Ohh to be young again
For the past few days I’ve been coming across a lot of people who get whimsical and melancholy when they mention their youth. The very thought of going back say twenty years made me think….. do I want to go back. What would I change???
When we were young all we wanted to do universally is…… to grow up. Old age at that time was anybody who was 15 years older than you. As we grew up our goals changed but we wished we reached higher in life in all spheres. Twenty years ago for anyone my age was the time for new hopes dreams ambitions a new lease that life is giving you. A time for love some budding some missed opportunities some mistakes. Ambition career….. A carefree…… stress free……. no baggage existence. You didn’t ever have to use the words “You remember ” ending with “I told you so” Because then there was absolutely no past…….. good or bad…… just the beginning. Unlike today where it seems to have become a prefix before every sentence we use.
Most of the people I know would want to go back unerringly to the past. A whole billion and trillion dollar industry is thriving on this whimsical nature of humans. First it is the pimples they cater to and then soon when you are just about breathing a sign of relief it is the wrinkles that get to you. Crow feet get a whole new meaning….. they are no longer talking about a species of the animal planet and you actually know what botox is. You open any newspaper in any country or surf any channel in any language in any country. There will be people reminding you of that glorious time of your life…… your youth. Mothers of a grown child being called a college student. Husbands suddenly being besotted with their wives all over again…… and so on.
When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it’s a sure sign you’re getting old.
I recently encountered a group of mothers who wished to be called “Babes”, it made them feel younger. The social networking sites are teeming with eloquent and enviable sighs of “You are looking so young”. “You have stopped aging what is the secret”……. that, I think is supposed to make you feel happy unlike Mark Twain who thinks otherwise.
Aging has now become a big time commercial market teeming with umpteen number of products. Just recently I visited a mall which had two floors full of only beauty products 75% of which were of anti aging products: creams food tablets shape wear you name it.
Is aging an emotional condition or is Youth something to hold on to as the passage of time. Is living in memories a good thing or bad thing.
For years I have seen my mother age gracefully. She has taken pride in every strand of white hair that has sprung up….. every tooth that she has lost. She has never tried to look younger. But don’t we all want to get younger???
A friend of mine told me that if he got younger again he would lose all his money and all the knowledge and experience he has gained. He was happy in his skin and the place that he is now emotionally and had all that he wanted today……. loving family friends job etc. Aging had therefore worked well for him. He was wiser and richer. Another opinion was that they could catch up on missed opportunities and undoing mistakes. Being younger opens up a wide arena of options in life which you lose out in the race for a perfect career, perfect life partner, perfect house, perfect kids, perfect retirement. Only to look back and look longingly at what could have been. Or wait for the elusive time machine to actually be invented.
Aging is a natural process so embracing it is the only way to go. It is the could have beens that haunt you. Since this is a one way path, there is no going back. Aging means you can take life real slow and don’t have to be anywhere at any point of time. Because you understand that nothing can really change if you don’t. Failures in life have only made you stronger. Mistakes taught you a new way to think. They have only enriched your learning curve.
My generation saw the transition from paper to computers to laptops to tablets. For us we don’t really need to study the history of processing of information. Especially in my country where we moved from a closed to a global economy.We lived history. Suddenly from watching one channel we were watching 100’s. Armani gucci made their way to our shops. Unlike today’s generation who will probably have to read to understand filing or will never have known life without an enter button.
For me aging is a relief. I dont want to go back and relive the past however fabulous and glamorous it was. Going back would mean having to live all over again. go through all the travails again. Yet when I pause at the could have beens I am wistful for a moment. Living in memories is surely not healthy. But visiting them occasionally is good for the soul reminds you of what you wanted and gives you clarity of what u have to do to reach the peaceful state.
I carry a pair of really old jeans of the bygone era wherever I go. I dont fit into it anymore but it symbolize all the events of the past. And when I fit into it believe me……. You cant make me stop smiling. My very own anti aging product. You are after all…… as old as you think!!!
Purani jeans aur guitar…….. bas yaaden yaaden yaaden reh jati hai !!!!