Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Life At 38

I suddenly realised I had to write tonight -- I owe one last post to 2008.

This has been, without doubt, the fastest year of my life. I walked through the weeks and months in a state of daze, not knowing -- or caring -- whether it is August or October. Suddenly, it is now December 31. Where the fuck was I, while the earth was taking its sweet time in making a circle around the sun? I do not know. Maybe I know, but I would rather not tell it loud: after all, this is also the year that made me wise.

Only till last year, I would break my head over where to celebrate New Year's eve. I would look forward to finding entry to an upscale disco where I could drink and dance and party the whole night. Last year, it was the Havana lounge in Raintree Hotel. But this year, I am not even looking at the ads that promise you a good time on the 31st night. I want to spend a quiet evening at home and begin the new year on a perfectly sobre note, as if it was just another day. Isn't this the sign of a wise man who has been there, done that and doesn't want to make an ass of himself anymore by getting squeezed into a faceless crowd of 500 people in a pub?

Perhaps a lot has got to do with the fact that I turned 38 five days ago. Thirty-eight is a scary figure for humans, considering that the average life span is just above 70. In other words, half of my life is over. And what do I have to show for? Zilch. Not even a book so far. Guru Dutt died even before he could turn 40, but by then he had created an empire of movies that will ensure that he remains in public eye for the next 400 years, maybe more.

I am no Guru Dutt, and that is why mortality scares me. It is just a matter of time before would I fade into nothingness. At 38, I just have 20 more years of productive life left, because people usually retire at 58. And considering that I am a journalist and not a government servant, I am likely to make many 'career moves' during these 20 years, all of which might not be savoury, voluntary and pleasant.

But hey, that's where Hugh Jackman comes in. Of late, I've become a great fan of his. He is 42 and is still voted as the Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine. In other words, there are plenty of women still desiring him. Ok, I know I am no Hugh Jackman. But what I mean is there is plenty of hope after 40. And look at Aamir, Salman and Shah Rukh: they are all sculpting bodies at an age when Indian men give up their battle against the paunch and trade their libido with lust.

To tell you the truth, I am actually rejoicing. And that is why I do not want to go dancing this New Year's eve: I am busy building my fortress, from where I hope to rule the world someday till long after I've turned 40. That's when life begins, really. That's the age when women begin to look more gorgeous than ever before, and when men begin to get their priorities right.

And when you have someone like Sean Connery, who still gets signed up to sell Louis Vuitton bags even in his seventies, there is always hope for the next few decades. People like him make you realise that no matter how old you are, you can still look desirable if you want to. End of the day, that's what we all strive for: to appear desirable -- to your own self and to others. So a happy birthday to me and a very happy new year to all of you.