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Rambling! What Else You Expect Me To Do At My Age?

Discussion in 'Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings' started by Cheeniya, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    All about peer pressure

    ‘I am the most misunderstood man in this part of the world’, I told myself with a lump in my throat. I have been trying to comb my hair for the last half an hour but I was not getting it right. Just then my daughter entered the room and asked me why I was scratching my head with a comb for the last half an hour. ‘Your head has already turned sore and it may start bleeding any moment’, she warned me. I told her that it was the unkindest cut of all and pointed out to her that I was not scratching my head but combing. She was evidently in a belligerent mood. ‘Imaginary hair cannot be combed, dad. You need real ones for it’, she pointed out in a voice suggestive of utter mockery. ‘How much longer it would take you to comb your imaginary hair?’, she asked me. I threw the comb on the table in utter disgust and left the room. Why is my lock of hair visible to me but invisible to others?


    I remembered something that I read a decade back. It was about a popular magazine interviewing a centenarian. The reporters from the magazine asked the 104-year-old woman, “And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?" She simply replied, "No peer pressure." Even a decade back, this made a lot of sense to me. I have been suffering from high BP from 1966. I was going through a training programme in the Bank at Hyderabad at that point of time. One day I was feeling a bit dizzy and the Bank medico who checked my BP predicted that I would be a patient any doctor would love to have. ‘Your medical bill will be more than the salary that the Bank pays you’, he predicted. I asked him why had I contracted BP so early in life and he replied that it could be due to some over-zealous peers in the Bank. He was an excellent diagnostician I should say. What he diagnosed about my peer pressure was absolutely true. As you know, in the training centres where officers from all over the country congregated, there was bound to be some one-upmanship. Some trainees would try to get close to the faculty members and I had no objection to it. I was under no pressure to prove my worth to anybody and the Training Programme was a paid holiday with excellent dwelling place and lavish food specially to equip us to face the ordeal of handling some stupid assignment or other years later.


    What possibly caused me the initial stages of BP was the way the over-zealous trainees bragging about how they were praised by the faculty. One fellow would go to the extent of saying that the faculty appealed to him to advise me to desist from my eternal slumber in the post lunch sessions. This self styled emissary from the faculty would ask me what made me doze in the post lunch cession. He would diagnose the reason as over-eating and tell me that eating too much at lunch made us extremely sleepy but the same at dinner would make us sleepless. And he would add that he would not blame me as very few of us could get such gastronomic delights at home and it was quite natural for us to indulge ourselves! As he would go on lecturing to me, I would feel a slight palpitation and would decide to call the medico in the evening.


    I started telling you about peer pressure and I got carried away. I merely wanted to mention that peer pressure is like an inverted parabola. At the start of our life, much of our differences are with our siblings which taper off over a period of time. Peer pressure starts somewhere during our schooling days and reaches its peak in the middle age when we are under pressure to prove our worth through performance. Those who cannot handle it resort to dubious ways to overcome peer pressure. As we age, this pressure takes a dive downwards and at certain stage in our life, we get freed from this pressure. It happens at the time when we do not have to prove anything to anybody. Like that 104 year old lady who I mentioned in the beginning!

    Eventually you will reach a point in your life when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it. I reached that stage a few years back. But I still see that people get bored hearing you talk of how young or how old you are! Understandably so! Why would anyone be interested in our age? It has taken me this long to realise that nobody could stay young forever but we could be immature all our life. Senility is all about that immaturity and rambling is how you express it effectively.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2022
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  2. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Cheeniya sir,

    The wisdom of 104 shows in that single sentence I think. The rest of us need not wait for that age to gain that when someone is handing it down to us so easily.

    Talking of hair, one of my uncles he this notorious habit of asking for a comb from people who had their head shaven just then at Tirupathi, somehow much to their annoyance. Perhaps it was because he not only had a head full of hair, they were curly too...he looked like a frailer version of Satya sai baba!!!

    Looks like not a wise idea at all to fall for peer pressure at all especially when you assure that it nose dives as we age. All we have to do is remember that we are growing old.....all the things me. Now that I have said it that is another kind of pressure I think. Who would like to be reminded constantly that they are ageing even if it to keep off peer pressure.

    You do raise a valid point when you say "who is interested in our age". I wonder why we have this relationship with age when at any game gen point in time it is just a number. Perhaps that age gives us some perspective - that peer pressure, then the assurance no need for peer pressure, that senility and if lucky the ability to ramble like your self.

    I do have to tell you this though - you have to listen to your daughter, stop combing your bald head and instead focus on your wise beard!
     
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  3. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Cheeniya Sir,

    If you believe you got rid of peer pressure a few years back, why are you still trying to comb your head? Listen to your daughter and stay healthy without bleeding from the head. You have a very attractive and enviable beard that would make any person of your age feel the peer pressure.

    When I worked for a public company, lot of my colleagues used to talk about peer pressure, compare who is progressing well on fast track, who is the most favorite Vice President of the CEO, whose words ring a bell in the ears of the CEO, who got criticized in the meeting and so on. I was casually talking one day with one of my colleagues who happened to be an attorney and I asked him how he was always smiling without any peer pressure. He laughed and said, "I keep my head clear of any pressure whether it is from the peers or from the CEO because what matters the most is how I feel about myself. I set my own goals about how I would like to progress and work towards that goal". That was the best advice I got at that age and I religiously follow that principle even today.

