“I’m too young to be old and too old to be young . I think I’m going crazy”, that is what Evelyn(Kathy Bates) tells Ninny(Jessica Tandy) , the old lady she befriends in the nursing home in the film “Green fried tomatoes”, which I watched some time ago.
Remember that old Beatles number, “Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I’m sixty four?” Clearly one is supposed to feel vulnerable and derelict by that age and I am only less than ten years away from it now. Honestly though, I feel ages away from feeling helplessly old .
And I wonder, is mental aging a conditioned thing? I have young friends who have parents in my age group telling me that the fact that I am active on Facebook and blogging comes as a big surprise considering my age .
I think our society is obsessed with role playing . We are supposed to be behaving in the manner laid down and any digression from the same comes across as a reason for raised eyebrows , shock or in the case of those with a more generous outlook , as pleasant surprise.
I remember an incident a long time ago when I was may be twenty six or so . A group of us friends had gone on a trip with our families. It was masti time for us young mothers and the other girl friends who weren’t married then . The females shared a big room and the men were left to their own company. I can’t remember what led to my impulsive act of turning a summersault on the bed and the next thing I knew was that my daughter had burst into tears!:-) I think the jolt the act gave to my “mother image” scandalized her baby sensibilities .
Truth be told, I don’t think children get out of that even after growing up, which is perhaps why youngsters are as a general rule, embarrassed when parents become publicly visible at Parents’ –teachers’ meetings. Teenaged boys in particular , I think, would rather choose to be found dead than have to accompany their mothers to a public place .
It’s strange how these concepts that bind us down. I find so much pleasure in communication and being aware of all that is going on around me. Why on earth should anyone want to fetter one’s mental agelessness ? On the other hand , we don’t mind going to extreme lengths to try and maintain our physical ly aging cells , which is an inevitability that you just have to come to terms with, do what you will.
Kerala has an increasing number of old age homes now and I’m sure that is going to be a normal and socially acceptable thing in times to come. We may shy away from that idea but it may be the best practical thing with the family structure gradually becoming less closely knit than before and the children wanting to have their own spaces and their own direction in leading their lives. I think we should begin to redefine the aging process and stop thinking of ourselves as old baggages to be confined to some dusty corner and realize our potential for continuing to be productive in society . Communes wouldn’t be a bad idea other.
Anyways, I too think I’m too old to be young, but I’m enjoying the phase because I’m too young to be old:-)
I hope you can hear me humming…”Abhi toh mein jawaan hoon”