I can’t believe I have completed 64 couple of months back! As I look at the mirror while trying to spread the few strands of hair equitably over the vast expanse of my head, I appear a lot older! But then throughout my life, I have always managed to look far older than what I actually was. Call it a gift, call it whatever! But I have a problem. The so-called gift just stops with my physical appearance and not where it really matters. I mean not in such areas where my being ahead of the ‘real time’ would bring me a lot of credit.... My attitude and my general view of life have stayed put for over four decades. Initially it was not much of a problem. At thirty, my near teen-age habits did not cause anyone much embarrassment but as I progressed in age, the gap became wider and wider and naturally caused my folks a lot of embarrassment. Like Galahad Threepwood to his elder brother Lord Emsworth and his distinguished family....At the age of 64, commonly referred to as the age of superannuation in this part of the world, a man is expected to adopt a certain style of life that has been in vogue for centuries. You graduate from wrapping a dhoti around your waist to wearing it with a lot of folds around your waist and passing it through the legs. A few strands of hair at the back of the head are permitted to outgrow their counterparts in length. If you are religious, you make your caste marks a lot more prominent. Instead of saying ‘period’ after you have made your point, you mention the name of your favorite god like Ram Ram. You are expected to have an in depth knowledge of geriatric ailments and not only avoid such foods that are responsible for such ailments but also make sure that others do not eat them as well. Over a period of time you should become so committed to healthy food habits that you do not allow even such persons who may be just half your age to eat what is beyond you to digest.... In weddings and other social gatherings, you expect to be seated prominently in the front. You expect everyone to make solicitous inquiries about your health. If you happen to have some problem, you wish to narrate them in their minutest details and if you don’t find willing ears, you tend to get upset. In spite of your utter humility, you do not hide the fact that you are a pillar of strength in your family and nothing moves without your consent. Of course, you are extremely cautious about sharing such family secrets with persons who are close to your family. You are proud of the kind of education you received and never hide the fact that the seventh standard of your days is equivalent to post graduation of today. Your tastes in music and other art forms are impeccable....Unless you have all these tell-tale marks of superannuation, people tend to look at you with raised eye brows. And that is precisely what is happening to me. I have told you of my problems in the opening para of this story. I just can’t fit myself into a typified category of men in their sixties. I love my faded jeans and Arrow shirts. I love my week end visits to Planet M and if ‘Appidi Podu Podu’ comes on the juke box, I sway wildly to its mad rhythm. At the clubs, the bawdiest jokes are invariably sourced to me. I know all the lanes and by lanes to drive back home without having to undergo the breathalyzer test of the Police stationed at vantage points. I love chatting on the net and if the majority of my friends are from the opposite sex, it is a mere coincidence, a fact my wife never agrees with. My conservative peers purse their lips at my bohemian way of life. They all seem to be of the unanimous view that it is time that I do a bit of introspection and mend my ways which in short is an invitation to tow their line. ...Believe me, it’s a great strain when you have to continue nursing a youthful spirit as you advance in age. People just do not understand that the efflux of time can and should only leave its footprint on the physical body. The spirit is ageless!