As I have crossed forty in my life, suddenly I have realised that a large part of life is over for me. I see more and more people around me dying and falling off. The old are getting older with diseases, health issues etc. My uncle got up one morning and lost his hearing completely. My Grandmother can barely walk from her bedroom to her drawing room, she has arthritis in her knees. Another uncle is bedridden as he is an Alzheimer’s patient. Friends from my school and university have started getting heart attacks and complications due to stress, age and natural wear and tear of the physical as well as the emotional body. Me, for one, have developed a fatty liver due to heavy drinking and non-vegetarian food.
Tick tock tick, the time clock is ticking away, yet there seems so much to be seen and accomplished, yet there are endless desires that seek my attention. Hair has started getting grey, the skin around the cheeks and chin has become rough, I have developed warts on my shoulders – Man, ageing is a process one begins to see only after forty. I mean that it will be like when I hit 70 or 80 years’ age.
Nostalgia is what the old hang on to all the time. Most old people, I have noticed, live in theist, I sort of glory land, they have created for themselves that keeps reminding them of the good old days. I see this most in my uncles and aunts who love to post yesteryears nostalgic family photos on Facebook. Photos of old wedding, black and white pictures of great grandfathers and other family portraits. Nostalgia is all they are left with or is it because they have considered themselves old too early? Now they have only the past to hold on to, as it seems the future is just an inevitable death, which will come to all of us no matter what. The old love listening songs and seeing movies of their times and love to talk about the actors and sportsmen of yesteryears. I guess as you get old, the most valuable asset you have is that you can pass to others your experience and values that have kept you in good stead in life.
I, for the first time, feel that I have lost touch with today’s teenage generation and the start-up culture. But to me, all this also sounds like Déjà vu. I mean, it was not that the start-up culture was same, yes, there was the IT and Internet boom of 2001, and I was a part of it once. I was recently really excited that the stock markets here were doing well until an uncle threw hot water on me by saying “Oh, I have seen all this in my time, all this stock market boom, sale Saab bubble hey”. Then it’s the young girls calling you uncle that can be a bit of a let-down. That’s when you say now that’s old. No matter what age makes you responsible, it has certainly done that for me. I am so much more organised now and so much more in tune and control of my life than I used to be. So there are qualities of fine wine and aged whisky that age also brings. Tales and habits also change with age as does your motivation for things. My motto is to stay in the present and dream of a passionate, wild and colourful future to keep feeling alive, vibrant and forever young.