What best to drive away the boring monotony and teeth clenching stress of a harrowing routine than to sip in smugly mug full of green tea, at regular intervals, its warmth coursing through the esophagus supposedly detoxifying each cell of the body knotted tight in anxiety and apprehension of an imaginary imperfection and directionlessness that life is taking to. The smoking golden brown liquid, at least giving you the semblance of a rejuvenation hard pressed to attain otherwise, is more than welcome.
Well! It’s just not the sips but the entire paraphernalia of preparation that entails a temporary separation from the cluttered desk (and a clogged mind too) – picking up the porcelain mug a tad too big for the drink and washing it clean before getting down to enjoying the much-needed and at times much-neglected break. The cleaning bit takes me to the washroom though that’s not the designated place for such activity. But given its proximity, in comparison to the pantry, makes it the choice location for the exercise. The wash basins overlook a length of mirror glistening with diligent rubbing.
My reflexes work on my hand involuntarily as it rotates the mug on its own volition, without my mind quite concentrating on the action, under the tap opened in full force. The water swirls in circular motion inside the emptiness of the mug smooching and serenading up and down the porcelain walls ready to vault out of its bosom into the womb of the sink. It’s too mundane and meaningless an exercise to ponder upon. I have better things to mule over….I toy with the idea of “better things” and a long list of to dos roll out in front of my eyes.
Eyes that are busy staring at a stranger’s face finely wrinkled around the corners of the eyelids, a deep line running down either sides of the drooping lips and a forehead receding into a streak of silver shining under the glare of the sink tubes. The skin has lost its brightness a long time back, the smile its charm and the gaze its glint.
The first thought that rises like a wave inside and descends lifelessly in an enervated cascade of worrying nags is “When did I grow these?” The greys were less in number the last time I had gotten time to take stock of my physical incapacities. The next query that follows suit is, “Well! Age has caught on after all…” But age is just a number and midlife is merely a station where woman rediscovers herself! Somebody shouts desperately within. But the voice soon gets drowned in the hub of more disturbing interruptions.
Women are strange beings…I do not know whether they have actually landed from Venus or Mars but they have a stranger mechanism of reconciliation to what is working somewhere very rapidly in their inner being observing, absorbing and accepting facts in a matter of fact manner and adapting to a changing/changed scenario with an equanimity and ease which perhaps is not common or available to the “unfair” sex.
So, here am I mentally jotting down what I am supposed to do and how I am supposed to be, given the circumstantial evidence, that I am not what I used to be ten years ago. The first is to tone down the aggression which is now an inescapable part of me. One is supposed to be mellowed by age and not bellow belligerently in the middle of nowhere when the idea of a secured zone brimming with unruffled calm and unhampered comfort gets rippled by a pair of idiots in an inebriated state riding a rickshaw hitting the vehicle standing at a signal escalating the nuisance quotient exponentially for a crowd to gather and have fun at the expense of a fifty plus woman taking to physically assaulting the two miscreants who have wronged her sense of propriety and composure.
The patch of grey goes so well with a serene demeanour and saintly disposition…………….
What about a makeover???? A hurried wardrobe scanning in my mind’s eye and I am determined to get rid of the dozen leggings and jeggings and capris and palazzos…………..those surely do not jell with the salt and pepper mop!!!
A greying aged lady is most becoming wrapped in pristine six yards……….
Lately, I have been often given to visualizing my scrawny body (not exactly) getting seamlessly merged in layers of sterile sheets surrounded by unfazed apparatuses functioning in clock-work precision attached to my sensory organs by rolls of wires inside the clinical hospitality of an ICU or CCU. Worry-clinched faces of my near and dear ones and host of other acquaintances vacillating between relief and two-minute grief.
To be very honest I am not sure whether these dark visions are outcomes of a mind addicted to fanciful and rather filmy depiction of self-sympathy or a premonitory intuition indicating towards an inevitability which I should be suitably warned of well in advance.
In a fleeting vain moment, I do, for once, think of succumbing my ill-cared tresses to petal soft nimble fingers playing a majorka on my scalp while I, reclined in a well-padded parlour chair, slip into a rhapsody of pampered styling, colouring, streaking, jell-spraying, henna dripping feat….. so alien to my age-battered body……I give up on the idea as soon as it raises its head.
Strange is the way I try to arrive at what is me by a contrarian method of suggestions and eliminations till a conclusive statement is drawn!
Age is defeating as long as we equate it with quickening of a process of biological degeneration leading ultimately to an unreturnable end. Contrarily, age can be a pride booster if we, instead of counting the greys, focus on the richness of wisdom born out of countless experiences of a long and not so easy life which has taught us to live and live well. As long as the faculties are intact, and that is what we should be working on tirelessly, yes, tirelessly, life is worth living and enjoying, ups and downs come what may. The greys do not count, seriously.
And death…even if it is the truest of all truths…….can be considered to be merely a security check at the gateway of a richer, more meaningful, even if intellectually inconceivable, afterlife!!! What say you?