Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hitting a fifty

Whenever I thought about becoming fifty in my long gone youth, I had pictured myself as this serene, respected figure whose words of wisdom youth listened to with awe. (Of course, I also pictured myself with a full head of hair, albeit grey, but let us not get into that now.) This image of being the center of respectful attention was probably engendered by wishful thinking since, all my life, I was one of those who kept squeaking, "Say listen..." and find that, to others, your voice seemed to be in decibels that could not be heard by human ears.

Now I AM fifty. The problem, however, is that not much seems to have changed - at least not for the better. I still put up my hands and plead in vain for attention as the conversation swirls all over me and around me and even through me as it seems some times. The only thing that has changed is that fact that you appear positively clownish doing that at fifty when you merely seemed a shade silly when you were doing it as a kid.

Par for the course, I suppose, considering that my knowledge has also stayed right where it was in my youth. I am as ignorant about the rates per square inch of every plot of land in my city - a subject on which all my companions seem to wax eloquent these days. Nor can I claim a vast increase in my knowledge of the recent gyrations of the stock-markets and the reasons thereof, which everyone in my vicinity seems to be dancing in step with if you listened to them (and just half a step behind, going by the impact on their bank balances. They seem to buy just before the market crashes and sell just before it recovers with uncanny accuracy) As for cars, all I know is that they have four wheels and an engine - and, that, apparently is mere kindergarten stuff. So, it is not really a wonder that I am not the fount of wisdom that I had thought I would become with age.

I have reconciled myself to the fact now. After all, they do say that 'Forty is the new Twenty" and, by those standards Fifty must be the new Ten and, so, it is no wonder I am still being treated as I used to be at ten. By the time I hit Sixty, I'll be practically a new-born baby and can expect rattles and feeding bottles for birthday presents. I shudder to think of what I will be if I ever outlive sixty.

62 comments:

  1. It will get even better as we age. I'm quite looking forward to getting to that stage when I can give unsolicited advice, tell others what's wrong with their lives, all in the name of sagely elderly concern. Damn! getting old is going to be a lot of fun because we will no longer care what others think of us.

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    1. Quite true Purba! And I am taking full advantage of it :)

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  2. I know I am not supposed to laugh....but GUILTY!!!!!
    Fifty might not be the new ten but it is definitely the new thirty ..and thirty is a very adventurous part of life!! So that is a silver lining right there!!
    Happy Birthday??

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    1. You are not? You were, I assure you :)
      Ah! Fifty is the new thirty? I thought that after thirty it regressed till you hit zero - like a sine curve or something :)
      It was on 27th actually and 30th officially - thanks to a hearing-challenged school clerk I have two b'days :)

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  3. LOL, that was funny ! You appear to be going the same as the guy in 'The curious case of Benjamin Button' :) Happy Fifties !

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  4. Rather a short post for such a momentous ocassion

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    1. I would rather have more reads than more words, TF :) And they seem to be inversely proportional :)

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  5. Happy Birthday!! Hope you did celebrate like a 10 year old then on both the days... :D

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  6. 50 is a huge milestone in our life, isn't it? Trust you to tackle it with humor :).

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    1. It is - but if the humor is gone, then I shall really feel OLD :)

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  7. Haha...lovely read...age is just a number! I think 50 is the age to discover what you never did and be the explorer! Happy birthday!

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  8. Belated happy birthday and welcome to the world of new youngsters:)

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    1. Thanks Rahul for the wishes and for making me feel at home in the new age :)

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  9. I dont know who the youth are, but 50 or no, your words are respected because you are awesome. :D Happy birthday once again.

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  10. Happy Birthday Suresh!Trust me there are many benefits in ageing-one can take a long breath and relax.
    And what is this about " I still put up my hands and plead in vain for attention"
    Your readers are all eyes for your posts.

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    1. Hahaha! I sure hope that is true Indu! Anyway I was talking about my impact in person :)

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  11. Hello Benjamin Button :)

    Happy Birthday both for the actual and official. Age is just a number, you actually think people care? Only if you are unmarried they might :P

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  12. Ignorance is bliss Suresh. But don't try to take admission in the nearby public school. They will spoil your childhood. If you still want to venture out, go to a nearby play school.

