Thursday, October 25, 2012

Watching Ourselves Grow Old

And all of us are going old. It was inevitable, of course. But it's sad, nonetheless.

When will we realize that we are? Growing old, I mean. When will we realize that we can't continue the same lifestyles we always had? That we're no longer immortal. That Time has touched us with his black brush, that we can no longer remain arrogant, uncaring. That we can longer eat and drink and smoke and smoke up like we used to.

When others tell us? When we watch television shows in which it happens to other people, and it strikes us in a blinding epiphany? When our bellies overhang our belts by a certain number of inches (because they already do, you know)? When we wake up from restless sleep, and try to decode the unsettling dreams we struggled through? When a friend dies one day - a heart attack, a brain hemorrhage, or something more innocuous?

'Carpe Diem' is so much more poignant now. Because the number of days we have, they dwindle. They're no longer infinite, stretching ahead of us like an endless golden beach.

It's easy to waste a day, many days. Just sit still in a corner, and the day is gone. That's good in a way, because it helps us survive. But it's also bad, because you wake up one morning, and your life is spent, over, wasted. How do you make it count?

How do you manage to get up from the couch in front of the television, how do you stop your hand from stuffing your mouth, how do you stop doing what's easy and accepted and acceptable? How do you figure out what you want to do? And if it's different from what you're doing right now, how do you make that switch?

It irritates me, in a way. That people are okay to do this. That they're not even aware of their own potential, of what they're wasting. It worries me that I'm the only who's worried.

I tell myself I'm not like them, that I'm not wasting my life. But me, what am I doing? Do I know what I want, am I working towards it?

A flat on a lake-shore. A green painting on a wall. Enough money to travel and see the world. Fulfillment, the knowledge that what I'm doing makes a difference. Books, lots of books, and enough time to read them. A book of my own, but only if it's good. These are some of the things I want, things I have, things I would like more of.

And what I don't want? No TV. No car. No middle-class urban life. Trainspotting pretty much summarized it for me. Maybe I should put it up on a wall, as a reminder. Though it may be too late already.

• • •


Igirit said...

it's not too late already. that's a ridiculous thought.

keep faith, and good luck! :)

Devika Rajeev said...

@Igirit: I meant too late for some of the things mentioned in the poster. :) The job and the TV and the washing machine and the starter home.

Chintan Agarwal said...

"It worries me that I'm the only who's worried."

Stop worrying, you're not alone!

Devika Rajeev said...

@Chintan: And what are all those other people doing about it?

The Aks Effect said...

the good: a compelling argument and a cogent piece of writing. the bad: reading this piece at the end of yet another day of the mundane. the ugly: a sense of reflection caused by both of the above. :|

Devika Rajeev said...

@The Aks Effect: Thanks for the Good. The Bad needs to be addressed by taking some action based on the Ugly. :)