Sunday, December 16, 2012

Please get your Math right!



Image courtesy - keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk
Of late, I have been reading a lot of articles hailing the 50’s and 40’s as the new 20’s. It makes me feel less depressed about aging. It makes me feel even better that so many researchers are spending time and actually getting paid for churning out such astounding findings. The truth is, they are simply catering to the market of the youth obsessed. Had youth not been an obsession, that jar of anti-aging cream, promising you the sun and the moon and a wrinkle free skin wouldn’t have existed….That surgeon promising you an uplifting experience, couldn’t have afforded that chalet in Appenzel!

I miss that past, where looking your age was not considered a crime. Your Mom was perfectly okay with her little protruding tum and made no efforts to detoxify, fold herself into half and raise her toes to the ceiling, to get her long lost figure back. You thought your parents were cool, not because they looked good and squeezed their bums in Armani pants, but for the things they did. Your Mom didn’t try to fit into your clothes and pretty much did what she liked, without the accompanying guilt trips. If she wanted to feel young, she simply reached out for a bottle of Godrej hair-dye.

Alas, her daughter is living a present where not looking your age is not an exception but the norm. We read motivational soliloquies about how proud we are to embrace every new candle that props up on our birthday cake and then preen inwardly when someone expresses outrage that you are actually above 40! As if living beyond 40 is a crime. But…but…how is it possible that you have an 18 year old daughter! Of course, you are tempted to retort that you picked her right off the supermarket shelf. But, you must act your age.

I must act my age, not look a day above 30, claim that its love and Dove that keeps my skin smooth as a baby’s bottom and pretend that I’m aging gracefully. Funny thing is, my male counterparts are allowed to flaunt their paunch in their tight tees, have bags under their eyes big enough to fit my wardrobe, crack juvenile jokes and still pass off as distinguished. But I’m still expected to have a waist, bottom and energy of a 30 year old! And if my waist tries to embrace a tyre or two or my eyes dare to droop, I’ll be lovingly called a hag!

Well, I’m not denying that the hag in me feels great to be in her 40’s. She’s past the nappy, school projects stage. Her daughter can pretty much take care of herself. She can finally stop pretending to be a domestic goddess and not feel guilty for not cooking three course meals. She can speak her mind and be accepted for what she has become.

Faulty, precocious, moody as hell – but everyone around you has learnt to grin and bear with it.

All your life you were busy being the daughter, wife and the Mom. Now is the time, when you can finally be the woman you always wanted to be.

And just when have finally reached that stage of acceptance of all our flaws and strength, comes this crap hailing the 40’s as anything but 40. Why, may I ask is it so shameful to feel and look your age? Why burden those scores of women terrified of losing their taut skin and tauter bums at the altar of aging, with expectations of looking good past their expiry date. Let’s face it, at 40 fucking four, my knees hurt when I walk in heels for too long. I wake up looking like a racoon after a night of partying harder than I work. I still may not need specs, but my eyes hurt after too much reading.

I may not look my age but I certainly feel it.

So why do we have to bear with these unrealistic expectations? Will people love me less if I sprout a few more greys around my temple? Will my friends make fun of me because I have too many lines under my eyes? Of course not! And if they do, they don’t deserve your love and companionship.

So next time when someone tries to prep you up with the 50’s is the new 20’s, spiel, ask him/her to just shut up! We have learnt enough math to know, 40 is not = 20 and 50 can never be = to 20.

Aging is not a crime but making you feel guilty about it, is.


82 comments:

  1. loved it ...and no 40s are not the new twenties or thirties or whatever and fifties = fifties with all the goodies it brings :)

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    1. Yet, so many of us end up falling for it :-)

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  2. You write so well,Purba ! Your writing gets better & better !

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    1. Always a pleasure to hear that :-)

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  3. Well said Purba...in fact, I never attempt to hide my age. Am quite blatant that I am able to do what I am able to do even when I am 40. Age does not put a limitation on us to be and do what we feel like.

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    1. True that. It's that stage of our life when we finally start living for ourselves

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  4. Well said... as usual. I remember my Mom who never dyed her hair,(dad did), was short, fat and did not wear any make-up at all. She did not even pin her pallau neatly. We all were very proud of her and she looked so perfect. The queen of sarcasm is a very wise lady I should say :)

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    1. My point exactly - I feel as a society we are becoming very image conscious. What we wear, how we look seems to matter more than what we do.

