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Ageing Fast. Furiously. And Funnily.

A line here. A sag there. Couple of bags around your waist. A generous paunch. And a barren head. These are not necessarily restricted to people who have aged. These are also for people who appear older than they actually are. The above description fits me well. I am Thirty Three and a Half, as I write this, and I can easily pass off as somebody who is actually ten years older than that.

Now, this has its own advantages. For instance, you can't get any older. There are people who say I haven't aged at all in the past five years! Why you may ask? I looked forty plus even then. See, you can't tell the difference between a hundred year old and a hundred and twenty year old. Its the same thing. It doesn't mean I didn't age. It only means that I was frigging old looking even then, and therefore, I am not a new oldie. I am just an old oldie. If you understand what I mean.
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Earlier today I did something which most of you think I cannot. Or atleast think I shouldn't. I went to a barber. No sir, I am not drunk, I am not gassing around and I am not lying through my ass. I am speaking the god-knowing-truth. The best part, I paid just two hundred rupees. And now you may wonder what is there to be done for that much on a barren head that I have. I have a surprise for you. I saved hundred rupees this time. Last time I paid three hundred. As a matter of fact, the bill was for Rs.307. I didn't carry that much. I paid what I had, which was three hundred.

The thing with going to a barber is that you feel young and old at the same time. You see yourself getting transformed into some"thing" better. At least so you feel. All till you notice that "U" Shaped Design in the mirror in front of you, which is reflecting the image on the mirror behind you. The image is of your bald plate surrounded by the little hair for garnish around the corners. It looks a perfect "U". And then you get back to your normal self.



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Last month I met an old friend of mine. Old is as in "I know him for ages". Or lets say, he is among the few who has seen me with head full of hair. Now you understand? Yeah. He is known to me for that long. 

We were just walking around, recollecting the good old days from our school, and we bumped into someone whom my friend knew for sometime. That new lad, who must be in his early twenties, was addressing my friend in singular basis. You know that "adaa", "budaa", "daa" basis? In Tamil, we generally address someone that way if the other person is younger than us or of the same age group, and we know them for long.

This young prick, who was almost half a generation younger than us, was addressing my friend as if he was his kid brother. That idiot didn't know how to respect people. Then my friend introduced me to him. "Dei, he is Saimukundhan. A Chartered Accountant. Ivaru Periya Aalu." 

That young punk started addressing me as "Sir". I realized he understood how to respect people, but was still wondering why he didn't exhibit similar respect to my friend. Probably a very close relative. I asked my friend, "How do you know him?". My friend responded, "He is my colleague at my Office. Fresher... Just joined." I was a bit taken aback. Then I could notice that my friend looked barely twenty five or less. 

I could take comfort in the fact that the way you look is atleast this much helpful. You get some amount of respect. And as he was about to leave, he wished us goodbye, which was a bit heartbreaking for me. "Good Bye Boss!" He said to my friend, and to me "Good Bye Uncle!" And when I stare at him a bit longer, he follows it  up with "Sorry Sir. Said by habit."

What do you do? Eat your pride and move on.

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Some four years back, I had this meeting with a client, or a prospective client, at the lobby of a famous Five Star Hotel. He was a really big shot client, who had served as CEO of one of Country's largest Company, and had quit to pursue his passion by setting up his own business. He was known to be a stickler for being on time, and I hate being late (except to classes that I take). 

So I was racing my car against the pathetic Chennai traffic and reached the destination some ten minutes in advance. I handed over the key to the Valet and stepped into the lobby, I found this man already there. I was double checking with my phone if I had come late or I read his text message incorrectly. Neither. I was ten minutes earlier. And this man probably fifteen minutes earlier.

And then the conversation started.
"Wow! You are ten minutes early."
"Yeah. I didn't notice it sir. I thought I was on time."
"No. No. You are well before time. You know? That's so Un-Indian like."
"Oh... I actually hate going late anywhere. Especially movies and client meeting." I said with a smile.
"That's the right thing to do. You can't go late anywhere."
"Yes sir. But you are earlier than me. I have never seen anyone who is that early. Or for that matter, earlier than me."
"Ha ha. Actually, I had another meeting half an hour before, and the other man didn't turn up at all. Was speaking to him as you were coming in. So unprofessional of some people."
"Oh my! That's bad."
"These days... the present generation kids aren't like us. We know the value of time. All these twenty something lads, not even thirty. They never understand how important being on time is. Our generation, you and me, knew this better, and we are whatever we have reached only because of this discipline and punctuality."
And I was like 'Holy Shit!!! You are fifty eight and I am twenty nine, and we are not of the same generation boss'.

