Friday, February 24, 2012


A couple of years ago I, my friends and most of the acquaintances of my generation touched the fifty yard mark. And thence dawned the enlightenment that the days ahead will certainly be a bonus. But when I reflect, the fact is that life is too fickle and the succeding second in time is in itself bonus. But it took damn fifty years to realise that! “Ha, foolishly lays the head on the shoulders of Man!”

I disliked being reminded of the knell of fifty. Forty was an interesting dawn as, “at forty one turns naughty”. But my sister and C too, wanted a small luncheon or dinner for the occasion and some of my close chums who were in Thpuram at that time assembled at my sister’s home.

It felt awkward to play VIP and blow the candles out and then slice the cake. An Anglican hangover conveniently imbibed by us! An amusing anecdote one of my friend Tomy narrated on the occasion that aided in casting away the timorousness of the birthday cake affair was his summing up of the birthday bash that a class mate of ours threw at a star hotel, when he turned fifty  a few weeks prior to my birthday. He said in his customary humour,”Hey that fella P celebrated his menopause party the other day . 

Besides the jest, the statement was a reality jolt. The identical syndrome that haunts women when they near fifty or get into the fifties! Though men have not any reason to fret and be subdued by mood swings of the threat of menopause and the psychological  fear of losing the uniqueness of women hood ,"fertility”. And physiologically men are fabricated to have a very long innings when it comes to matters of arousal and amorous life... But the fact remains that at least for some like me, the reality check has begun.

This is not just about sexual life that gives much thought. But it is the subsumed fact that lies, Vis a Vis the greying of hair and whiskers, the deposit of fat around the mid riff, the increasingly somatic existence and the enlightenment that the downhill ride has begun. While holding in gratitude the fortune many like me who could live so long with insouciant countenance, solemn thoughts for the many that perished before they could bloom and in the pinnacle of their salubrious lives!

This seems to be the age and time when I feel more like the odd man out in a group which is more in their early forties or even thirties. I’m sure some may dispute this. It also could be so. And it again must be the mind that plays the poker. The Kafkaesque age in one’s life! Strong and brave are the ones who tread forward with nonchalance. Why not?

I have a very good friend, who is my age and who we all see leads a life of quiet and unhurried. The slightly receding hair line garnished with salt and pepper, a sporty beard- and he refuses to think that he is an Uncle Tom. He believes and lives that he still draws the awe, the glances of the young and the middle aged of the fairer sex. This alone is not the end game that is all about. But it is the measured and calculated steps that he puts forth in life, that perhaps make him some what a lovable odd one out.

Now, I also recollect an oxymoron like remark someone made to me.And he certainly was not an M.C.P and   harboured no derogatory feel to the opposite sex either.He said, “It is disheartening to fly Kingfisher and Jet, because the stewardesses may want to use the salutation, ‘Uncle’, while in the discomfort of an Air India flight, one can call the stewardess, Aunt.” 
He was expressing the anguish that the elixir to sustain youth in life is still a myth.


KParthasarathi said...

But age is a mere number,Anil.I have seen many who look more than the fifties they are but very young in mind and attitudes.
Likewise I have seen the catious oldies in very young men.

No two is alike but the slide definitely starts after the middle age.Not all the dyed hair or fancy gaudy dress could mask the wrinkles in Dev Anand's face but could not blunt his youthful spirit.

kavita said...

Haaaaa ! Remember that quote ,I'm not 50, I'm 49.95, plus tax.Jokes aside , I do agree with what Mr. KParthasarathi said in his comment.
And yes ,post caption is great !

Insignia said...

Its all in the mind you will agree. Just numbers! And when you are surrounded by loving friends and family; what mid life crisis?

Those 2 snaps are precious keeps. Balan is so happy in the second snap

NRIGirl said...

Belated birthday wishes Anil! Many happy returns.

50 is the new 30! So keep up your cheer and make it the best!

Thommy said...

Many Many Happy returns of the day. Take it as another landmark. I am following you closely.

BK Chowla, said...

Trust me, it is only in the mind.You wont find a more experienced man like me.

Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

Thought provoking post as usual!
“It is disheartening to fly Kingfisher and Jet, because the stewardesses may want to use the salutation, ‘Uncle’, while in the discomfort of an Air India flight, one can call the stewardess, Aunt.” Shall I offer you some consolation? I was addressed ‘uncle’ by a bunch of college girls at the age of 27, thanks to my receding hairline. Imagine how heart wrenching it could be :)

anilkurup said...

@ KParthasarathi,

Absolutely right . I agree with what you say. I too have known people for whom age has been a trivia.

@ Kavitha,
Let me see if it only tax and the principal is yet to be measured.

@ Insignia,

B, honestly this dramatics of birthday songs, cakes, etc are much discomforting. I'd rather spend the time quiet with the few buddies and the glass full!

@ NRIGirl & @ Thommy

The subject mentioned happened a couple of years ago. If you wish I'd assume that I just turned fifty.

@ BK Chowla,

Acknowledged, Sir.

@ ArunbMeethale Chirakkal,

I can see how agonising it was, Arun.

....Petty Witter said...

Ah yes but men get to have a midlife crisis in which they get to dress younger than their years, do reckless things such as buying a motorbike and swap their wives for a younger model AND they get more handsome, more distinguished as they age whilst we just grow old.

Anyway, nice photographs, I'm sure they will bring back many happy memories as the years pass.

Shilpa Garg said...

Well, they say... age is a question of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter!! :)
Belated birthday wishes to you!! :)

Sandy said...

I think that it's a toss up in many ways..It's for sure that you can't totally alter the physical changes, but the age of the mind plays a big role in the actions of one and all. We see this in everyone; we see this in children too. Young children often act quite a bit older and visa versa..Hang in and keep a young outlook on things..Great post.... Sandy

P.N. Subramanian said...

Wishing you very many naughty years to go by before you pause.

anilkurup said...

@ Petty Witter,

Oh yea all gimmicks , some outlandish too are done by by people to look young. Though they never feel young.

@ Shilpa Garg,

Mind over Matter . You are right.

@ Sandy,

If you look at the fashion industry the concept is that children , especially boys want to dress up in overs size wear and hoping to look old. fascinating indeed, when they grow old ,they would want to dress in outfits and act all over like youth.

@ P.N.Subramonian,

May your wish come true for me ha! thanks

Happy Kitten said...

Belated birthday wishes Anil. As usual am late in checking my google reader and missed this milestone of your life. February is the month of bdays in my family. But you dont look like you have reached the half a century mark.. guess your mind is young and hence your body refuses to catch up!

Wishing you the very best and many many more happy and fulfilling years.