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  5. I have never found a reason why one would want ot hide their age. TO me age is a number , end of the day its how you keep ur self and what you do that is most important, I have seen some of my friends who have become fat and sit all day long.. while I today do more than i did when i was 20 years old.

    as they say I have climbed more mountains then i did when i was 20:) Rather I think its a matter of Pride that I am doing more at this age then Most would do.

    I can still run after a person who has just bolted when asked to stop and CATCH THEM.. 90% of the times.. I play hockey during summer and Oh yes I can give a dodge to a few on the field who are much younger then me and have legs to take them the entire 70minutes of the play ..

    but here i am raring to go :)
    My grandmother is 80+ and I tell you she is still the most beautiful women in the world, hopefully I have got her genes he he he he :) (hint hint wink wink) he he he

    Bikram's

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    1. Oh...I work harder, run longer, laugh louder and am more than happy to announce my age to the world.

      It's our never die spirit that keeps us alive.

      And your Grandmom sounds like a spunky lady!

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  6. Purba,

    One should age gracefully but make efforts to keep fit and healthy. That can be achieved by right diet and regular exercise. I feel proud if people know my correct age.

    Take care

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    1. Eat right and exercise regularly but not obsess about it.

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  7. Forties can never be new twenties, and why should it be. In my 40's I feel much wiser, carefree, settled and relaxed. I was so stupid in my twenties.
    If health is on your side, aging is a beautiful natural process.
    In the times we live, physical appearance is overrated.Look what hair colour has done to hair. I see college going girls with grey strands. But my maid who is around fifty has jet black hair.

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    1. I have kept my greys intact (not that I have too many of them). I don't use anti-ageing creams(I personally feel they are a scam) and would prefer to keep it that way :-)

      With each decade we acquire a depth, elegance that no miracle cream can emulate.

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  8. Yeah yeah...we know you are ancient. :P
    But seriously, if 40s and 50s are the new 20s....how old am I?

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    1. You are still in your diapers :p

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  9. interesting...in my 30s, i have been feeling old!!....and i havent got into the baby stage yet.....

    no 40 and 50 is not 20!!

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    1. Every minute you are alive, is the best stage of your life.

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  10. Every time I come here (which is rarely), its a new learning for me:) I'm in my early 30s (see how i'm hiding my actual age) and would really be thankful to a society that lets me be my age without shame and guilt (just bought a burgundy 3.16 for the greys). need i say more? :)

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    1. Darling, do what makes you happy. Stop caring what others might think :-)

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  11. Very true.
    Like I keep saying, age is just a figure.
    You are as old as you think you are.

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  12. Really all this bullshit about 40s is the new 20s and pink is the new black are slogans coined for marketers to sell their products. I completely agree about being comfortable in your skin. Every phase in life is exciting. There is much less pressure and a comfort in being oneself that is exciting about this phase!

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    1. Yes, it's all about accepting what every new decade has to offer, with grace.

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  13. Purba, no harm in looking and feeling younger than your actual age, as long as you do'nt go overboard! Am sure you must be enjoying compliments like being elder sis of your daughter for those not familiar with you:)

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    1. Hahahaha.. I do but my daughter hates it!

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  14. i am a fan of your writings purba..i am sure this is the thing that would just get better with age ;)

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    1. I think the biggest fear that plays in our mind is that we might be past our best. Thank you for giving me hope.

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  15. I never thought I would say this, but now I can't wait to turn 40 LOL! :) You've given such tempting reasons and awesome answer-backs!

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    1. Hahaha...tell me when and I'll be there to welcome you.

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  16. I love being my age and looking it too. In fact, I love my grey hair and sagging skin and cellulite too. Who cares if I look as young as a 20 or 30 year old? The cosmetic companies and cosmetic surgeons are the ones who probably are coining these slogans. Let us all just be ourselves and enjoy the pleasures inherent to that age instead of trying to act younger and cut a silly figure.

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    1. You are a shining example of accepting destiny with utmost grace. Why do you think we all love you so much?

