I The 50

It’s an understatement of sorts. The moment I state this to myself, I go quiet. Introspection grabs the wheels of my mind and goes on a ride alone. Suddenly I find myself, bobbing on choppy waters. Stress makes me reach out for all the assorted boxes of sweets and savouries in the middle of the night. Guilt sets in and the palms grow subconsciously balmy, resting on my neat well rounded mid section.

But being 50 or on the plus side of it, isn’t about my morphology and its repercussions. The view is more about I at 50, wherein one gets to see the world burning, raging wars; you name it and it’s on life’s menu. We are trying to make our world safer, cleaner, more disciplined. But the question arises how much of an effort are we as global citizens making to work towards it. While the icebergs and glaciers melt, we watch haplessly.

But being 50 or on the plus side of it, isn’t about my morphology and its repercussions. The view is more about I at 50, wherein one gets to see the world burning, raging wars; you name it and it’s on life’s menu.

Venice gets flooded. Romantics sigh and the realists…? Well, we tried! Essentially with passing years, I feel I am growing older in appearance alone; I can’t say much about being wiser though. I do wonder at times if I have done enough justice to the paradigms of what was meted out to me in adulthood. Have I done justice to my marital life, to my roles as a daughter or a daughter-in-law, as a mother, as a wife or friend?

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Fortunately, I do get to say, that yes, I have friends who love me, adore me and watch out for me; I count my blessings. Friends who don’t make sarcastic comments for leaving a WhatsApp group. Or for that matter have the attitude ‘in your face’, just because I need to have that space and privacy which I respect and so need now. Gradually I am settling in the middle-age gear for a long drive. No, life is not a sprint; it’s a long drawn marathon. My Facebook friends list has names and faces but the people cease to exist gradually. I need to retain them, keeping their memories fresh and alive. Alive, so I get to bury them as I delete their account.

The need arising from the fact that on days there is turmoil and a severe onslaught of thoughts which makes me hyperventilate and sometimes makes me lash out at loved ones who are but innocent victims of my mood swings. Can’t blame my conduct though on PMS or menopause now can I? Life is opening up its pages slowly, as I get an insight into why I love cooking and carrying it to a friend’s house instead of grabbing a bite from a shop. I watch my child grapple with the teachings I insist to uphold and pass them on to her as house rules, while she gets scoffed at.

No, we are not looking for justification here; it’s just how the world is being gulped in by ‘The Hack’. Scary as it may be, but, I The 50 wants to dig in the heels and preserve what’s so precious- Authenticity.

I am lost on certain days, no doubt, looking for questions to be resolved. On other days I am at such peace. There are times when I wonder what happened? An urge to see myself the way I would like to, without being body shamed and criticised for my looks often overtakes me. How do I explain, when I reprimand close friends to refrain from passing judgemental comments based on looks?

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I at 50, get to experience different continents. My world alternately revolves around two countries set on different continents, Africa and Asia. I find peace in one and chaos in another.

On the brighter side of being 50, I get to earn brownie points in queues and on giving ‘That Look’, people usually do not debate on uncomfortable subject matters! So, having said that, should I now say that as I stand on the ledge of turning 50; it makes me eligible for visiting Sabarimala temple? The Gods won’t mind now you see. Does it become my privilege? The objective is not prayers but cleanliness I suppose. And cleanliness of what may I ask? Yes! Now I get to ask as well.

We have many dark subjects, which in a civilised society seem uncivil to broach. Now though, I voice my opinion promptly, without restraints. I open a conversation with men or women alike, irrespective of their gender or age. Yet, let’s not talk about taboo stuff, let’s focus on gender altruism! Let’s talk about the weather for instance.

Image Credit: Unsplash

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Devika Raghave is a nomad at heart, crisscrossing through life – loaded with books, camera and music in the rucksack. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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