Looking old before time?!

If you are looking for a magic-cream that makes you look younger, please look elsewhere. This is just an article.

Some five years back when I became a part of the ever growing mining industry I met this nice gentleman from India. Little did I know that his days were numbered in the company he worked for; we became friends. It was my first time in Africa and it was nice to meet someone from my own country.

I was young, fresh-faced and inquisitive. I had this urge to explore the new continent, Africa. Now that I was already in Tanzania, this seemed precisely the best place to start with. My next stop would rather be Ethiopia, I had told myself. I, for some reason, liked their music! Ethiopian music has this mystical power to brighten me up. It is unique in its own way yet soothing.

Well, it’s been a very long time since I last listened to any Ethiopian song.

Now, coming back to my story, this Indian gentleman was somewhere in his late fifties and we chummed up very well within the first few days of our meeting. We spoke about our families, previous jobs and more so about our current jobs.

One day in the midst of our conversation he asked me to guess his age. I told him what anybody would pretty much say: Late fifties. He burst out laughing hysterically but I could see through a vapor of sadness in his face. I was more than curious to know his age now. He shrugged his shoulders and with a mournful voice said he was forty one.

Oh boy! It wasn’t a lady’s age I was guessing!

He mentioned how sad he was during his university reunion few months back and that all his classmates looked young and charming. Him, on the other hand looked more like their professors. This was evident in the group photo.

Anyway, few days after we met, he quit his job and settled down in India.

There is a reason for bringing up this piece of history today that took place five years or so in the past. Today I found myself brooding in front of the mirror. I have grown a beard now; not to get a new outlook but because I am mentally tired and I didn’t realize they had grown up to that length. Lot of grey hairs sticking out reminded me of what this Indian gentleman had once told me. If you work in a mine you look old before time.      😦


10 thoughts on “Looking old before time?!

  1. This is a sad post in so many ways.. and I better explain myself.. all my life I was OLD.. really old.. my best friends were usually 30-40 years older, right from childhood. So some of that pompousness rubbed off on me… and I was always the “wise old bird” and sometimes possibly forgot to have as much fun as I should have. Even to this day, my best friend is 45 years older than I. But when I reached the half-way (though I call it the 2/3rds) mark I thought I should possibly change my outlook. I understand what you mean by being tired, body and soul. I know it well. But the truth is, I had given up on life itself. I was an invalid, unable to write, unable to do most things, with flapping hands and utter pain to bear every single day. I spent the last two years of my life like a wretch. Then one day, suddenly, I decided this was enough. I don’t really know when I became old.. and I decided enough was enough. I decided to be young. There is another reason for it. Most of my classmates, my batchmates and the seniors, juniors even, look much older than I, to my eternal surprise. I don’t have that worn out, worldly-wise, tired eyes, look. They hate me for it, hahaha.. even my hair has not gone grey and they curse me loudly for it. But I did decide that the rest of my life will be in reverse.. I will not grow old, until I decide it is time for me to be old. I will not give up. I am still in pain, but I am a fighter, first and foremost, and I never give up. It is a role-reversal of sorts.. old when young, young when old haha..

    Sorry, I am already taking liberties with you and posting long comments here.. (But well, you started it… hehe).. Just had to say.. you decide when you are old.. don’t take the numbers into account. Never mind if we die of a heart attack tomorrow or die of sheer stress. But live life to the maximum. Never be old. At least, in the mind 🙂


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