Monthly Archives: November 2007

>Old wine, old bottle

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Last night, I spotted a strand of white in his sidelock. I’ve known him since he was 19, and the first signs of greying made me feel weird. We’ve grown up together, but growing old… it’s not the same thing.

I have always wondered, even when I was a little kid, what it must feel like to be old, to have grandchildren and to not feel young any longer… When I’d see my grandmother’s withered skin and snow white hair, it was difficult to imagine she could have ever been young. But her pretty black and white pictures from younger days made me think about what I would look like when I grew old… I even remember asking her how she felt at 60, how it felt at 60. I don’t remember what she said but it wasn’t good enough for me to not think about how I’d be at that age!

And honestly, I feel old already – older than a lot of adults around me. And I already wish I was younger by at least 5 years! And I still wonder what I will look like when I grow old, what I will be like. Will I be lonely and cranky/ content and caring/ sick and senile – what?

When I see my parents ageing, it scares me. I see they’re no longer able to walk that fast, their bodies give up sooner than they used to, their joints ache and hurt once in a while… They’re not the same and it bothers me sometimes. I’m selfish and I don’t ever want them to grow old!

I don’t want to live forever, but I’d rather die young than grow painfully old. Maybe, I’m a silly coward not prepared for life as it is. Maybe 60 will seem younger when I’m there!

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>The strange familiar

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The familiar has a strange way of transmuting into something totally strange.

Have you ever found yourself looking at a stranger in the person you thought you knew, wondering why you never saw this side of him before? Your childhood pal becomes a stranger over time, lovers become strangers as spouses. The sick become strangers even for family. The people you’ve seen every single day become forgettable with time and distance. Children become strangers to their parents. And yet you can never say you don’t know them.

Places where you’ve spent years become strange in no time – you can only remember how you used to be part of that place once, you cannot be part of it again. The cities that you spent your youth in become strange, the walls, the driveway, the windows you thought you’d never forget become new, distant in a matter of days. The stairs you’ve climbed every working day, the cupboards you stacked with precious nothing, the table you sat at for every breakfast, lunch and dinner – why do they become strangers? The corners you owned become dusty crevices of the past. And yet you say you know that place and wonder, “do you really?”

When you belong somewhere – anywhere – you can never think this person/place cannot grow distant. But the familiar does have a way of transmuting into something so strange…

>Lost in celebration

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I think I’m growing shallow. I can’t think of anything deep, at least nothing deep enough to make me feel intelligent. And my writing seems spiritless. Is it the chocolates, mithai boxes, biscuits, dry fruits and teen pattis that have stolen my thinking brain? It is possible to lose yourself in clothes and crackers, poojas and parties, candles and cakes?

What else could leave me so uninspired? I mean, I should be hating Mayawati for doing something as stupid as refusing to allow people in black clothes to enter Green Park, Kanpur to watch the Indo-Pak match. But I’m lost in wondering what new crockery I should show off before my simple, totally lovable relatives for lunch. I can’t believe I missed the opportunity to meet Sachin Tendulkar without so much as a regret. I don’t even care who’s poking me on Facebook and scrapping me on orkut these days and I hardly blog! I lost a game of Scrabulous to a friend on Facebook because I didn’t respond for far too long. And don’t even ask me to get excited about the Sensex or sad about Nandigram. And that my stomach has finally revolted to eating out for days on end makes no difference. Believe me, socialising is a full-time job that nobody pays you for. It even makes my work seem like a side thing. I work these days to fill in the gaps between two totally meaningless, fun and tiring outings.

So like I was saying, all this partying has made me a little shallow. Perhaps I’ll grow back my brains after the festivities are over!