Age is just a Number
Earlier this month I finished 49 years on this planet. I don't seem to remember where all that time went. I can remember only some very special days. The rest is just noise.
Early on in the month, over dinner, my mother commented that I seemed to have lost a lot of hair and that my hair line was receding.
"Yes" i admitted. I didn't know that it was already so apparent. I had noticed it a few months ago and hoped it wasn't as obvious to others as it was to me.
About two year ago while I was running on juhu beach, a kid who was playing cricket had managed to hit an awesome shot. The ball was flying at break neck speed towards the boundary, about 5.5 feet above sand level, and my left eye happened to be in the way.
For a long time after that I would see flashes of light in my left eye but the doc had assured me that there seemed to be no permanent damage.
Now over the last few months, vision from that left eye would Occasionally become hazy.
So It happened that a few days after the 'hair' conversation with my mom, in the month of my 49th birthday, I was again visiting the ophthalmologist.
He decided to dilate the pupils of both my eyes and then opined that my eyes were in the early stages of cataract; both eyes.
He said that I was basically quite 'young' to have cataract but sometimes this is something like 'grey hair' ! Some get it early. Some never get it. I happened to be up-front in the line when God was handing out cataract contracts.
I returned home and shared the news with neepa.
"So what shall we do ?", she asked. After some thought, I reached a decision : "Let's order some ice cream" I said. I decided to celebrate life with some ice cream.
At 49 my body was certainly on the decline since long but these were the first clear apparent signals that told me : "amit , my boy, you're going Down "
It is kind of sad to know that the hair is going , that the eyes are going. But at the same time , I know that I'm so blessed that most of the other far more dramatic systems are still holding. Things could be so much worse. I am indeed fortunate and blessed.
Everything will eventfully go Down for everyone and we never really know when the floor disappears from below our feet.
Earlier today , I ran with my Mig Top Gear group at Mount Mary hill.
Dilipbhai Patil decided that he would pace me Up 10 times on that 300 meter incline. He really managed to push me and get the best out of me.
Later, Sandesh decided to pace me for the 5x 100 meter sprints up the same hill. That really turned my legs into jelly.
Later Dr Ajit Kharat and Samson Sequeira made us do some stretching exercises which, to me, felt suspiciously like strengthening exercises.
All in all, I think I ended up with perhaps the hardest work out I have done in the last 10 years since I started running.
I came home totally ( to use an American paratrooper expression : FUBARed. (Fuxxxd beyond all recognition ) and then I knew what I had to do.
I asked Neepa for some ice cream.
As I enjoyed my ice cream, I thought about the things I still want to do. I want to continue running. I want to run Comrades until the day I go Down.
And I then I smiled at a happy thought : 2016 is after all a Comrades Down Run.
And no matter what happens. I'm going to be Up for it.
( The Zurich Iron Man just took place.
My fellow Comrades runner Dr Anand Patil finished it. He is 51.
Makes me realise that Age is just a number.
Dr. Patil,my friend, Lead on ! )