There comes a time in a man’s life when he looks into the mirror and realises that there is no point in blaming it (mirror) anymore.
There comes a phase in a man’s life when the neighbourhood kids call out ‘uncle’, and he looks around to find nobody else in the vicinity.
There comes a period in a man’s life when all the hairs on his head are very active: Either falling off or greying.
There comes a stage in a man’s life when he finds his parents a problem and his own children a bigger one.
He is then deemed to be in the crisis called mid-life, generally classified between the ages 35 and 50 —- the age of aging. The point about age is that nobody really understands the nuances involved. There is the physical age and the mental age. It is all very complex.
Since the matter is already confusing, here is a quick test to confound you further, just to ascertain to which age group you belong. The purpose of the whole exercise is to kill time, which, as you know, causes ageing.
(Reader alert: The questions are set from a man’s point of view, which is understandable considering the fact that I have been one all this life time. Having said that, for a man to talk about women’s age from outside is like trying to figure out the exact height of Mount Everest using a scale that you find in a geometry box. Theoretically it is not impossible, but absolutely futile).
1) When you go to a restaurant you generally order?
A) Your retort to the question is: Do ambulances make a stopover at hotels? Anyway, you eat anything that doesn’t require the use of teeth. In other words, air (mostly through oxygen mask) or any liquid that is not coloured.
B) You look at the menu for things that may not affect your BP or sugar levels. But it is a futile search, as there is no food in the world that is both healthy and tasty. In desperation, you eat anything that catches your fancy, and are forced to visit the doctor shortly. Doctors in general tell you to eat things that you are less likely to. Otherwise, they will go out of business.
2) When a new song is played on the telly, your immediate reaction is
A) You try to reach for the blighted hearing-aid, but by then three songs have already finished running.
B) You immediately rant about how the lyrics are absolutely incomprehensible. But you also at once contradict yourself by saying that the standards of the lyrics have come down drastically these days. You also speak in a vehement tone about how such tasteless songs and ‘vulgar’ dance movements are spoiling the society. You also make a strong mental note to catch the song again when nobody else is at home.
3) Your idea of a good movie is
A) You don’t know as mostly you are bat-blind to see anything beyond touching distance.
B) The movies in which when the lead couple made love they showed two roses in an impossible entanglement. In other words, the kind of movies that was seen as indecent by your dad. You don’t think today’s movies are good as because you fear today’s youths (your sons and daughters) like them.
4) At a traffic signal a boy and a girl (most likely college students), on a motorbike, are attached to each other like Siamese twins. Your reaction
A) From the ambulance, in the supine posture you are in, the only thing hazily visible to you is the dirty upholstery.
B) After cross-checking whether it is your daughter or son, and feeling relieved that it is not the case, you immediately berate loudly how public decency is dead in the society now. You also talk of how girls and boys were in your time. You will conveniently forget the things that you, as a youth, did on the sly, especially when the parents were away on an urgent trip or on the night when you managed to sneak out of the house under the pretext of group-study.
5) Good dressing, according to you, is
A) In which the bandage doesn’t come off upon washing.
B) Anything but what your wards wear. You find them scandalous, You yourself dress in clothes that are either too tight or too loose. But you think yourself to be neatly dressed, and it somehow has escaped you that the colony youths have nick-named you Egyptian mummy/circus tent because of your tendency to wear tight/loose dresses.
6) Your style icon is
A) The dapper and helpful ward boy.
B) You generally think that today’s youths are idolising the most wrong kind of heroes and heroines. Of course, you conveniently forget that yours was the generation that applauded when T Rajendhar first made his entry on the screen as a hero.
Your previous generation was even worse — it conjured up the idea of Jai Shankar being South India’s James Bond. The action sequences of that time involved: The hero throwing a fist at the villain’s face who had to grimace suitably to background sound of ‘dishoooom’. Jai Shankar’s stuff was rivetting because MGR was the alternative.
Results: If your answers are uniformly ‘A’, the truth is somebody else is reading it for you while you are lying in the bed. Your age, well forget it. Suffice to say, you take pride in the fact that you had seen Gandhi in flesh and blood —— the two things that are failing you now every second,
If your answers are C, then it means you are not reading it, and, at any rate, none of the questions matter to you (hence your choices are blank). It also means you are in the flush of your youth and age is on your side. It also means that you are busy at pubs or discos or off to an exotic location for the New Year with your girlfriend. In short, this questionnaire is not for you. But save this, it will come handy to you in a couple of years time.
Those who have ticked ‘B’ for all the answers, well you are the ones who take life seriously as because you are middle-aged. Your gullibility is reflected in the fact that you went through this questionnaire in all sincerity. Sorry uncle, the rest of us are already off to the beach party.