It happened in Bengaluru, a city that I wouldn’t relate to depression. It is a city bubbling with bars and pubs and I was there on a one day short visit. Two apparently strong reasons for not being depressed. But often in the real world, What doesn’t have to happen, happens.
We finished our work by noon. There was still time to kill. We had an evening flight. So we decided to go to a bar. What I love about going to new cities is that you don’t meet many people who know you. I am a very private citizen and guard my privacy zealously.
As we were entering the bar, I felt someone tug me. “ Ajja” There was a seven year old kid smiling wickedly. I looked at him horrified with mixed emotions. One, I had not expected anyone to recognize me and two he had called me Ajja which in Kannada means a grandfather. Me a grandfather! It really ticked me. At that precise moment I could understand how Madhuri Dixit might have felt as she decided to go for Botox.
The father followed the brat grinning widely. He was so pleased as if his son had recognized Barack Obama. I gave the man a cold look. Only if looks could kill! But that wasn’t enough. I was seriously miffed. I chided him for being negligent. “Your son could have met with an accident.”
The father looked at me with surprise. We were inside a Shopping mall. I realized that I was being foolish. But still I was terribly annoyed. The kid couldn’t be lying. I was really looking like a Ajja now. He had hit me right in my solar plexus.
My friend tried to cheer me up. “You were never good looking. So stop cribbing. You look far better as an ugly old man rather than an ugly young man.” With friends like him, you don’t need enemies.
When we returned to Hyderabad, I was still glum. A lady friend suggested that I go for grooming. Three young people surrounded me and stared me like a museum piece.
“ Look at his hair. He is balding.” The other picked a few strands of my hair and commented, “ So lifeless. They look like the ends of a broom stick.” The third chimed, “ He is bloated like a hog. Needs to reduce at least twenty kilos.” I wanted to scream that I have ears and they still work fine! I stomped out red with anger and embarrassment.
The readers may be wondering about the final outcome. There was none. I am still not dead and continue being old and ugly.
But there are a few morals of this story.
One, Being Old doesn’t mean being wise. You can be stupid even if you grow old. So don’t wait for that.
Two, getting depressed doesn’t solve anything. Be a man ( or a woman!) and take it on the chin.
Three avoid the blabber of seven-year-old kids. They can sometimes be idiotic!
Wake up to the real word. Remember every story doesn’t have to have an ending and also all endings cannot be happy. Smart are those who try to find some meaning in everything.