Friday, October 7, 2016

Getting Old

The other day, I came upon a friend's page while wandering on Facebook and I was surprised to see how old he had become. His hair was grey. His shoulders were drooping and he looked frail. And this was a guy who played sports back in school.
The writing on the wall was clear: We are getting old.
Well, I know everyone grows old by age, but I never thought I am old enough to be called "old". This feeling of "getting old" is not the same as mid-life crisis which has to do with one's identity and self-confidence. This is more like - you go to a party and realize there aren't much people there to understand your good old jokes.
Then I remembered how, as kids, we used to criticize Sunil Gavaskar for not retiring even after turning 36. "He can't even run between wickets!". "He should give youngsters a chance". "Do they call him Uncle in the dressing room?". We joked. Now when I play tennis with my son and he tells me, "Hey Dad, you could've run and taken it, you know?" - I remember Gavaskar.
Most of the political leaders whom I admired back then are now gone. They are either dead or behind bars. Some are out on bail. And some are in Chennai Apollo Hospital.
During one of our bedtime talks, I told my son that when we were kids we didn't have a TV or phone in our home. He looked at me sadly and asked, "So you had to do chores all the time?". "No! We played many outdoor games!", I tried to explain. He didn't get it.
Since my son loves tennis, I thought of showing him US Open finals few weeks back. I texted my friend, "Why am I seeing some guy called Wawrinka? Is this the right match?" He replied back, "Yes, Boris Becker doesn't play any more. This guy is world No. 3".
Time flies. 
Coming back to where I started, I pinged that grey-haired-fragile-looking friend and sent him a Friend Request. He replied later, "Hey, is that you? You look old, man!".