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  18. I am one of the few people who would give anything to look a bit more older. I have heard that it is a common trait amongst us men. Thankfully, I have vowed never to have a paunch. I need to see my toenails every day.
    I do not understand beauty products but it is a big market. I think it is ok to take care of your body but not to the extend of madness.

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    1. Ah..he's too young to comprehend the bullshit I'm spewing but has the grace to add his two bit :-)

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  19. Very well written Purba. I admit that though I am in my 30s and thinking how to take care of those fine lines around the eyes, I am okay being presentable even if some gray hairs peak out of the black ones.

    I am sure you have seen the new Olay regenerist ad that Madhuri comes in. She looks so badly air brushed in the ad that you almost feel disgusted. I don't what crap are they selling.

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    1. That Olay ad does injustice to her beauty! A woman's beauty way beyond her "wrinkle free skin".

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  20. I do not know why, but I feel younger than my actual age. Maybe it is becuase I am still not a mother yet.
    I feel I am 24 and I have no idea why..:-(
    But sometimes I behave as if I am 92 years old..

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    Replies
    1. *Hugs her*

      Because there's a child and a grandmom fighting for space with us?

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    2. *Hugs Purba*
      I donno Purba. Maybe they are there and come out at the right time in 'normal' people, unlike me :-p

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  21. great post purba....
    feeling at 40
    1) developed a fear, source of fear is unknown but its there.
    2) developed new interest.
    3) Husband-wife relationship turned out friendship
    4) seems achieved a new level of Maturity and patience.
    5) People started calling me uncle and accepted with pride.
    6) Enjoying daughter’s growth and her "Girls Talk"
    7) Superman syndrome reduced.
    8) Started caring about parents, their health, medicines and regular checkups and diet.
    9) It seems now health need special care and attention too.
    10) Priorities have been changed.
    11) Once upon a time Hotelling seemed luxurious now seems routine.
    12) the great thing i learned is to ‘forgive’. it was not exist before.
    13) Compromise is another thing i could easily workout this now.
    14) began accepting people as they are. earlier i wanted them as i want.
    15) As a bed-partner i am,now, more open and life-partner caring and loving, earlier i was demanding.
    16) Doctors names and numbers getting added in cellphone.
    17) I would prefer to go out on week-ends but now prefer to stay home and equally enjoy it.
    18) More confident in profession.
    19) People say "Sir is a terrible expert at his job" that pleases me.
    20) Began respecting others and their opinion.

    Purba, in short... man at 40s is more matured and perfect. I enjoy it.

    -MD

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    1. What a list and enjoyed going through it!

      With age we either become better or worse versions of ourselves. It all depends on what we chose to learn and what we ignore :-)

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    ReplyDelete
  23. You cleared away all the fears of 40s. I am not there yet, but will be there down the lane..I don't think I am going to dread it as much. Because I think I had all the dreading done when I touched 30. Now, doesn't matter 40, 50 whatever :) your post made me love to be 40. For all the things I can when the birds fly from the coop. btw, I am also going to be 40 when my son turns 18..Already people started talking, you have a 10 yr old son..what to do? I am 5 ft and he is 4 ft 7 inches...:(

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    1. And that was the point of this post. Ageing is not something to be scared of. In fact, it should liberate you from unrealistic expectations!

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  24. Hi Purba,

    Quite a valid point raised here. Ageless beauty is something which we can just pursue but never achieve, atleast not presently.
    However, we must realize that there is no need to maintain such unhealthy lifestyles. Indian people have been known to be lazy and shun any form of physical activity and exercising. Its not just the physical appearance which improves, but the mind, body, and spirit also rejuvenates.
    Although, we should not try too hard to look young, only try to look healthy and alive. :) :)

    Loved reading this. Keep posting.

    Regards

    Jay
    http://road-to-sanitarium.blogspot.in/

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    1. I'm not advocating unhealthy living in this post. I'm speaking against unrealistic expectations and how most women end up falling prey to it.

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  25. Oh wow! I wish I had written this blogpost. You spoke my mind! I am fifty plus and have lived each and every minute of my life and earned each and every grey hair I cover with L'Oreal hair colour and all my wrinkles. I am quite proud of them

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    1. And I was praying that you'd read this post :D Thank God, you did!

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  26. This was quite a different post, and we people just need to understand this fact...
    Good one!!