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"So you completed your CA in 2003?" A Senior CA had once asked me.

"Yeah Boss"
"I completed in 1997." 
"Hmm."
"You could have done it right after your School? You didn't opt for that?"
"I did it right after my school. I had infact gone through the CA Foundation route."
"Oh... It happens".
"Sir?"
"Sometimes it takes sometime to clear the exams. I took eight years to complete my CA. Good five years after I completed my articleship. Exams those days were very tough. Not like now."
"Don't know sir. I did complete things in first attempt."
"Oh really!" And he was making some calculations in his head. "You must have completed it really young."
"Yes Sir. I was twenty one".
"I was mistaken."
"So are lot of people".
He was wondering what I meant.


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After three years into my practice, me and my Senior had gone to visit a new client of ours. It was an introductory meeting. He was a very simple man. He dressed very normal. There was nothing ostentatious about him. Wore a normal short sleeved shirts. Didn't even wear a pair of shoes.

I was all fully dressed up. Full sleeved. A very formal and regal looking grey trousers, and a polished shoe to the boot. A Camera Phone in my hand, with a Colour Display, a rarity in those days, and half a size bigger than my senior. The entire meeting went on fine. It was more like a preparatory meeting for an audit that was to start the next day. 

After half a day of discussions, we left the client's place to plan the work for the next day. And the next day, I once again went to the Client's place and had started the work of doing documentation review and linking with the process study done the previous day. The Client's Finance Manager asked me, "Sir, your Junior didn't come today?"
"Who?"
"The young lad sir. One who had come with you. Yesterday."
"No."
"Oh"
"He is my Senior."
"You were working somewhere before? He is Senior to you at your Office?"
"By age also sir." And I continued working, and the man stared at me for a moment and went to collect some documents.


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There is this constant trouble that people like me face. Its the same kind of trouble or nuisance which some of our lady friends face. Like some men with one thousand beds in their eyes can't take away their eyes from the bosom of the ladies they are interacting with, some idiots can't take their eyes of your bald head whenever they talk to you.


"So, how are you?" They would ask me looking at my bald head. And I'd be confused as to whether they are asking me generally, or my bald head specifically.

"I am fine". And my reply wouldn't have reached them, as they would be still seeing my head. "Excuse me?" Now they would realize that there is a third person, apart from them and my bald head - the rest of me. 'I am suffering from fucking Cancer, if you'd like that, and my balls are falling down.' Even if I should this at them, it won't disturb them. They would be back to glazing my bald plate.

Wonder what they see there? "Their face probably", a friend of mine quipped once, pointing at the shine on my head. Am I not proud and happy to have such friend?



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Me and my friends frequently travel out to just relax and rejuvenate and have some fun. And before you think if we are "that" group of friends who travel to Bangkok to have all the fun, sorry to disappoint you, we are a boring bunch of fatsos, who don't even touch a pinch of beer, leave alone anything more than that. We are those friends which every drinker hates to take along to the bar. We finish their side dishes, and the final bill for the day will have 70% for side dishes, and we wouldn't be even paying a fraction of that. We didn't host the darn thing. Why should we?

We are probably that group of guys who want to shout out that "Hey Dude! Yo Yo! We Also Cool!". Sadly, no one gives a rats ass as to whether we are really one. Not even our better half. And when they do help us in our packing, they always wonder why do we take a pack of playing cards and a cricket bat and balls. "Even kids grow up sometime", they'd probably quip. 

Now the last time, we had been to Munnar. It was probably the second day. It must be. Because we decided to take a bath. We do it only on alternative days. Each of us were getting ready, and the last our group had just come out from the bath, and was getting ready. He wore his Jeans and his T Shirt, and took out his grooming bag, and oiled his hair. And then he turned to me, and asked "Sai, give me your comb. I forgot to bring mine."
"@#^%& @@^%$$" (That was some profanity in Tamil, directed at my friend)
He turned around and looked at me. "Sorry da... I didn't mean it", and he started to laugh loudly, and that meant that he really meant it the first time.

Even your friends don't waste an opportunity to troll you. Didn't I say I have the best friends?

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Comments

srinithi said…
So practical sir! Nice to read your blog after a long time !
Srinidhi said…
Wonderfully written sir !!!

You should have also mentioned as to how you ended up in such a condition like your hectic daily schedule etc

Cheers
Srinidhi said…
Wonderfully written sir !!!

You should have also mentioned as to how you ended up in such a condition like your hectic daily schedule etc

Cheers

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