Is age just a number?

Ever heard someone say “Age is just a number?” Don’t believe them. Age is a number, yes but not “just” a number. A few hundred years ago, when people asked you “ASL?”, you couldn’t just say “14/F/Bang” because 14 was never a good enough age on the internet. You had to be “18/F/Bang” for anyone to remotely continue a conversation with you. Sure, it would usually be with a guy who’d eventually creep you out with a dick pic but atleast that made you feel like you belong. Early teens is an awkward phase to be in because you are battling all these adult like feelings in a kid’s body and it always feels like no one gets you. Fast forward a decade, and you start feeling the exact opposite – battling kid like feelings in a fully grown adult’s body and again, it feels like no one gets you.

For the first time in several years, I wasn’t nervous about my birthday. I didn’t pull out my notebook and make crazy lists of people who wished me. I didn’t mind that I wasn’t woken up by any midnight calls. I didn’t expect anything  from the husband, who is forever nervous in the days leading up to 10th June every year. So, it was pleasantly surprising to see that he’d spent whole of 9th sitting and writing 13 blogposts for me (I keep bugging him to do that, in case you thought he was being creative!). All I wanted to do was have a quiet day with no grand agenda or unnecessary drama because I wanted nothing to remind me of raging.

Within the last one year, I have grown by several years. Gaining new relationship status does that to you. Your age doubles when you have a child or atleast, it feels like. You could go to an ex lover and he’ll probably mistake you for your grandmother. Sometimes when a stranger walks upto me and tells me that I’m just being cynical, I go back and ask my old pair of jeans. They are stretch and so I don’t entirely trust them. Then, I go and ask my husband if he’ll buy me Olay anti ageing cream and he promptly says yes (because his instincts are trained to say yes for anything over the last 7 years), but quickly comes back to check if it was a trick question. So, thank god, maybe I am indeed just being cynical.

Every time I begin a new decade, it feels like I have started a new descent. This starts with a phase of denial followed by bitter acceptance. At 10, I said good bye to frocks. At 20, I said goodbye to innocence. At 30, I am saying good bye to a 26” waistline (just kidding, I am sure i’ll be 26” again, soon!). But hey, I am saying hello to unwanted wisdom and knee pain. What more could I ask for?

P.S – This ageing thing clearly doesn’t suit me.

 

 

Advertisements

Distinguishing between loves

Cafe_Society

On my flight from Bangalore to London yesterday, I watched Woody Allen’s “The Cafe Society”, a 2016 romantic drama that has a chain of betrayed relationships – one man leaving his wife for another and then this one leaving for another and so on. Woody Allen’s movies are always about unrequited or in-satiated love and people love it because they can all relate to it at some level and it makes their one-sided loves worth loving.

The human spirit loves complex problems or challenges. We can never truly appreciate and cherish what we have. It is in our nature to want what we can’t get. Even my 5-month old daughter isn’t happy with just rolling over or crawling, she wants to stand up even though she can barely even sit by herself. So, chasing people who won’t love us back is like the ultimate life challenge. Even the Hindu mythology is all about it. The Ramayana is essentially about unrequited love of Ravana for Sita and the Mahabharata is that of Duryodhana’s for Draupadi or Amba’s for Bheeshma.

While literature, drama and media have glorified this sort of love over the years, the only thing left to do with “the discussing grocery lists” sort of love between a man and his wife is parody. Having discussed grocery lists with Karthik for over 6 years now, even though I don’t say it out loud every single day, I love it. I love it in a way that I could never love my crush from the 9th grade who I’d be dying to see everyday with such naive passion.

One presents volatility and uncertainty, while the other presents stability. Some people prefer indulging in self deprecation driven by irrational passion while some others value reciprocation of emotion.  Neither love is less than the other, it’s just different. Having seen different kinds of loves over the years, in hindsight, I’d anyway prefer the mellow “talk for hours about arbit things under the sky” till you fall asleep sort of love over the state of ambivalence an intense passionate affair leaves you in.

What if you have never experienced different kinds of loves? Do we then simply have to rely on Bollywood to meet our ever elusive loves on a Eurorail in Switzerland? Would you be able to tell what kind of love you’re looking for? I am sure my grandmother would have argued that it doesn’t matter, and we just have to make do with what we get. She’s damn right, but we’ve too much exposure nowadays to simply make peace with our loves without sampling. So, I say, go out there and sample, even if you are 45, because its never too late to fall in love and that’s the only way to distinguish between different loves.

Good Morning, Miss Buddha

Pri : I stopped running in life and all of a sudden, I feel so peaceful guys!
Rahul : Good Morning, Miss Buddha (his morning and my afternoon)
Inch : (Still sleeping)

These two people have taught me how to laugh and lent me their shoulders to cry on. As I write this, my eyes well up just remembering the great times we spent sitting on our bikes in the college parking lot laughing about everything under the sky. These two are like my drops of sunshine that I can carry on a rainy day. Some friends are forever and Rahul and Inch are mine!

For the last 3 months at IESE, I have been running life a horse with blinkers. I have been swept by the tide of summer internship desperation along with all the others in school until I hit a rock on Friday. It was the final day of the communication week at school. We were learning to be better communicators, which I had quite honestly looked down up since I thought it added little value to my already well developed communication skills. Surely, the more humble ones had managed to reach yards beyond me in communication, for whom, I was genuinely happy. Anyway, this week was more than just developing oratory skills, it was about tearing down walls, building bridges, connecting heart to heart with people, making new friends and keeping our arms wide open.

Maty Tchey, the head trainer was a little bit of a crazy person but I was struck by her consistent optimism and smile that was so contagious. She got all 290 of us to sing, dance, scream and finally give out free hugs to people around us in the room. Doing this was like a gushing stream crashing against the rocks to just slow down a little bit. It hit me at that instance that I was in a room with 289 other people representing 57 countries and this was a chance that I’m never going to have again in life. It made me wonder why I’ve been running in meaningless selfish pursuits of trying to secure a summer internship instead of finding my passion in an industry/ company I want to really make a difference in. This was reinforced as I struggled to complete my cover letter for banking and consulting when I was falling short of words to justify why I wanted to work for their companies.

All your priorities in life start falling in place once you’ve slowed down just a little bit to think and reflect. When you slow down and look around, you find people, friends and new possibilities that are extending their hands to hold you still while you find your place in life. I was so happy when I was hugging people in the Aula Magna. Imagine how it would be to have a friend to share your love every minute of your life. I’d rather fill my life with love and happiness than trying to make time for every workshop thrown my way at school because I don’t know if I’m even going to live long enough to benefit from any of these workshops!