Opinion

The Ennui of Life

Many times I ask myself this question: ‘Now at this stage of life, what do you expect from society?’

Today now I or anyone in my position need only a peaceful and healthy life till the end. We all know that it is not possible. With age one’s health starts showing signs of fatigue in different forms; be it BP, Sugar, or Arthritis which drives you to take medicines and keeps you mobile and active. 

We all do. 

But even then what are the expectations? I see at times amused by statements like ‘Age is just a number,’ ‘As Age you start your second innings’, etc., etc. All the motivators harp on several points like starting your passion which was not addressed when you were working, or start reading books which you were not, listening to music which was alien to you, talking to people whom you haven’t so far, exercising every day to keep you fit, start writing something, 

Any extracurricular activity cannot be started or taken up after a certain age. Neither one’s psyche nor physique will permit them. It will be a great effort to execute it. It is a bitter fact. 

Second, even if one starts something it needs to be interesting and engaging to that person. A person who never read during young or middle age cannot become a voracious reader after fifty or sixty. One cannot become a gardener which is next to impossibility in the present day live styles in congested or even palatial flats. 

I see the major diversions many of the senior citizens do are forwarding messages using their mobile phones, trying to meet old friends, or traveling to pilgrim centers or their wards’ places abroad or within the country. 

Even all these have limitations. 

I developed a host of extracurricular activities from a young age; reading, writing, music, drawing, painting, watching movies, keeping friends in touch, etc. Mostly today I prefer the company of books or writing. But the fact remains that I followed my passions when I was in my profession too. 

Even all these leave me feeling exhausted after a point. 

The purposelessness of life slaps me on the face!

In recent times, I read a small writeup by one of Mr. PM Warrier in The Hindu’s ‘Open Page’ about his love for poetry and how he tries to share it with his friends and others. In the end, he had concluded that ‘What better you can hope for at 95?’

Very poignant statement. Truth but bitter. 

18-May-2024

More by :  G Swaminathan

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