Diaries Magazine

The Great Robber - Age

Posted on the 27 September 2021 by C. Suresh

I know what you think I am going to talk about. About how I look at stairs and groan at the thought of climbing them, when I used to run blithely up in the past. (Not that you'll think that if you are young, nowadays. The idea of even the young running DOWN stairs, leave alone running UP, is passe; they groan at the thought as much as the old though, I bet, their knees do not make weird clicking noises as they climb up the stairs). About how the list of tablets I have to eat grows in tandem with the list of foods I am not allowed to eat. About how I used to be listened to with respect while, now, people switch off even before I say the first word of "In the good old days..."

But that is not what I intend pontificating about now. It's more about how Age keeps robbing you in bits and pieces all through your life. Like, the time was when you used to be a rebel out to change the world into a sparkling idealistic paradise. The first step of it all being to rid the world of the tyrannical ideas imposed on you by your parents and elders. Surprise, surprise, you never even realized when it happened but you find that, now, YOU are the tyrant against which the youth are rebelling today. However were you robbed of your rebellious tendencies? Is it just the fact that, as a teen, you saw nothing to lose in changing what was there currently, no responsibility for the well-being of anyone, perhaps excepting yourself and sometimes not even that? And now you find yourself responsible for your children and are afraid of rocking the boat lest they get affected? Or is it that the world has changed a bit, you have changed a bit, and, now, you fit in comfortably with the way the world is and do not want to lose that comfort? Whatever it be, Age has sneakily robbed you of any tendency to rebel. (Not really my issue, you know, since I have stoutly refused to take on the responsibility for anybody else - spouse or children.)

When you first pop into office, freshly equipped with knowledge and concepts from college, you are all agog to change, modernize, improve the functioning of those creaky old sots there who are doing things the hidebound way with sage advice about how that is the way things have always been done there. Not for you these inefficient methods; you want to chuck them all out and make things work more efficiently and effectively. When, then, did you start looking indulgently (or with irritation, depending upon your nature) upon these eager-beaver snot-nosed kids who think they know better than you? Is it just the fact that, when you entered in at the bottom of the ladder, it was not you who had to sell the new-fangled ideas OR carry the can for the teething problems that made you so eager then? Or is it that routine has lulled you into a comfort zone which you do not want to get out of? Whatever it is, Age robs you of the enthusiasm to MAKE changes and leaves you with the dull resentment of having to DEAL with changes. (Again, not really my issue. I just wanted to do enough to ensure that I had a salary to live on. Born old, that's me.)

Which, essentially, is also true of what you think about the rest of the world. You start off in your youth wanting to change the world (of course for the better and you really do not think that what is 'better' for you may not be the same for others). Age robs you of that ambition as well and, without your actually realizing when it happened, you have become the person whose only thought is to ensure that the WORLD does not adversely change the way you wish to live. (Yeah, yeah, you got that right! Not my issue, I always just wanted the world to leave me alone.)

So, exactly why am I whinging about how Age is a robber? Because I just hit the age which used to be the retirement age for employees. And Age has, at last, something to rob me of. (Apart from those creaking knees, exchanging scrumptious food for tablets etc etc)

Up to now, new acquaintances used to ask me, "What ARE you?" and, when I say that I am just relaxing, I used to become the center of attention for the time being thanks to their curiosity about how and why I quit so early. NOW, Age has robbed me of even that minor spotlight that used to briefly shine on me.

Because, now, the question is more likely to be, "What WERE you?"

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