When we approached old age, we face many problems. The question is : “At what age do we consider old age”? Each country and culture has different scales. Even one’s life-styles and generation differs in giving it a clear-cut definition. As a general rule, at the age of 50, it is the starting point of old age. At 65, it is the half-way mark and at 70 and beyond, it is the tail end! Some may disagree but I’ll have the last say!
When one journeys to each demarcation of age, one will experience and feel the effects of time and the wear and tear of the physical body. Will living a healthy life-style prevent it from coming? The answer is obvious. Every one of us , kings, nobles, serfs, peasants , wealthy and poor, has to face the realities and problems of old age! Fair, isn’t it?
I didn’t know that I was approaching 50 at that time because I was surrounded by students (6 to 12 years of age) day in and day out. They really made us feel young! There was a saying in my school : “Teachers never grow old, students do”! We saw each cohort advanced to the next level every year and in six years, they bade us farewell as they continued their education in secondary schools. We watched others grow without realizing that we were also caught in that process! That’s the irony!
I am not going to lament that I am old and list all the problems of old age. The younger readers will not fully comprehend as deeply as their elders. I just let my poem speak to you:
OLD AGE BATTLE
At the foothill of Old Age,
Alone, one has to climb,
Whether single or married,
Childless or fruitful,
There is no relief;
One has to be brave,
And face it head on:
Aching bones and painful joints,
Failing eyesight and sapping strength of youth;
The toothless grin and withering skin,
Frail slow gait and soundless ears;
Tasteless food and failing memories,
These are the gifts of Time,
To those who linger and unable to vacate;
It is a blessing,
To leave just before the final stage,
Than living to a ripe Old Age!