Sunday, February 28, 2010

Older & Grateful

A lot of people crib about getting older. Many women especially, are very touchy on the subject and will either give you the "its rude to ask a woman her age" line, or else, outright lie about how old they are.

I don't understand why.

Too many people are snatched way before their time. Too many don't make it into their 50s, 40s or even lesser. Too many don't even make it past childhood.

Thinking of all those millions of unknowns who die young, I promised myself some years ago, that I'd never, ever lie about my age, never moan about getting older; instead each birthday, I would just truly thank the Lord that I had made it through one more year.

The thought for this post came to me yesterday, on the eve of my birthday, and I felt that I must take the time to put this up, despite the numerous distractions that have kept me from this blog for so long.

I woke this morning, not with the euphoric thrill of childhood birthdays, but with a more mellowed contentment that I had arrived at another birthday with so much to be thankful for. I began my daily routine, interspersed with calls from family members, wishes also pouring in online, and that sense of contentment grew.

Then we got the news that a neighbour at home in Bombay, my sister's best friend's brother, had died in an accident yesterday. A young man, barely in his 30s. Completely unexpected, and even more tragic because that family lost their mother just last month. That dear lady's death too was just as out-of-the-blue, a sudden heart attack.

I actually staggered when my mother informed me. I can't begin to imagine what that family must be going through: two deaths in two months, both before their time. And I came back to the thought that propelled this post: why many people hate the fact that they are ageing.

Growing old is such a blessing! Its nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to hide and you realise that all the more in the wake of tragedy. Each day, each year you live is a privilege, a miracle, that so many, too many, don't get.

I don't know who said this originally: "I'm not getting older, I'm getting better!"

"Better" or not is debatable; "older" is indisputable. Why even bother denying that???

Today, I turn 26. Some might scoff that its easy to be frank when the number's small, but no matter how high that rises - 36, 56 or Inshallah 96 - I will always gladly & gratefully celebrate growing old :)