Published:  12:42 AM, 12 November 2019

The beauty of ageing

Growing old is a beautiful experience. There are reasons. People begin to give you the respect you always thought you deserved. There were all those times when you wanted others to show you the honor that you thought was rightfully yours. But that face of yours, with all its energy threatening to burst out of the pores of your skin, always came in the way. Besides, there was that full head of hair which, no matter how hard you tried to look and sound wise, always gave you away.

In creeping old age, there is a mixed bag of feelings all around you and in you. Think of the positive ones first. If your head has decided, in relentless evolution, to part company with your hair, there is cause for cheer. Here are the reasons: in the first place, you will have no further use for shampoo, which in turn will mean saving quite a good deal of money. As for that comb you have always had a use for, well, you won't need it. But, of course, there is a tendency among bald or balding men to keep a comb in the back pockets of their trousers and often fish it out to straighten whatever few strands of hair still blow on the tops of their desertification-struck heads. You are thus free to hold on to your comb, as a matter of habit. It's your comb and it's your head. Who cares if the hair is there --- or not there at all?

You read much more than you have read before. You buy books with a frenzy that leaves you surprised. It doesn't really matter that a huge chunk of your salary is going into those bookshops. There is another chunk which goes into the office cafeteria, into all those sweets and assorted food. You watch people around you developing their paunches and wonder why they are being so careless about their appearances. You conveniently look away from the beautiful ugliness that you are fast turning into, through your own tummy looking as if it will burst out of your shirt any moment. All your shirts are shrinking. Or your appetite for food is expanding. You look out at the street outside your window and wonder. Life is a dot on the canvas of eternity, you tell yourself. Why then worry about bulging tummies and shrinking shirts?

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