Saturday, May 09, 2009

Older? Yes. Wiser? . . .

Some time ago, I had a full head of hair. Ah! English is funny. Imagine my head with hair where the brain should be!!

"Some time ago" has a comforting ring to it. Does not reveal how long ago it was. I have to admit that it was a long time ago, anyway.

Somewhere along the line, I started losing hair. But, I did not lose sleep about it because I had lots of it, hair I mean. Losing sleep would only make things worse perhaps. No? Definitely, my hair line was receding. Being an optimist, I thought "less hair to comb" - in contrast, a pessimist would have thought "more face to wash" as the old joke goes.

One summer evening, it started raining,
suddenly. Typical summer showers. Huge drops of water hit my head. As I was hurrying towards the nearest shelter, I heard some funny noises close by. Really close. I realised with shock that it was the sound of the water hitting my head. How could that be? What was all the hair doing? I was used to my hair getting wet with the scalp still dry. Of course, that is an exaggeration but not by much.

That evening when I reached home, I looked at the back of my head with the help of two mirrors to find that I had a bald patch where the whorl used to be. Oh ho! But, who cares. If you are bald, you are bald. So?

Continuing the hairy story the next unkind cut was that my moustache started greying. Not the hair on my head. My barber was sympathetic. He asked a question. How is it that the hair that is some fifteen years younger has started greying when the hair on the head is still black? He answered his own question. It is like the "modern" generation. Not very tough . . .

Over time, the moustache got greyer and greyer. Someone asked me why I did not dye it. I said, "I would rather die than dye" and was feeling pretty pleased about my wordplay when I was asked, "Then, why do you dye your hair?" Me? Dye my hair? Oh no. I had to pick out the few hairs that were grey on my head and show them that I did, in fact, not dye.

With all this, I still felt young. I believed (and still believe) in the adage: Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it does not matter. I don't mind. (Proof? Here it is: Not long ago some six of us, colleagues, were in the Netherlands for three months. I was the only one who went out every weekend, come rain (almost always) or shine (the remaining time), and saw a lot of places. The others were either tired, or not interested. I was the oldest of the six. QED)

In spite of the bald patch, now larger, and a grey moustache, now trimmed so short that it is like the Tundra from the earlier Amazon basin, when some PYT called me uncle I looked around to see who was being addressed and then found that I was the only one around! By the time I was getting used to this came a kick you know where. We were in Tekkadi and there was this lady having trouble with an incessantly crying child. I have a way with children, other than my own of course, and tried to distract this crying child. And the ingrate of a mother crooned to the baby "ahhh ha! Look at Granpa!" I almost stomped out. I stayed and continued my attempts to distract the child, but you bet, my heart was not in it.

Then came the unkindest cut of them all. Tutty Fruity, my dear niece, had Puttachi. And now I am a tAta - gran'pa, officially. That is Ta Ta to my illusions of youth.

Pssst: But when no one is watching, or for that matter even when many are watching, I continue to be myself.


4 comments:

  1. Anonymous8:27 pm

    Clean fun. :-) made me smile.

    on a serious note.... I have always felt that age as we count it from the day of our birth is a wrong number. It should be, if possible, counted back, from the day of our death.

    ex; If a person is going to live up to 50 years then he is very old at 49. Old, in relation to what he can do , see or experience in life. But if a person were to live up to 90, then 65 would be pretty young. yeah?

    And since no one knows when they are going to die, we all could be very young at 50 :-)

    Senseless logic? Logic is over rated. or is it sense?

    -Jayashree

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  2. I am alone in my room, laughing while reading this. I think my room mates will tag me crazy. But I don't mind..:) And I could not stop thinking of this anecdote..:)

    Once T.P. Kailasam was asked why his hair on the scalp had grey strands while his facial hair was dark to which he pertly replied that the facial hair was twenty years younger..:P.

    And yours seems to be opposite. So what does one make of it? The curious case of AJ??

    Dont worry, some people are 18 till they die.Its the attitude that matters..:)

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  3. Hi Jayashree, who would have thought that such a light headed, I mean light hearted post would receive such a HEAVY response! :-)

    Hi Anu, I never knew that you are a B Adams fan! Now, now, I did not know that it is his song that you alluded to. I suddenly remembered something and asked my son and he confirmed that it is a BA song.

    And I never knew that reading my posts is injurious to ones reputation! Good that you do not mind.

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  4. Now, who said anything about anybody's reputation. A slight craziness over dollops of craziness is nothing I guess..:)

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