Thursday, December 26, 2013

Birthday Thoughts: What I Was and What I Became

I was 34 when I started writing this blog. Tonight, at the stroke of midnight, the digits will interchange. A journey of nine years recorded on Ganga Mail. Even though I have had very little to say in the recent years, I believe the reticence is also a statement -- a sign of growing up.

I would love to blog every night, as I did once upon a time, but of late I feel embarrassed to talk about myself and my thoughts. Why should people be interested in knowing what I have to say or think? But tonight, to mark my attendance on Ganga Mail, I'll present you with a list of 10 things that I would, or could, do when I was 34 but which I don't any longer at 43:

1. I could write a 500-word piece in two hours, now it takes me two nights.

2. I wrote to seek the attention of women I fancied, now I, usually, run away from attention, especially when it is excessive.

3. I would end my day in dirty, dingy TASMAC bars, now I find those bars too dirty and dingy and can't recall when I last stepped into one (TASMAC stands for Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation, which runs the wine shops across the state).

4. I would often have a drink or three during the day, now I don't like to touch alcohol before sunset.

5. I thought writing about sex was cool, now I think it is idiotic. Wise people enjoy sex, only the foolish take pleasure writing -- or reading -- about it.

6. I could spend entire nights chatting online with strangers, but now I end up ignoring messages of even best friends because I just don't have the time.

7. I would pluck out the grey from my goatee and moustache, now I let them be. The women I know say the grey looks nice and sexy.

8. I dreamed of writing novels, and my heroes were Somerset Maugham and Ernest Hemingway. Now: I am a published writer, but I write literary travelogues instead of novels. My heroes are Ryszard Kapuściński and Bruce Chatwin.

9. I would never leave home before doing 10 rounds of surya namaskara, or sun salutation, but now I do yoga once in 10 months. Having said that, back then, I could not run for more than a minute on the treadmill, but I can now easily run for 10 minutes at the rate of 9 km/hr. And can do 10 chin-ups -- back then only four.

10. I was happy then, not so happy now. Back then, even though I was constantly anxious about the health of my mother, who suffered from a heart condition, I felt good about life and looked forward to it. Now, when my mother is long dead -- she passed away four years ago at the age of 59 -- and when I have no anxieties eating me up, I still don't find the happiness of those days returning to me. Maybe because I was 34 then, and 43 now. At 34, you can still be an eligible bachelor, whereas at 43, you become a 'Sir' -- that's how most young women call me these days.


Anubhuti said...

I like you more, this way.
Happy Birthday.

arun t said...

happy born day
wish to ask u ; was d profile photo of ur blog taken whn u were 34 ?

usha Ramani said...

What you were then and are now; you are still you, regardless.
Happy Birthday.

Swapna Sanand said...

Happy Birthday!Loved reading this post! You radiate a lot of positive energy and the openness with which you write is something that many writers of today seem to lack. Keep writing just the way you love to, enjoy your life to the fullest and let your beautiful mother (I saw her pic so I can vouch she's gorgeous!) inspire you from the other world where I am sure she is still keeping a close eye on her handsome boy no matter how old he turns...or how naughty....that's a Mom's love for you! Stay happy and blessed. Enjoy every moment that spills into hours, days and years. God bless.

Preet Kaur Lamba said...

Happy Birthday Bishwanath. Best wishes and have a great day. Lekha ta daruun hoiche.

Amlan Roy said...

Happy B'day Bishwanath-Da

Anonymous said...


have a great day.34 and 43 certainly have great effect on body and mind.for most of the men (especially men) the effect is negative as they approach 40. you do really sparkle with the way you grow too.that makes all the difference in you and you are certainly a SPARKLING MAN...HAPPY BIRTHDAY..

Anonymous said...

Happy B'day!
34 or 43 as always it was a delight to read your thoughts!
Just keep on writing, we love it!:)


Desi Babu said...

Dear Ghosh Babu,

I would love to take a look at that list of yours in nine, or maybe, eighteen more years. At some point, you will find that all the time that it takes for you to think about wine, women and wisdom combined, will be equal to the amount of time you will spend on ensuring a good bowel movement the next day.

At that point, if you are still writing this blog, I would love to know why you would have developed a new found love for that old favorite of yours -- the wood
apple. Or perhaps, your will be singing peans to ripe bananas. Who knows!

But, for the time being, remember that 43 is also 34's reflection in a mirror. That is one hell of an object, which lets you contemplate upon life's meaningless trysts with the one living it. After it has told you who it thinks as the fairest of them all, that is.

I would still love to know if you have graduated to Scotch full time...

Peace(ful)Cheers on a happy 43!
Desi Babu

wildflower said...

'Reticence is also a statement - a sign of growing up.' Touche!

Wiser you've become.

Ardra said...

Hope you keep writing, here on Ganga Mail too.
wish you Happiness, Health and success in writing...

MomWith aDot said...

Hmm....So we share sun signs. Mine's on Dec 24th. Belated Happy Birthday, Happy New Year and Happy Writing! Nine years ago, I might've added Happy Growing Up (lol!), not now. Age does add maturity(Thankfully? LOL!)...Well, it does, mostly.

Shalini said...

Oh boy !!! Time flies

I have been reading your blog since 2007 ...
Never bothered to comment. Good to know u are doing well . inspiring :-)