We live in an Ageism-complexioned culture today, especially in this country! People are, as Ms. Rupa Sengupta has put it, are cheer-led to live long in a society that views Death as an effrontery or an act of unforgivable impertinence! Then they are unceasingly badgered to stay forever young in a community that views the end of life as something really unmentionably scandalous!

All kinds of allusion-worthy anecdotes go with this hard effort; one of my relatives in the north used to drink cow urine to remain young too, while almost all matrons are after either age-resisting workouts like Taichi or Salsa or Zumba or they are hoping to buy Nirvana at drastically discounted rates from some local Ashram from some bearded guy with glasses! Revitalizing items get consumed too—like, for instance, Ginseng from China or mandrake roots, or aloe vera sap and so on!!

At an exhibition here recently one fellow tried his best to sell me some virility enhancing concoction and when I drily commented that I was no longer interested in that kind of recreation in the loft, he gave me a crafty Mephistopheles look too with a sly smile!


How long my life on this plane might stretch never bothered me in my younger years, partly because, in my eye, I didn’t have, despite having a so called “government job” on a “growing remuneration scale”—both expressions put within quote marks on purpose to bring out their sheer irony– a set goal to live long enough to see fully realized!

55—the supposed superannuation date was rather too far from my dappled-with-damson or pink-and-gold horizon, what with all kinds of temptations, impulses, instantaneous reflexes and hormonal surges to add some spice to its horribly routine and zombie complexion!

Today I DO have a set goal in front of me—to live up to 90 to see my small grandson happy and creditworthy enough to pursue his education anywhere on the planet without scraping the family resources barrel!!

What I am suggesting here is simple of course: YOUR life is too shy, too complex in wiring  or too esoteric to reveal its Book  pages fully to you till you are at least 60 and ,in its seasoned eyes, capable enough to make head or tail of its hieroglyphic contents!

Once you think you have a long life to live, and that illnesses of various descriptions might assail your wellbeing out of the blue, you start out on a series of resistance campaigns against them with fit ness fads, surgeries, cryopreservation study, yo-yo dieting, diet modification, executive health check-ups, weight reduction, experiments in age busting with Botox, tummy tuck, wrinkled removal, skin peeling, bleaching and so on—and part with a fortune on them all without any compromise!

The latest answer to “How long do you wish to live?” stands at 115 today (Vide a research study titled “Evidence for limit to Human Lifespan” by Xiao Dong, Brandon Milholland et al in Nature 10/2016).But the researchers openly admit to having depended solely on inadequate sample population, inflated analysis and left out many key factors! They also declare natural age related constraints to the human tissues to live through periodic rebirth that far!

But believe me, even this ceiling is being challenged from many angles today! Hope floats for those that wish to JIVE—not merely live—forever! By 2070 the human lifespan may well be 125 or slightly higher!

Yes, better nutrition awareness, better healthcare, amenities to pursue an active lifestyle, education and economic opportunities—all these have done their bit to brighten the  longevity scenario today!,

Now for some old age linked fixations!

One is the Love Oasis—discovered quite serendipitously after decades of lonely and forlorn existence on this planet and often only at the fag-end of life!

One such context is beautifully epitomized in the following lines!


At the local KFC,

One Henry Miller forenoon,

Me on one side of a table and

Destiny on the other, with a loaded gun in His merciless hand,

As He unsmilingly awaits my next move in a Russian roulette game!

Me, knowing fully my forked biped status, utterly helpless,

In the Heraclitean flux of Time,

Praying hard for a relief or a distraction from the Above!

Like in Leda’s case, a sudden flutter and a lovely cygnet with a long pale neck

On my table—and looking around in joy!

I didn’t see Destiny at all behind the zestful fluttering of her feathers

And sat mesmerized by her gentle looks!

Destiny, smiling thinly but with knitted and knotted brows, putting his

Loaded revolver back in the holster,

And stealthily sneaking away into the darling dusk!  [By Urban Anonymous]

Another fixation is the Limpet Syndrome!

This comes from the feeling of one’s own indispensability in a large democracy in some indefinable way, no matter if one is the least eligible to occupy official chair! Hard core malcontents, regional champions and advocates of vested interests, political satraps, power hungry gang leaders, and even totally illiterate dynastic family paterfamilias guys!

Till recently many Parliamentarians of the senior citizen generation displayed it with not an iota of shame at their own incompetence and total unsuitability to do their legislation job efficiently!

Count these living or dead instances of human deadwood on your fingers:

Doddery and senile PMs and Presidents, not at all capable of discharging their assigned duties;

>50% of all Rajya Sabha members, picked from A to Z fields having not the least imaginable link to implementation of governance basics and grass root level citizen needs, and basking in sinecure positions;

25% of Lok Sabha members, already in their doddery 70’s and 80’s but still clinging to their “position” as a final refuge;

50% or more of all Indian ministers and their personal staff   and

>60% subordinate officials in various departments, obliged to put into action the government initiated projects and policies in a satisfactory manner!

It’s high time we set our borderlines, age-wise for all these on performance basis alone!

Think of all this as you and I, in our great nation goosestep ahead what with all our individual burden of legacy or tradition weighing heavily on our backs!