I was listening to a 90’s famous Bollywood song – Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe, whose lyrics roughly translate as – ‘When we are new, why should our style be old?’ And this movie – ‘Dil Chahta Hai‘ or ‘What The Heart Desires’ was a trendsetting movie. I remember watching the movie in my friend’s room, a pirated copy on her TV (before laptops) with our two brothers. When the film finished, it was like a new world had arrived.
And when I listened to the lyrics this time – I realized the irony of the lyrics. The song, movie, me, my friend, our brothers and actors are all old – we are no longer ‘the new’. And none of us had to do anything actively to age – it just happened.
While chatting with my parents yesterday, I realized that I have effectively become a grandmother due to the age difference between my dad and his eldest cousin. And one of my younger cousin, who is not even married, is a grandfather now.
One of my teams at work hired an intern who I got a chance to meet in one of the meetings. And as we were talking, he mentioned that he likes to play video games, but now that he is ‘working full time, he does not have as much time. And I laughed out aloud. I have been working full-time for so long that everything else before that is like a sweet nostalgic memory with a lingering fragrance. And, of course, there was a time in a not-so-distant memory of mine when I was the intern. And experienced employees in my team tolerated my newness, energy and unfettered enthusiasm. And now, I am tolerating the new and young bunny energizers in my organization.
Somewhere along the line, while I was busy living my life, other people grew up, got married, had kids, and their kids got married and are having kids now. The world goes on, and so does time. They do not wait for anybody. Time and tide wait for nobody. It does not matter whether you are rich, what gender you identify with, what race or caste you belong to or what colour is your skin – Time does not discriminate, and it ages equally for all of us.
I know very well that all I have is NOW – I will look back at this moment as nostalgic, so the best thing I can do is to enjoy what I have right now – this very moment. But, at the same time, I cannot grasp how I became old just because new people have shown up. There is more disbelief that it is happening and will continue to happen. And I do not see getting old as a bad thing, unlike most people – given my morbid inclination, I am ready to die even now. A certain amount of freedom and happiness comes with old age. I do not recall when was the last time I succumbed to peer pressure or had to dress a certain way. Looks, impressing others, putting up a facade – what others think of me just faded out as inner peace, and what I genuinely need took the forefront.
I find myself at a point where I am enjoying life which is NOW so much that every moment becomes precious. Not to say that there are not problematic life situations or issues – but given where I am now, they do not seem to hold the power to make me unhappy.
Cheers to growing old! What about you?