With the advent of winter, one often comes across pictures of snow-covered mountain peaks, splashed on the pages of newspapers and magazines. The beauty of nature is indescribable and although the grey mountains have their own allure, but the silvery sheen lends them an inimitable sublime charm. And the excited tourists make a dash for the hills to savour the prodigious panoramic splendour of the place.
Similarly when one moves from black to grey and silver in one’s hair, this experience has no equivalent provided one has the right attitude towards it. This stage of life, basically augurs a brand new beginning. It is also called the youth of old age. Innumerable new and useful inventions in this world can be attributed to this phase of life. But it is also a fact that this period becomes enjoyable only if one has spent one’s youth well. A healthy lifestyle and positive mental attitude from the very beginning paves the way for a graceful old age.
The famous American author Mark Twain has so rightly observed, “Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach eighteen.”
The advantages of this pearly stage are many. Just as a small plant grows into flower and fruit bearing tree with passage of time, similarly a person has gathered a lot of experience by this time, which can be of use to whosoever cares to take advantage of it. And as learning is a permanently ongoing process, one can also learn something new at this stage. The opportunity, for devoting time to hobbies like gardening, painting, drawing, writing or anything else for that matter, is easily available at this juncture. One might, in fact become busier than before. And staying busy in a constructive manner makes our approach optimistic and keeps depression at bay.
Mostly silver streaks are taken to symbolise wisdom, experience and maturity, but this is not always the case. Many a times age has no link whatsoever with these traits. Tom Wilson, the American cartoonist, once remarked, “Wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself!”
But inspite of everything, one can bask in the glory of sporting hair striated with silver on many occasions. When you are to pay the bills of telephone, electricity or water etc. there is separate queue for the elders. At the passport office also you are surprised when you are served on a priority basis and respectfully too. If you happen to be in the metro rail, invariably some young fellow traveller vacates the seat for you! Whether you use the privilege or not, but such decent behaviour of the generation next, does warm the cockles of your heart! And if you are a game for visiting new destinations, now that you have time on your hands, Indian Railways offers you a substantial discount on its fares.
There must be many more instances that make this mellow age enviable! Just as a river coming from mountainous region suddenly becomes quiet and peaceful upon reaching the plains, same is true of this age. One can enjoy the serene, placid and introspective state of one’s mind now!
(The writer is a Ludhiana-based freelancer contributor)