When I was young.

This week’s topic has been suggested by Shackman for the weekly Friday LBC posts where three of us and some times more write on the same topic. One more blogger Lin is sure to write and you may like to pop over to see what the other two have to say on the topic.

I am at an age when I forget that there was a time when I was young. And for the purpose of this post, how do I define young? Pre-teen, teenage or post teen age or the entire period before I hit shall I arbitrarily say, forty years of age?

So, before I hit forty is the choice I will make for being young, and the first thing that comes to mind is that during that entire period, I never ever thought of the day when I will be as old as I am today, and most certainly even in my wildest dreams, I never thought that I would be sitting before a computer and typing blog posts out. In fact, a computer was a mysterious machine to be handled only by experts as we in India were just then getting into computerising and I had most certainly given up any idea of ever having to type anything, having got used to secretaries.

Being employed in a transferable job, I did not dream that a time will come when I will buy a home and settle down in one town and retire there. That came true in my late forties which one could call the middle age I suppose. It happened due to a series of fortuitous circumstances about which I have written elsewhere but even just a year before that happened, I could not have thought that it would happen.

By the same account, I never thought that a day will come when a land line telephone, a high prestige item in my forties when neighbours envied someone with one, will become passe and that one would be able to make and receive phone calls through hand held small gadgets which would also be mini computers for many purposes.

When I was young, I could not have imagined that we would have 24 hour television with a wide choice of channels to choose from, DVD players, home theater systems etc, to see any film at your convenience and the internet which would change how we lived.

Nor could I have imagined the kind of traffic and number of vehicles on our roads, nor the kind of roads that have come up to accommodate such traffic. Living as I was in those glorious Socialistic days, I could not have imagined the number of models of vehicles that one would be able to buy off showrooms, having been used to waiting lists for two models of cars and two models of motorcycles for the entire country.

In a matter of three decades, my world as I knew changed and I enjoy the present world and all that it has to offer.

Let me share a favourite passage.

“The pessimist resembles a man who observes with fear and sadness that his wall calendar, from which he daily tears a sheet, grows thinner with each passing day. On the other hand, the person who attacks the problems of life actively is like a man who removes each successive leaf from his calendar and files it neatly and carefully away with its predecessors, after first having jotted down a few diary notes on the back. He can reflect with pride and joy on all the richness set down in these notes, on all the life he has already lived to the fullest. What will it matter to him if he notices that he is growing old? Has he any reason to envy the young people whom he sees, or wax nostalgic over his own lost youth? What reasons has he to envy a young person? For the possibilities that a young person has, the future which is in store for him?

No, thank you,’ he will think. ‘Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, although these are things which cannot inspire envy.’ ”

From “Logotherapy in a Nutshell”, an essay”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

30 thoughts on “When I was young.”

  1. most days of the week, I still am young….and especially when I talk with my eldest sister who is the princely age of 89 1/2 – she says I’m still very young. When I turned 65 a few months ago, my first phone call was from a friend who said basically I was only a cadet in the new realm of “old age pensioner”

    whilst my health hasn’t been great for many decades, yesterday I stated to that some friend, that i thought I could manage Choosday night because I was now back to my “regular decrepit self” – she replyed “good, I was hoping you would be getting back there, I didn’t like the chances of that happening, double decrepitness is not a good look”

  2. I had to mull this one over, Ramana. Indeed, as you say, how do you define “young”? Don’t ask me. For the first time in my life – and since my last birthday – the actual number leaves me horrified. Think Munch’s Scream. I cannot effing believe it. How could this happen to ME? Won’t be long and I’ll be as old as my parents. They are fully compos mentis but, by virtue of nature, with one foot in the grave.

    Rationally speaking I define “young” when we still have more years ahead of us than behind us (in terms of statistical life expectancy). I’d rather not think about it. Basically, I am in shock. Seriously, Ramana, god damn it, it was only yesterday I was five. Even my son is nearing twenty five. Talk about time running through your fingers. Oddly, and I don’t know whether that’s to be recommended, I have lost all concept of time.

    Weeping on your shoulder, I just love it when some company calls me and asks me my birth date for “security reasons”. Yes, I say, so last century.

    Main thing is, my dear Ramana, you are here and please do remain so.

    Ursula recently posted..Primal

  3. What a nice article and a really nice ending… I can relate to everything you have penned here…As for me, I wish the Man Upstairs gives me enough strength and life so all the 18 MahaPuranams and 18 UpaPuranams can be recited ( I am only in the 6th so far ); all 4 Vedas recited ( Only in Rig now ) and 1,008 Homams completed ( Only 152 so far) — trying hard everyday…If not, I still thank Him for giving me the desire to accomplish this. Can you bless me in my endeavor?
    Raj Krishnaswamy recently posted..Parashurama Sahasranamam Audio

  4. I guess “young” changes with age, like everything else. So at 53, I think of “young” as pre-30. But certainly, I didn’t imagine the technological advances. Sure wouldn’t have pictured myself someday having a blog!

Comments are closed.