Sunday, 21 April 2013

to be old

ageing! how unique and complex this concept must be! the moment we took birth, we don't even remember...the ones who remember are our parents, our neighbours, our relatives, their friends, friends of friends..so many uncles and aunts..whose first names we don't even know. they are only a bunch of people whom we greet every time they meet us and they remarking how grown up we have had, irrespective of..at what age, sex, credentials..etc you are in! but, this is growing up..but, i am talking of growing old..

we all see people growing old. that aunt whose house you used to visit in your childhood days, that friend's father who used to give you chocolates from his pocket, that same confectionery shop owner you had been visiting since childhood..all have grown old with passage of time.

i think sometimes..how unique a feeling it must be to grow old! greys you strat developing all of a sudden ...foods you cant relish anywhere..steps you cant take somewhere..it is just a stage you all knew will happen, still it casts its hands on you in a hovering and embarking manner. to be more precise, it just haunts you and you  realise you are helpless.

i guess this must be an every day routine, though i get to see this only on weekends or days of some special holidays. that man who lives a few doors after my house. he  is old. very old. very very old. being old is not a problem, it is simply a change; but being very old, very very old must be a challenge! a man for whom the only trip made is a walk from his home to a park nearby (that is just in front of me). the only chair he can afford to sit in..is that ..which surrounds him nearest. the only company he has is his wife who is not with him always. for him, the journey from his home to that chair in itself is a task. small, small, baby steps..are a challenge for him. for every step, if he lifts a leg, the other one starts to cripple. a man comes to comfort him, holds him from his shoulder and helping him move. how that old man must be feeling? for steps, few steps, he has to get support from people. and  you know what? he shirks from getting support. age. old age. you know you are living you few last moments. you know this happens to everybody. but, still, you are human! you shirk from getting support of people nearby. after a few steps, he pauses. he knows he cant make it further, but he has to. a bicycle approaches straight from front. he simply stands upright. what can he do? he cant run, change his direction, lift his hand to give the cyclist a gesture to stop, he cant shout to instruct him to stop. he is helpless. how helpless it is to be helpless. a life where you know you are living. but, are you living actually? we fret, complain, get furious, rage, get disappointed, show despair over small ..extremely small and petty things in life. even i do. i do it more often that anybody else. i am not  a saint. but, in old age. life. this is life. you just need to respire, eat and excrete. that's all! this is life. i try figuring out what must be going on his mind..at such an old age. we all tend to depend on people nearby for small things knowingly or unknowingly. on our friends for assignments, on father for money, on mother for those hugs. but, at an old age, you don't have any of these. those people, those friends, those relatives..i was talking about earlier..are all gone. you left behind. the worst thing about being old must be being lonely. being lonely is the worst thing that could happen to anybody. worst of worst!
whom to support on? whom to talk to? whom to nag on? whom to cry upon? being lonely.


a few things that give us happiness ..lets count them all..music, food, movies, friends, success, cars, fashion, sex, shopping, money..and so on.. this things simply no more count in his life. what may be his definition of happiness.  => to take a few steps from his home to that chair. while walking, the floor beneath you is sometimes uneven. a bit elevation i am talking about. no! not stairs..as in..slight elevations..or may be a few potholes..never noticed them. right?
 these things pose him problem. he just cannot walk if he knows that there is an elevation for the next step he has to take. while watching all this, i sometimes feel that i should rush fast to give him a helping hand.. but, i fear he may lose his only way of happiness if i come in between.