It's time for that scream
One of my younger friends, Shakia, is about to turn 23. That old already! Oh, no! Wait... didn't I go past that age about 23 years back? May be I did, too. And, she feels old. Too old to miss the carefree old Shakia who ran around with kids and had ice-creams. Ah! She even misses being 5.
Shakia, dear, I am there with you. I miss being 5, too. And, I don't miss being 23 at all. I still miss running on the wall (yes, on the wall, mad me so feel like Spiderman), ice-creams (they didn't have Baskin Robins or Move'nPick back then, but they indeed had ice-creams), tennis balls (we turned them into soccer balls, and played in the living-room), and the trekks down to the playing field (it seemed so away from home). I miss it all.
That's partly why I get down to the floor whenever I can, and play with children. I don't pick them up to carry them on my shoulders, as I don't want to feel bigger and older than them. I still love those spinning tops and marbles (and, no, I'm not an expert... I still handle those like a 5-year old).
I would always be 5, if I can, as much I can. I'll fight with kids, I'll be jealous of them, I'll have respect for kids who are better than me (and, most usually are). There's only one slight problem. Not many people recognize that. The gray in my hair and the dulled out eyes, the wrinkles around the corner of the eye and the creaks in my bones tell them simply I can't be anything but old. Well, I refuse to be.
Then comes the tough part. When I fail to meet the expectations that come with my age, some of them go and hate me, some go scared, and some more laugh their heads off at me silly. They can't help taking me seriously.
Do I care? Yes, I do. And, that's why I miss being 5 so much.
Thanks, Shakia, for reminding me who I am - a little kid caged in a aging crumbling rotting body. Pray for that kid in me, and the kid in you, too. I am happy to have recognized that kid in you, even before we decided to talk to me. Happy birthday, kiddo, 30 days in advance.
- Aditya Kabir