a piece that is written by me the ownership is mine as well as the magazine it has been published in. Therefore the question. Can You or any other reader of the blog help me with this?”

  45. And how come your site has comment moderation now?

  46. Wow!!

    Happy birthday GB!! 🙂

  47. Happy birthday dada! Wish you all the best! Thanks for making the blogosphere a fun place over all these years! Let me take this chance to bring a movie to your notice. “World Cupp 2011”. Not worth a mention this movie, unless we have your review on it. Would you please consider this request? Please do.

  48. Happy birthday GB.
    Please have a look at the comments section of this very famous blog.

    You can do cntrl F on India. You stay in USA and work in techie industry, is there so much animosity/anguish towards India software prof….

    I work in IT industry, though not a programer but in account management, could not beleive many of comments esp ones compalining that Indians do not understand and have cultural issues etc.

  49. Happy bday great bong. I m really happy n surprised that my FAV blogger n my best fren share their bday n both of their name start from ‘A’
    Hope to c u soon in delhi on Jan 27

  50. happy birthday!

  51. Happy Birthday GB…for the entire post i thought you wrote it for ‘The Wall’…for yourself, i think its a little too flattering!!

  52. (Belated) birthday wishes, Arnab!

    To echo the comments of the previous commentator, I was thinking the post was somehow related to Dravid, but maybe I’m just too depressed on the happenings in Australia (staying awake till 1 every morning, following each ball, can do that to you. Thankfully not all 5 days!)

  53. Hello Sell-word,
    Happy Birthday.

    Each book review feels like a caress or a stab. But far worse, are the reviews that did not appear.
    And the worst, are those who know you, and yet did not buy your book.
    It reeks of treachery at its worst.

    But some memories are good, the adulation at the book readings, the queues for signed copies, the cheque from the publisher…

    All this is so heady that it compels each sell-word to keep tapping at the keyboard and to keep dreaming of a phone call from Sweden.

    Hell, if Obama can win it with empty rhetoric, so can ……….

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