The inimitable Pablo Picasso once said, "It takes a long time to become young." Well, we in India could have taught him a thing or two about painting over the cracks of old age with a dexterity that would dazzle him. You can be as old or young, not as you feel, but as you need to be by the simple expedient of fudging your birth certificate for a small price. So, if you wanted to get your pilot's licence when you are barely out of your teens, the local forger will show you as a healthy 23-year-old.
But don't assume you will get away with all this for ages to come. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has decided that it will not go by the word of its employees when it comes to age. Noticing that its offices were rapidly beginning to resemble geriatric wards, its eagle-eyed authorities have begun health checks to determine age. And if you are pushing 70 while claiming to be a sprightly 55, you will be packing your dentures before you can say John Abraham.
But much of this scrutiny could come to naught if one were to opt for some plastic surgery, a spot of botox and other such enhancements. If the canny employer were to actually conduct bone tests, a pretty face will not be enough to ensure your longevity at the workplace. But then as the old saying goes, sorry, did we say old saying? Oh, here it goes, the older the fiddle the better the tune. And no, we edit writers are not as old or mature as our prose suggests.