By Bikram Vohra
You know that time has ticked away and you are not 22:
When you visit friends after some years and you discover their children are no longer children.
When your children tell you this is not for you, you won’t understand.
When the twinge of pain isn’t automatically indigestion.
When, if the elevator isn’t working, you are in trouble.
When the hill you ran up as a youngster, suddenly, seems steeper. When suddenly,’ you are the voice of experience and you never, realised you qualified.
When just as suddenly, no one has the patience to listen to that voice of experience.
When you get fed first so as not to ruin your bedtime.
When little kids, wet behind the ears, tell you what’s good for you and what isn’t and you can do nothing about it.
When the earth no longer moves because you have arrived.
When your ideas are heard with patient amusement as another of the old boy’s idiosyncrasies… Just the other day they called it uncanny sixth sense.
When you find yourself saying “In my time’ or ‘In our days” as a preface to every remark.
When, dash it all, you can’t remember names and addresses of people you know.
When you begin to read the obituaries in the newspaper and discover you know most of them mention.
When you can jump the ‘Q’ and no one jumps on you for doing so.
When you can’t hear properly and you say, Stop mumbling, speak clearly to people who are talking to you.
When you pick up your grandchild’s history book and there is a chapter in it about your schooldays.
When a TV retrospective of cinema was your Sunday matinee.
When your meal dishes are done separately and look insipid—taste it, too.
When you are cutting out more things than you are adding. When a pretty girl is a pretty girl but a smoke is a smoke—if they will let you.
When you can insult people… and most maddeningly, nobody minds.
When, every time you want to relate what happened in 1982, everyone in the house is suddenly busy doing other things.
When young ‘people are ‘too nice’ to you and treat you like porcelain.
When if you tell a naughty joke or get up and dance or have fun people are surprised you can do so at “your age” and it annoys the hell out of you.
When you begin to wonder if you are being a burden on people and hate being dependent.
When you are angry and resentful with your body that it let you down and did the dirty on you.
When you’d rather watch than play.
When you see young people make the same mistakes that you made and you want to warn them but you know they will not listen.