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The Story of Ageing: Chapter 1

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Deepa is a freelance researcher and journalist. She writes and makes documentaries and videos.

As We Age

The greatest challenges that ageing poses before one are not very palpable to others and even oneself. Once you age, your loved ones begin to depart this life one by one. The places you knew as your own are no more so. The younger people take them for granted and as exclusively their own, and your space shrinks. It is as if living in another world, one alien to you, one that does not know your rules and needs and imposes its own upon you.

You are misunderstood more often. You also begin to miss the meanings in the language that the young speak. You miss out on noticing the songs they love, the songs that generally people of the world, the new generation, love. You don’t even know the names of the movies they go to.

Where did that strong friend circle that you always had, disappear into? Well, many of them are unwell and secluded in the houses and even bedrooms of the houses which they built but now are ruled by their sons and daughters. They do not have the health to travel and meet you and even to be a host to you in their own houses. They lack the power to make such decisions. They have now to ask their sons’ and daughters’ permission and so you have, to move around

Age Has Its Benefits Too

The dead departed without saying goodbyes. In hospices and the inner recesses of less-lit bedrooms, they walked semi-conscious dreams, remembering only glimpses, and left eventually. Did they suffer, did they see the light at the end of the tunnel, what will I experience when the time comes, you have questions; none can have pretty answers.

The world goes on. It is natural law. To come to terms with the awaiting oblivion, in other words, to age gracefully, to exist gracefully till the last moment is an anxious wish for everyone to hold.

But the world is not as cruel as you might think. There are calm and refreshing mornings and mysteriously panoramic dusks to look at. There are birds, books, music and silence. You can watch life flow from the shores, for the first time in your life. No rush, no emotional chaos, you can even smile and philosophize.

There are new friends to make even in old age, those who are your age, and those less frequent type of kind kids who want to learn a bit about life from you, and to look with awe at your sweet smile with wrinkles and all. Admit it and rejoice- you are a good specimen for a quick selfie.

Just look at it from another angle- the cycle of life and death. The cycle of carbon goes on and on and on. Very Osho of you. At least you can try not to be bitter. The best and the most stable things in life are not to be sought from fellow humans but from nature and art, said many philosophers.

Isn’t it good that you are not a child anymore, vulnerable to the misperceptions your parents and teachers, and even a totally stupid society had about children and child-rearing? Isn’t it better not to be swayed too much by your insecurities about relationships, success in life, and the future? There is the umpteen number of ways you can put it; some really full of misgivings, and some really fantastic. In the end, it is what we choose to anchor our worldview in.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Deepa

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