Saturday, October 2, 2010

When I am 64 Bikram Vohra (between the lines)

You know your age has passed the half-way house and it is all downhill from now on when: You actually know the people in the obit section. Some one says, ‘so how are you?’ and you find you are telling.

You never look at the job section.

You have no idea how to work the Playstation controls.

People tell you to take it easy, slow down, you are not getting any younger, lean back a bit - and you hate them for saying it.

Everyone has advice on cutting out various foods. You never hear enough of it as they babble on about salt, sugar, coffee, tea, fried foods, cigarettes, dairy products, ...oh go away and leave me alone.

You actually read those “I am John’s liver” type of articles in the magazines.

Your hypochondria gallops around like a young colt and every symptom you read about or see on TV you know you have it, no doubt at all.

You spend hours googling your symptoms.

You actually have memories and talk about the good old days when things were cheap.

All the young people suddenly get very busy when you say, ‘let me tell you when I was your age...’

You cannot believe what things cost as compared to your childhood and you can’t wait to share the comparison if you can get someone to stay long enough to listen.

All the job ads are for people old enough to be your son.

Ads on herbal medicines and what they do to your system fascinate you.

Someone sees you playing squash tells you it is dangerous at your age.

Every little twinge in your chest and you start thinking, uh oh, what’s going on here.

Someone you know knows someone who keeled over at 45 and that gives you periodic spasms of terror. Gravity seems to be winning hands down because now life is one big sag.

You wish your metabolism wasn’t such a lazy sod and you didn’t have to beg forgiveness everytime you ate rich food. Less and less food agrees with you.

You go around the house yelling about elec-tricity bills and switching all the lights off. You meet some young guy whose swash hasn’t buckled and he reminds you of what you once were, and you loathe him for it. Then you go home and sadly realise you’ll never run the 400 metres again. Nor play a game of soccer or run up a hill or swim a river.

Someone gives you his card and you spend a minute squeegeeing your eyes to read it; is that number a 6 or an 8 or a 5 squint, squint.

You overhear someone call you that old eccentric.

Your kids tell you this is not your type of a movie, it is too ‘now’. No one in this generation knows who Mal-colm X is.

You find today’s youngsters lazy, shiftless, spoilt, pampered, ill mannered louts ...not much different from what you were.

You go to a party and yearn for a chair to sit in; then you don’t want to get up every time a lady comes in.

All your food intake is on a quota system. The doctor talks about you in third person, like what does he like to eat or how was he feeling this morning and you want to say, hey, I am here, okay talk to me.

You can’t open a lid and you go red in the face trying, and then some kid comes and yanks it off, upstaged, you go looking for Deep Heat.

Your whole breakfast is a saga in roughage and fibre and you actually read the ingredi-ents on the packet to see if you have had 60 per cent of your riboflavin — whatever that is.

You discuss the details of your flipping daily ‘walk’ with others of your who cares, did you ever think you’d do that?

If you do something young at heart your family is embarrassed, like not at your age...well, whyever not?

You actually find you bought a jar of anti-wrinkle cream.

You can’t believe this is the generation which is going to inherit your legacy, I mean what a mess they’ll make of it.

You get all schmaltzy and gooey eyed in the movies, all that soppy sentiment for Mr Onetime Tough Guy-.

Your after-late-night morning recovery time is two mornings, and you like fizzy solutions like fruit salt.

You find yourself obsessed by your diges-tive system and its mysteries.

You wonder where the time went, there was so much of it just yesterday was yesterday, promise, just yesterday and now you are 20 years older.

Bikram Vohra is Editorial Adviser of 
Khaleej Times. Write to him at

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