If ever you are in some IITian hostel and suddenly at 12 midnight you hear screams of pain and torture - Don't worry! It's just somebody's birthday. Poor guy.
The only thing that distinguishes the Birthday Ritual from some ancient god-pleasing sacrificial ritual is the lack of a fire around which people dance, the conspicuous absence of tribal drums & chants and the seemingly strange number of chappals in people's hands instead of on their feet.
It starts with IMs and PA anonuncements calling everybody out. "Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Gather all! Come: it is a good friend's Birthday. Lets celebrate!". It ends with the "lucky" chap not being able to sit for a week.
Alright - I accept that a small amount of beating up is fine. It's a "between friends" thing. But I do object to the way it's done here. And the whole attitude around it. The gleam in the eyes as they plummel him. The mostly random people who you barely know who turn up just to get a punch in. It's sadistic.
So, dear friends, at the next birthday, I just ask you this - There's no need for sympathy. Just think of yourself. And what kind of a beast you're turning into when you beat up a poor guy (and enjoy doing so) on his birthday.
All I know is that if some of my friends ever turn up as psychopaths or socially deranged creatures, it's all those years of giving birthday bums that is to blame.
Oh.. and: Happy Birthday 'Gid! May you be able to sit in a few days. ;)