Open Page

When the reality of age catches up with you

Greying strands of hair represent an inexorable fact of life; any battle to keep the outer beauty intact will be in vain

Once a semi-bald professor with some thin grey remnants on his head remarked in our class that we should calmly accept the inevitable and irreversible truth of old age.

In our bubbly youthful days, it had never occurred to me that the army of age would invade me too one day. The sheen of the steely body and the jet black hues of the hair would never go haywire, was my belief.

But one fine morning in my mid-30s, the heavens fell apart for me. While meticulously combing my hair, a few grey strands got entangled in the bristles of the hair brush. The sight of the grey strands gave me a shudder. Was that the right age to have some grey threads? Or was I prematurely greying?

Without the Google devta at my disposal then, I remained unsettled for some days. But as some more years rolled by, I had begun to have more such terrifying strands. Now more in number, their black brethren could no more conceal them beneath. Though a panic button had consequently been pressed inside, I was still proud of my fully grown, dense and black beard.

Similarly, one horrifying day the heavens fell apart again when I noticed the outlandish appearance of a prominent-looking grey hair in my otherwise black and bushy beard. With a lot of discomfort, in no time I uprooted the intruder. But the next time it appeared with some of its neighbouring companions also in the same shade.

For some time the process of uprooting the unwanted grey guests continued. When they grew in number beyond count, I got the naive idea of dyeing them and giving them the semblance of youth. Age was not only registering its presence in the form of growing a grey crop on my head and face, I had also begun to see the emergence of crow’s feet around my eyes. Home-made honey and turmeric remedies were applied to lend them a subdued look.

But like my aged professor I also started accepting the inevitable without much resistance. Application of the dye and honey-turmeric concoctions was thus abandoned. After all, the grey strands and the wrinkles not only symbolise the onset of old age but also stand for the maturity of mind one attains as one advances in years. Today, as a middle-aged man I have realised that outer beauty is only a nine-day wonder.

Now, unmindful of my not-so-attractive appearance, I am quite convinced that one should not take recourse to cosmetics to defeat age. The battle to keep the outer beauty intact will be in vain. Moreover, age is just a number. It is only one’s state of mind that can keep one young. So, declaring a permanent ceasefire in the battle against age, I choose to turn gracefully grizzled.

A letter from the Editor

Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 24, 2020 4:44:42 PM |

Next Story