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I seriously believe that the twenties are overrated. From magazines to movies, from brands to posters this excessive celebration of the ‘youth’ is pathetic. YES, I am saying so because I am not in my twenties anymore and very soon will be stepping into my forties. NO, I am not saying this out of any insecurities about approaching forties. But because I have lived my twenties and thirties and honestly the pop culture has seriously overestimated the 20-30 club and ignored some very cool facts about the fabulous forties. Let me elaborate.
In your twenties, you are a big ball of confusion. Your career is unsettled, your future looks uncertain, and your love life is chaotic. There are momentary achievements – jobs, promotions, proposals but the risks are way too much. Your friends are always coming up with better achievements – admissions to top universities, pursuing a Doctorate, marrying the love of their life. And you, always (at least in your mind) struggling, slogging, and trying. And then comes up the golden comments of parents, relatives, uncles, aunties, – literally anyone under the SUN! You cannot be rude to them (as you are well brought up), you cannot ignore them (because you too are in self-doubts) and you cannot avoid them (because after all in India, we as adults live with our parents and sometimes even with extended families). Your decisions are questioned, your confidence is frowned upon and your liberties are always intervened.
So despite your financial freedom, sexual freedom, wrinkle-free smile, petite figure, supportive family, prospective suitors, and a world to conquer – you are still dealing with your demons of self-doubts, over-expectations and fear. The rat race is real, with too many unchecked boxes, and the perennial feeling of FOMO!
Now fast forward to the forties. What’s the biggest thing you gained in the past 20 years? WISDOM.
You learnt about perspectives, patience, and detachment. You realize that no matter how much you try, you are going to lose something. All boxes cannot be checked, some of them are meant to remain unchecked. You learn that every individual has a different journey and while some choose to be parents in their twenties, others don’t opt for children at all. It was never about those individual milestones – it was always about the collective feeling of wholesomeness. The past twenty years make you realize the joy of sipping your coffee, in the quietude of your balcony and enjoying your own company. You realize that self-care, self-love and self-worth are three pillars of self-growth. So not only do you stop taking yourself for granted but also invest in yourself. You exercise, eat healthily, sleep for 8 hours, listen to your favourite music and most importantly judge yourself less and love yourself more.
Another very important aspect of the forties is your calmness and confidence. When you are younger you tend to be emotionally dependent on the elders (if not financially). By the forties, the tables have turned. That spoilt, over-protected daughter becomes the ultimate resort of her ailing parents. She takes tough decisions, with a stillness that comes from a series of tough times, that life hurled on her.
This society has made us loathe every sign of the forties – the stretch marks, the wrinkles, the belly fat, the joint pains, greying of hair, menopause – everything! But with your life you know those stretch marks bear the glory of your single, greatest contentment from life; the wrinkles are impressions of those loud peals of laughter that you were barred from having; the belly fat is a constant reminder of the countless times you gorged on to your favourite dessert, whenever, wherever; the joint pains bear witness that no one could stop you from rising and shining, the greying of hair is the mark of your hard-earned wisdom and finally the menopause – that marks the freedom from the cyclical pain of femininity!
So ladies, turn the tables, and subvert the stereotypes because life begins in the forties! Cheers!
I believe that words are the most powerful medium of expression that can reach the bottomless pit of our minds, thoughts and emotions. And in doing so, we can create a sisterhood of shared dreams read more...
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As he stood in front of his door, Nishant prayed that his wife would be in a better mood. The baby thing was tearing them apart. When was the last time he had seen his wife smile?
Veena got into the lift. It was a festival day, and the space was crammed with little children dressed in bright yellow clothes, wearing fancy peacock feather crowns, and carrying flutes. Janmashtami gave her the jitters. She kept her face down, refusing to socialize with anyone.
They had moved to this new apartment three months ago. The whole point of shifting had been to get away from the ruthless questioning by ‘well-wishers’.
“You have been married for ten years! Why no child yet?”
I huffed, puffed and panted up the hill, taking many rest breaks along the way. My calf muscles pained, my heart protested, and my breathing became heavy at one stage.
“Let’s turn back,” my husband remarked. We stood at the foot of Shravanbelagola – one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres. “We will not climb the hill,” he continued.
My husband and I were vacationing in Karnataka. It was the month of May, and even at the early hour of 8 am in the morning, the sun scorched our backs. After visiting Bangalore and Mysore, we had made a planned stop at this holy site in the Southern part of the state en route to Hosur. Even while planning our vacation, my husband was very excited at the prospect of visiting this place and the 18 m high statue of Lord Gometeshwara, considered one of the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic statues.
What we hadn’t bargained for was there would be 1001 granite steps that needed to be climbed to have a close-up view of this colossal magic three thousand feet above sea level on a hilltop. It would be an understatement to term it as an arduous climb.
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