    Noopur

    http://apparitionofmine.blogspot.in/

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  27. Thankfully i have never dreaded being known by my age.What i do dread is feeling old.I thank dear God that i don't feel old inside.This is all that matters to me.

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    1. I just want to feel healthy and make sure I exercise regularly :-)

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  28. well done! truly ageing is not crime but forced to feel guilty about it, is.

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  29. The last line ends it perfectly.. We have all the rights to be the way we are, the age we are.. why should someone make us feel guilty... Aging is a truth of life.. to be accepted and appreciated gracefully.. :)

    manjulikapramod.com

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    1. And we should refrain from using Aunty/Uncle as a double edged sword :-)

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  30. Excellent!! Ageing is just another fact of life. There is no point turning away from this truth.

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    1. The sooner we accept it, the better it is.

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  31. Maybe, I'll come back to this post next month once again:)

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    1. I think you meant next decade! :p

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    2. Believe me, I need it next month :(

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  32. Nice read. The joys of age can only be experienced, not advertised. :) What is commonly played upon by advertisers and marketeers is the regret one has for the youth that is not retrievable. It is a master strategy. Since we are okay with letting others press our buttons, we have to make do with the new 20s kind of attitude. It also might be that the 40s and 50s are doing for the world what they had hoped the 20s would, if they were not so caught up with following celebrity trends!!

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    1. Well all I know is, I'm doing all the things I wanted to do in my 20's but never have the time or resources for them :-)

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  33. Love it, Purba!!! Well said! Yes, 40s is becoming the woman you always wanted to be--but by being 40 not by being 30 or less! Perfect. It is a struggle, I must confess. I have a massive crease on my forehead that I am learning to accept. I have slow wrinkles around my eyes that I am beginning to cherish. But must also admit I have hard times with the tummy bulge and non-flattering bottom. It is a inner struggle to feel emotionally so confident about being in my 40s and yet coming to terms with an aging body. I have not done it as yet. But I perhaps dont beat myself up as badly as I used to before. I am learning to realize beauty is when you feel beautiful and that when you do that--you sparkle from within. But it is a long journey. A great bull's eye post Purba!

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    1. That crease, those laugh lines, those greys around the temple - we've earned them all! So why take the pains to hide them?

      And I'm so glad you liked my outpourings :-)

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  34. Of course I read this with a lot of interest but it made no sense to me. I am 24 after all. :P

    But, I shall bookmark it and get back to this in another 16 years..

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    1. How can I argue with a man who exemplifies the "40's is the new 20's" philosophy? :p

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  35. I would say that this post must be read with your previous one, both are great but together these posts chalk out a pattern of increasing shallowness in all of us. Don't we count inner peace less significant than material wealth now ? Something to introspect I guess..

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    1. Perils of evolution? Compromises we make at the altar of success?

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  36. Too much on a women to look good esp young. Men clearly are un groomed but want their wives googly woogly woosh!

    Remember as kids whenever someone asked our age we used to say 6 and half but never just 6. Today we say- awwww...Get old but get matured junta.. i find men at 40 also too stupid.

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    1. Well, the wives are ever ready to comply. In this competitive world who wants to be left behind?

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  37. I had the same question what Snow Leopard had. If 40 is the new 20, how old I am??

    What is it with women not looking their age is something I can't comprehend!

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  38. Hello Purba, I am a regular follower of your blog. It's a great stress buster for me :).

    As for this post, i am absolutely comfortable being 37 year old because i have a enthu of 18 year old. I gym regularly, have a nice physique, like to enjoy life, dress nicely and so on. But the thing which bothers me most is, as soon as people come to know i am 37 and don't look my age and still unmarried (because i am gay and happy the way i am. And don't want to be out of closet, but don't want to ruin someone else's life either, by getting married), they start giving me all kind of gyaan. And this makes me extremely uncomfortable. So much so that at times it leads me to depression. Then i hit the gym or go out for jogging, and i am fine again.

    Happy New Year !!!

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    1. There's an extremely thin line that divides concern from intrusion. Our so called well-wishers often mistake their nosiness for concern.

      I can understand how annoying it must be for you. But I'm not sure if putting up with it silently helps :-)

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  39. You're so right and I'm so happy that I can actually give way to my moods now and blame it on menopause!! Nice!!

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    1. Hahaha...I'm sure you are years away from menopause!

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