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Archive for December, 2010

Growing old is no child’s play. To reach  a graceful 60-plus, say, one has to  struggle very hard, toiling  and moiling for a 60 long years …
Without rest…
Without slackening on the job…..
But  at the end of it ,  all one can expect is a disgusting sobriquet ‘Retired’….

‘Retired’ or ‘Senior Citizen’ , which amounts to the same thing,  is a title that is abhorred by the ‘unfortunates’  under question . This maybe because it has a connotation  of ‘ having outlived one’s usefulness in this fast-forwarding world. However, many ‘Retired’ may not be ‘Tired’ at all, in the true sense of the word. So, instead, why not give them the title  ‘Matured’, as against ‘Imatured’ for the younger set?
Worth giving some serious thought to…

Coming back, all that these ‘Matured’ guys  can hope to get  from their brethren is a ‘WOD’,  – “ World Oldies Day ” –
Just one lousy, measly day out of the 365 days-long year .
On that day people go ‘gaga’-ing good things about them, stressing in voluble terms the need for better tidings for them! ( Thank God they don’t do this for the  ‘All Fools’ Day’!)
Having finished their day’s quota of the good deeds like the Boy Scouts, they then troop into the nearest pub for a pint of the very best… !

30th of September , in the spread-out  calendar of the World, is supposed to be the ‘WOD’, when the World pauses, scratches its head, picks its nose …and  Presto!
And the World sez… “We must now think of the old people”,

Even before the arrival of the ‘WOD’ the ‘pen-wielders’ and article architects  start gathering paper and ink and  sit down at the writing desk. They bite  their tongues,  lick the nib ( not advisable, though, since it is not the same thing as  licking the lead  ) and start
composing  ! Out come some long-winded  classic literary pieces  for  the newspapers, offering  lip-service to the Oldies’ Cause….

The politicians, of course, go to town  like a bull that  has seen a bright shade of red . They  pour out  their  heart in pseudo-sympathy and tom- tom their determination  to do the right  thing by the Oldies ! They spew meaningless blah blah so as not to be left out of the “ Mass Movement ” !

But that is nothing compared to the drama that would follow  if the  old guy kicks his rusted bucket, especially if he happens to be a wee bit renowned, for good reasons or bad…. Then all hell breaks loose and the pen-wielders and politicians go wild with their eulogies ,  remembering how good the guy was…and dwelling on his good deeds: Such as helping to cremate a dead sewer rat or applying euthanasia  to a hard-to-die alley-cat… before the damn ‘bucket’ got him …
Given half a chance they may also descend on the poor man’s house to shed some ‘Mara’ river crocodile tears … and generally make his  relatives’ life miserable to no end!

All through his living years the poor sod might perhaps have got only callousness from  his fellow beings. Worst still , he might have been even totally ignored . But just die for once and see what  great difference it makes to your popularity ratings  …

One case that comes to my mind is the recent demise of a pauper-poet in Kochi .

He was a 62 year old bachelor guy with a graying mane  and an emaciated frame . He was a bit of a revolutionary in his thinking. They called him ‘the bohemian cultural icon of anarchism’ – wow! a real mouthful even for the article chaps! –  All because he just walked the  earth with no pretensions,  unlike   the umpteen “greats” that adorn  our ‘Roster of the Reverred”!
Of course , all those words of praise came  only after the poor fellow joined his peers in the heavens!

Aren’t we all plain, unadulterated hypocrites ? Bah!

And to think that the guy folded up and started his heaven-ward journey, quite uncared for and unattended , on a dusty and dirty foot-path of a busy arterial road in Kochi just a few days before the WOD hit him!…

What a whopping irony !

Then  they pounced on the half-dead guy and took him with a lot of fanfare to the general hospital where the unfinished job was completed!
For a couple of days no one really knew who the guy was…
Then all of a sudden some one recognised his body and Lo! The chain of postumus proclamations and feverish activities  started.
His body was displayed in a public place for people ( who couldn’t even recognise him ) to pay what is popularly known as the ‘last respects’ ! Apparently in 60 long years they never had time to show him any respect whatsoever!

And the papers were full of his ‘glorious’ achievements  in the area of the rats, the cats  and the entire animal kingdom!
Reels and Reels of it,
Reading them, the poor guy must have turned at supersonic speed in his grave!

Hippocracy,  where is thy limit?

———————————————————————————————-

“NO! We don’t want any firewood

to cremate him! There is enough

newspaper  clippings for that!”

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