THE ART OF STAYING YOUNG
I turned 24 two days back and I can’t help but remember the time I joined the nursery in Gomtu. I was four years old. There are things that I remember; of innocence and of how I used to wish I would grow up fast so that I could put on make up and be pretty. I thought my life was stagnant and that I was forever playing with my friends, never growing up. I swear I had no idea about the troubles that awaited me.
Sigh... and now I look back and wish I were four, fourteen or nineteen. Four because I would be starting school and my sitter would walk me or carry me to the nursery. Fourteen because I would be in high school with friends, gossiping about the cute guys, puppy love and of romance which was a smile... a blush... a shy look ... holding hands and butterflies in the stomach. Nineteen ... because I would be in college with friends trying out the new and wild things in life and rejoicing in our newfound freedom. But I assure you we were still innocent.. as innocent as a wide-eyed child who had seen the biggest Popsicle ever.
These are all memories now and each birthday that I celebrate makes me turn back to these memories. But as I recollect these moments I do not languish and brood for I have responsibilities and I have dreams. I am not stuck in the moment and I do not intend to be of any age for more than a year, as some like to do.
So ... at this stage, having recollected and narrated my past and what I intend to do henceforth, I will talk about the Art of Staying Young.
While a middle aged woman giggles at something someone says in a girlish manner or whisper into someone's ear while the rest of the people in the room watch, the Art of Staying Young is being put to practice. Similarly an adult man who is in his 50s, 60s or 70s is in pursuit of a girl three or four decades younger than him, he too is practicing the art.
Somehow through these antics, practitioners seem to find solace able to convince themselves, if not others, that they can still be young by acting young. This is the Art of Staying Young.
However, to observers the difference between the way these people act and their physical appearance is ironic, ludicrous and a gruesome picture. The wrinkles, the salt sprinkled hair, the degenerating body... that however, thank god to plastic surgery, can be manipulated to fit the age they wish to be if they have the means.
At the end of the day when each of us is fed to the flames or to the worms, where and what would we want ourselves to be? Young or Old. What would you want your life story to be like, if suppose you could watch your life on earth, like we did a movie, from the other world.
Instead of holding on to what has already left one should move on with each passing day; growing older but wiser, older but stronger, older but experienced rather than holding on to the youth of your life even as you body fails you, only to realise when death comes that there were far more greater things that life could have offered you.