Twenty-five is a very attractive age. Bangalore Society is full of women, who of their own free choice, remained twenty-five for years. Take me for instance. I have been twenty-five ever since I arrived at the age of thirty, which was many years ago now. Frankly, this whole practice of age and its every increasing nature, is quite a vexing social malady, and in my opinion best done away with altogether. Osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, Arthritis, such unpronounceable ailments it brings with it. As a society, as a collective conscience, it is time we seriously considered obliterating the problem of age.
Depression, I can personally ascertain, is the singular consequence of increasing age. Here I am working, nine to five, twenty days a month, exhausted, with a boss with a mind of a fluttering butterfly and a client with a cactus chair, and I come home tired, late, to a high-strung two-year old who wants dinner at two, and an irate husband who wants dinner for two, and I catch a quick shut-eye between it all.
The clock chimes. Twelve. And the phone rings…a hundred different times.
Happy Birthday, Time to add another year.
Really? Already? But I haven’t finished half of my resolutions. New Year’s and otherwise. And to tell you the truth, I have a tremendously hopeless memory, that without any significant effort, I can forget the arrival of any birthday, mine included. I don’t know how I manage it. I have all these friends, who put in all the effort into reminders, mnemonics, and post-it notes, just to remind me that I have to add another year to my age? No thank you, I’ll buy my own tenth set of cocktail glass, sloppy/sleazy literature that you think I should read, and plus sized clothing that you think I should wear. Yeah, I already do a good job of buying things I can never use.
Crash. My heart stops. A thief in the house. Me helpless, alone with my child. God, this is not how I want to die. Hyperbole comes easily when one is terrified. Soft scuffles reach my ear. I grab a bat and step lightly, praying that the thief is dumb enough to be terrified by flimsy child-safe plastic.
I turn on the lights.
Surprise, they scream.
I reach for my heart. Heart attack. Another sign of aging.
I look at the pile of presents on the floor, and slump onto the sofa, sweat trickling down my brow. I open the gifts in my mind. A good nights sleep, in the first one. A promotion, wrapped in ribbons and colored paper. A few kilos of the scale. An approval letter from my father. And of course, a year to my age but once in four years.
So when I die, successful, rich and famous, may I be a sweet sixteen, in body and soul, as it was meant to be.
Note: All gifts mentioned in this post, both real and imaginary, are purely coincidental, and a result of my flimsy imitation of Oscar Wilde. To all my friends who remember and gift me on my birthday despite my own hopelessness on the matter, I so love you guys. Muaaaaahhhh!