Nowadays, I have started noticing many things. Things I liked to ignore when I was young, I don’t anymore. I never liked fights or confrontation. As a kid, if someone was nasty, I would look quietly at them and later in my mind I would demolish them with my oratory skills. This would give me acute pleasure, as no one was hurt and no one was wiser about the ones I slayed. These days, I don’t let go so easily. I speak back and I walk around with grudges. It doesn’t do me any good and I prefer my old, imaginative self.
I have also noticed that my agility and movements have changed. Things like walking, running and exercising have become a tad slower. This alarming fact was reinforced recently. In the walkway, I saw this lady suddenly fall down due to heat and exhaustion. I wanted to run to her, and run I did. But O! I was astonished at the slowness of my running. It was like I was running in slow motion. I did reach her but fortunately, her friend had made her sit up and she felt slightly better. She soon regained her strength and was whisked home.
Then, there was this cockroach, a tiny one on the floor. No love is lost between us. So I lifted my leg to stamp it. It ran for its life and here I am sitting and wondering why my legs, knee and all the muscles in between hurt. The great escape from the cockroach has left me with a piteous wail over my hurting left leg.
Another bane I encounter is forgetfulness. I stand in front of the refrigerator and admire all the magnets I have collected over the years. Hey! ask me why I have come seeking the refrigerator?? I have no clue.
So here I am, this is me reading all this poetry of ageing gracefully, embracing every line and every wrinkle with a twinkle. Honestly, I don’t feel gracious. Then, I feel contrite and remorseful. Wisdom comes with age, they say. So, I resolve to don the attire of being maternal and calm and to let go of all the irrepressible and bouncy emotions that disrupt my peace. I should hasten to add that if you ever see me with a saintly smile beware… underneath churns a volcano ready to erupt.
- Anju Mathews