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    1. Haha Sibi! The advantage of being the new ten and not really ten is no-one can force you to go to school :)

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  13. Happy birthday. I've been six for a while now. http://tinyurl.com/now-we-are-six

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  14. Hilarious, this is a wonderful celebration in true CS style. Many many happy returns of the day, CS! :)

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  15. As everyone said, age is just a number and I think you will continue to entertain us with your subtle humor in your 60s, 70s, 80s...and forever...:)

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  16. Nice post dedicated to your D-day.Common knowledge for immaterial things does not matter.Paramount is lessons of life. And indeed you are our "Guru" ..Happy Bday...:)

    http://sailorswiferamblings.blogspot.com/2013/09/road-journey-to-paradise.html

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    1. Wow! Anu! You elevate me beyond my abilities. Thanks for the wishes and for making my day.

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  17. Life begins at 50, you are just a baby. Enjoy

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    1. Of course I am Ritu! Even as I type this I am sucking my thumb :)

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  18. You will happily outlive sixties, seventies, eighties and more. Hope you had a good one.

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    1. Thanks Alka! A great one thanks to our friends including the ex-dilliwala :)

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  19. There is really no fun in being normal and excelling in the game of rat racing. People are jealous of the ones who were able to break conventions and live life on their own terms. I don't mean to imply that one is better than the other, because it's not.

    All of us (often without knowing) make meaningful contributions to the society around us. Only, some people think that they are super-heroes and they matter more. But at the end, it comes to ZILCH. That's what all our lives will come to, eventually, whether we like it or not. ZERO.

    Fame is vaporware which will eventually make you hate yourselves for all that you did in its firm grip - be happy that you were not famous :)

    Destination Infinity
    PS: Now you know why I chose not to be famous :P

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  20. Many happy returns Sir - if your birthday was recent. I think growing older has definitely some advantage in terms of learning, in a sense that it helps us write a little better with time and that is something I have really enjoyed as a part of growing up.

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    1. Thanks Abhra! I never think of myself as old - unless my body acts up :)

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  21. A very Happy Birthday, Suresh!!! So in another ten years, if we are still blogging and reading, will be waiting to wish you a 1st Birthday...haha
    I say that all the time..I am growing in a reverse order...:) and when we are kids, we think 50 is a big number, isn't it? At least I used to think like that all the time...not any more though..

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    1. Yes I will be new-born and you will be invited for my naming ceremony, FIF :)

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  22. haha Suresh... 50 seems quite fun after seeing you :D

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    1. Life is fun at any age Naba - or a pain. It all depends on how you see it.

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  23. Wow! A milestone! So you are 50 years young now. Happy Birthday Suresh :) Going by your posts, you definitely don't seem the "squeaking" kind.

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    1. Thanks Ilakshee! Many a roaring lion in print is a squeaking mouse in person :)

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  24. Don't you think that not everyone can be the Curious case of Benjamin Button. But given your sharp acuity even at this age, pray, why waste yourself on following the meagre stock trends like a curious cat following the fish outside its impenetrable aquarium, I heard you were pursuing a world record for sleeping and are quite a connoisseur of somras?

    Regards,
    Blasphemous Aesthete

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    1. Yes to both - probably what is keeping me young :)

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  25. Happy 50th, Suresh! Font of Wisdom, the Great Sage etc etc are all pointless achievements to aspire for. What you really want to be known as is Vintage. Like the best wine that we can savour for years and years!
    May you keep getting better as you age!

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    1. Those were juvenile aspirations - when I was still drinking Bournvita :) Now, yes, I aspire to Vintage :)

      Thanks Rickie

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  26. Though I am only half your age, I am as clueless as you on property rates, stock rates and four-wheeler rates. These things don't define our wisdom. What we must aspire for is love and care from those who run around us.. and you have that! Nothing more to aspire for :)

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    1. I sure hope so - that I have what is most important in both your and my view

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  27. Happy b'day Suresh..I have been away for a while so missed the post :(
    Bt I mst say " Life has just begun "

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  28. I'll follow the leader, Suresh, into the better fifties, bitter sixties, butter seventies, batter eighties, b?tter nineties and well, :)!

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    1. That's nice to know that I can always lean back on your support, Uma!

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  29. Happy birthday Suresh. My knowledge of cars is at the same kg level :)

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    1. Thanks Jaish! Good to know I am in good company :)

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