Saturday, August 09, 2008

Growing (B)old

Growing (B)old

Never in my life have I ever thought what I would do, once I am old. I certainly am growing old. But with age, one tends to get more and more confident of things. Right? I mean, shouldn’t that be the case? You see more, experience more, learn more and hence start reacting better with each passing day. During a conversation with one of my newer acquaintances, the individual time and again kept referring to age being a barrier to most of the things in life. Going out, enjoying life, experiencing new things, giving up old things, getting that new hair cut, high time to start taking risks. What started me to think was the next statement after the word risk, “Guess I should get married”.

Have people started thinking marriage as a risk? Or was it always this way and just that they have now started accepting the fact that it is? I believe, the point where you have to decide whom to get married to is the risk. Everyone fears pointing her/his finger towards that one individual with whom your life would be spent. I could visualize the old movie scene, where the judge says, “to be hanged till death”. Then the pen signs the dotted lines and the nib is broken, once for all. Is that how most people think?

What crap am I writing anyways? I was about to write something else. Or is it? Was it marriage or was it about getting old? I think both. You get married by a certain age and start taking life as if it’s changed. You are asked to start thinking differently (read responsibly). And why, because now, you are not one but living as a family. You are responsible for more than one life. One has to think twice before even thinking anything, ten times before doing anything and hundred times before saying anything. But a life partner should be someone who can extrapolate the joys of life, someone who gives you a new orbit of existence. And not start restricting your thoughts, words and living. You have to start doing new things, which may not necessarily mean giving up some old ones.

Ladies are asked to give up their jobs after marriage. Men are asked to stop visiting friends as often. Smoker men are asked to quit, non-drinking ladies have to start drinking. I don’t understand, what is the harm in maintaining status quo? Sometimes, one has to do things to make the “other” happy. But doesn’t that “other” has to also understand that this gesture is to be reciprocated. If you expect something which the basic human need which can be provided by another human being, that same need is expected by the first human being too.

I believe, we all at some point do think of the times when we hurt someone knowingly or unknowingly. We do realize some action, some words; some act of ours has turned that other person sour. Most of us, ignore that moment. Not because we are insensitive but because we want to avoid the reality that we hurt that person. We do not want to accept the fact that we have made someone go, suddenly silent. During those silent times, you look for that one thing that could have triggered the start of the end. Sometimes, it is not the last word you said before the conversation trailed off to silence. Infact, it was the silence that you kept when a reaction was expected from you that is the cause of the silence now.

I am getting old. I am trying to get bold. Bold enough to react when needed. Say what is expected of me and expect what is said to me. I am old enough, getting bold enough to start accepting my mistakes and others. Bold enough to be forgiven and forgive.

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