Young or old?

So I am 24 years old now. But I don’t feel 24. I either feel like I am still 23 or 25. I don’t feel like my age. I don’t feel 24ish. It feels like I am trying to negotiate between feeling young and old. Age is just a number or is it? When your body starts failing you, when you have to stop eating your favourite food because you are not young anymore, is age just a number then?
I went out yesterday after a very long time. Or it felt like it. It was I guess fifteen days since I had gone out. I went scouting for participants, for a research study. I looked at my own locality through the lens of a researcher and viola suddenly my locality looked all the more interesting. It was bustling with people who wanted to make something of themselves, of opportunities to make you stable, financially. It was alive and how!
The kind of looks you get from people who can guess that you are not simply walking on the roads with no purpose, the way people are defensive when asked a simple question like ‘are you familiar with this locality?’ Or even ‘do you know where so and so place is?’ It’s all so very fascinating. I mean you wouldn’t really bother about any of this otherwise.
I think it’s fun to go out and conduct yourself like a stranger with a purpose. People get that. People instinctively know when you are out and about with a purpose. Their hackles go up.
I taught young women for a year. Women who were about my age. I took responsibility for them. I tried to act my colleagues’ age. As a teacher, you have that duty, to guide young minds. A duty that I relished. But it is only after I quit teaching that I realised how it had aged me. Not in years, not in experience really, either, but in the way I look at people who are younger (even by a year or two).
I got dosas parcelled for my mother yesterday. The boy at the bandi was probably 15? A year here or there, and I said, ‘thank you, son.’ He gave me a very odd look. As though asking, how old are you lady to refer to me as your son.
I have aged, in my thinking or outlook? To what do I owe this sudden over maturity? Or is it wise beyond my years that I should be using here. I didn’t call him son just for fun. I called him because I felt older, like a mother. And I am not a mother. That is weird, unsettling and maybe, even a little presumptuous. I am not wise enough to be anyone’s older sister, let alone a mother!
Mother or not, wise or not, I cannot deny the strong impulse of protectiveness when I see a young person. The immediate instinct is to groom them, mentor them even while I know that I am need of some mentoring myself. Till next time, ciao.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s