The old man


I have always been fascinated with age.  Having grown up in a Gurkha military environment abroad where the oldest people we saw were our parents, I would be surprised to see elderly people when we were taken out of the camps.  Last week we were taking photographs near the temple square when an old man happened to walk straight into our lens and stared.  He would squint his eyes but did not shift his glance from the camera.  This old man looked really gorgeous. He was small and had lines running across his forehead, cheeks, chin and neck.  His grey moustache seemed to blend quite well on his sun kissed complexion.  He kept on staring while my son tried to focus the lens on his camera.  There was no rush on his part.  He kept still.  How old was he? I asked myself.  Maybe in his mid 70s was my guess.  He could well be a farmer.  How many winters had he seen?  I wondered.  It seemed like he never actually retired.  And here we were fretting about how cold it was and wearing layers of warm clothing.  After some shots he smiled widely and asked for some money to buy himself tea.  We tipped him and he walked away slowly on his bow legs.  He probably lived one day at a time.

I imagine myself to be old some day. The moisturisers and anti ageing creams will finally give up its endeavours.  One day I will look into the mirror to see those very same lines of the old man transferred  to mine.  Since I am taller, I may be slightly bent too.  But the best part of it all would be I would be free from work but my body will not be able to enjoy the freedom of movement.

I met my sibling the other day and spoke about how we used to long for fashion wear when we were in our teens.  But now that we were much older, we have the means but not the figures that we once had!

Simply ironic.


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