My father posted a selfie some days ago on his WhatsApp status. I don’t know how he figured it out but it was interesting to see his default selfie pose shared with all his contacts: the awkward camera angle, the close up shot, and the forced smile both of us share when confronted with cameras for pictures. As I looked at his picture some more, an odd realisation hit me.
My father is old.
I don’t mean this in a bad way. He’s over 60 so it’s only naturally that he sort of looked his age. Except that I have never actually come to terms with the fact that everyone gets old. Gone are the days of his stylish hairstyles, dark Ray-Ban shades and portfolio bag which he always carried to work. Gone are the days of safari suits, well-starched khaki pants, and loud music on Sunday afternoons. Those were my early memories of him. The man has gotten old. He’s more reserved and prefers taking long evening walks through nature.
It took me one close look at photos of myself as a young boy and my current self to also realise that I have gotten old too. Time had done a number on me. The little boy who had the mischievous grin had become the grown man with the mischievous grin. Time is indeed one of the truest things we share. We are all getting older as it passes and there’s absolutely nothing we can do to stop it. Anti-aging creams, hair dyes, surgeries etc will not stop you from getting older. And the fact that we see ageing as a form of deterioration and not a natural process is quite disturbing. But that’s not what I’m focused on right now.
What humours me is how we took our youth for granted. We made fun of guys and babes just a couple of years older than us for hanging out at spots we frequented. We asked guys driving to campus hostels to pick up babes our age to go meet their mates (although we never said it out loud). We laughed at our parents for falling asleep while watching TV until one day, we fell asleep while watching Netflix and when we woke up, we made that grunt while getting up and making our way to bed. We’ve become the people we laughed at!
I saw a video of a girl making fun of women who try to impose their age advancement (not in looks, even though that’s obvious, but in the literal sense of it). This girl laughed at women who frowned at her disrespectful manners and said that their husbands think she’s a big girl anyway. The irony of this situation can only be expressed in this short anecdote:
Boy meets Girl.
Boy wants Girl.
Girl wants Man.
Man wants Girl.
Girl becomes Woman aka Former Girl.
Boy becomes Man aka Former Boy.
Woman aka Former Girl has Girl.
Man aka Former Boy meets Another Woman and has Girl Too.
Girl Too Meets Woman aka Former Girl’s Man.
Woman aka Former Girl is pissed at the disrespect.
Girl Too laughs it off.
Man aka Former Boy meets Woman aka Former Girl’s Girl.
Man aka Former Boy fucks her.
The point of this is we can neither avoid old age nor consequences of our actions. We pay for them somehow. And the beautiful thing about getting old is the experience of seeing and learning enough to pass down to the youth.
Unfortunately, we still haven’t accepted this and are still fighting for a lost past with the young folks who were just like us. They dye their hair, we dye ours too. Only difference is the back pain we have to deal with. Theirs will come in due time. Till then, we need to have kids of our own so that when that hip flares up, they get ointments to massage us while doing the dishes and passing us the remote. I understand why our folks did that to us now. That’s just old age.