Mexico City: Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez described himself as "very happy" on his 86th birthday, which he celebrated Wednesday at his home in this capital in the company of family and friends.
A smiling Gabo, dressed in a gray Oxford suit, striped tie and pink shirt, stepped outside the entrance of his residence in the upscale neighbourhood of Pedregal de San Angel around noon to receive a bouquet of yellow roses, his favourite colour.
The recipient of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature greeted the reporters who had arrived at his residence early Wednesday to cover his birthday.
"Why so much commotion?" the novelist said in jest. Immediately, the journalists and Garcia Marquez`s assistant, Genovevo Quiros, began singing the traditional "Happy Birthday" song.
After giving his well-wishers a lengthy smile and thanking them for their gesture, the author of "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and "Love in the Time of Cholera" went back inside.
The novelist arrived in Mexico in 1961 at the encouragement of fellow Colombian author Alvaro Mutis and initially planned to stay just a few weeks.
But he liked it so much that he decided to extend his stay in the country and it was there that he wrote his masterpiece, "One Hundred Years of Solitude", which was inspired by Mexican author Juan Rulfo`s classic short novel "Pedro Paramo".