    I agree that no one can stay young forever but don't we all mature a few every day we live? If you are calling your senile rambling as an effective expression of immaturity, I have to strongly disagree. I learned so much from your ramblings from how to effective write well to how to slice and dice a topic so eloquently to attract so many responses even after 10 years.

    Viswa
     
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  4. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    In childhood and younger days, the peer pressure is mostly created by parents-such as .how that baby of the same months has started crawling earlier!how that girl 2 talks so nicely!how'samaththu' your brother/sister is!How she goes to school without crying!how the other boy is able to write alphabeta etc etc.This sows the seed for peer pressure!
    This comparison grows into jealousy and takes different forms-my hair is not thick and long;I am not as fair as she looks.He/she is always selected for dance/drama in the school'not to talk of grades and marks.Among sisters the point of reference will be mostly about drawing kolam and cleaning the kitchen etc etc.
    I have seen old people in 90s too having peer pressure.Though they may not have peers now, they would be talking how her MIL in 90s had less of memory and bed ridden and how she is able to attend to kitchen duties even now.They start comparing the grandchildren of their peers.
    Human beings live in memories of not only about themselves but more of about peers.My sister aged 92 even today says with pride that she excelled in Gita competition in her school in 1937 and how the neighbour started envying about her and Amma did 'suththi podal'.My sister is the eldest living member now.She pays high compliments to her own way of doing bhakshanam , how she was appreciated by all to the greatest annoyance of her daughters-in-law and daughters too.
    Peer pressure may lead to pride or inferiority but it lasts upto death and it has equal longevity.

    Jayasala 42
     
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  5. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    I think peer pressure is alibi for justifying own ambitions. Had it not been so everybody in the class or office would be under pressure. Yet there are some back benchers and there are some average or poor workers. The ambition within pushes us to extremes.
    Shri Cheeniya was smart and he got into SBI. I also tried twice for Probationary Officer post, cleared the written test but dropped at after the interview. In the second attempt, they even did my background checks and I was sure to be inducted but then nothing was heard. I also did not follow up as I was already having a job in a private company. But I am sure I would have exerted may self in the training programme and after that too to not only keep my job but have promotions.
    I worked for almost 40 years in the marketing departments of private sector companies and there the performance was measurable in mathematical terms. The only to keep your job, earn high bonus and grow in position was hard work.
    Well, it had nothing to do with peer pressure, there were many who were satisfied with where they were.
    At best learn the tricks from our peers.
     
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  6. shyamala1234

    shyamala1234 Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Cheeniya sir,
    So, peer pressure got you bloo
     
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  7. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @Srama
    My dear Srama
    But the problem is that such high quality wisdom comes so late in life! A lot of people above 80 keep bragging about what all they did (achieved according to them!) when they were young. An aged lady told me that she used to be very pretty in her younger days. I knew she was fishing for compliments and promptly assured her that she was pretty even now!
    Growing old gracefully is an art. By 'gracefully', I do not mean the physical appearance. Kings of yore took to Vanaprasta knowing well that by continuing with material life beyond a point, they would never become respectable in life. So they gave up everything and retired to deep forests to pursue a life that would be in keeping with their age. I often visit an old age home close to my place. Some of the inmates are over 80 and they keep lamenting that none of their people even bother to visit them even once a year. Banishing all expectations in life beyond a certain age is the only key to enjoy a peaceful retired life.

    This is the beauty of hair. People keep talking about it no matter if they have it or not! I have heard more hairy tales in my life than fairy tales! I know some boldies who keep visiting Tirupati often because they feel more 'at home' there than own home!
    Galloping technology has robbed the old people of their utility value. When I was a child, we had no access to any gadgets that kept us sealed from people. In the evenings, my grandma and my visiting aunts used to keep us spell bound with tales of yore that made our hairs stand on end. Now I hardly get my grandkids to move away from TV or their other gadgets to exchange even a 'Hullo"! Why else do you think that I took to IL in a big way?
    Sri
     
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  8. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @Viswamitra
    My dear Viswa
    Your words come as a balm for the bruised head, I mean soul. There is something in what you say. When the hairs on the head descend to our face, we look wiser and more dignified. But the migrating hairs in my case did not play fair with me. They just earned me a title of 'baldie' without making me look handsome like the dapper Modi!
    Golden words! I followed this to the word in my own life. Seeing that all goals had been taken by my colleagues ahead of me, I took my voluntary retirement twelve years ahead of my scheduled retirement age at the age of 48! I set my own consultancy firm which was a one man show with no scope for competition whatsoever. That was the best period of my life, not the ones that I spent in tallying the debit and credit sides of the books of account in the Bank. In State Bank, the main ledger was called the Clean Cash Book but it was the dirtiest of books in the bank thanks to its handling by multiple hands. Now everything is computerised and those books might have become relics of the past.
    Now don't make me blush! You can't see it though!
    Sri
     
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  9. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @jayasala42
    Dear jayasala
    Very true. I think it was more prevalent in our childhood than now. In fact, in our 10-family tenement in childhood, it was quite common. Other kids used to scold my brother for always keeping a book in his hands. They would advise him to stay inside and mug up his lessons and I used to be on the side of these kids. Parents tended to compare their children with the more studious ones. But now it is a lot different. If a parent scolded his child for not scoring as well as the neighbour, he would retort saying that the parents of the neighbouring child stop at nothing to equip their child. 'He has the stare of the art Laptop when all I have is a computer toy', he would say!
    This is peer pressure of a different kind. Instead of feeling the pressure ourselves, we make others feel the peer pressure. I have seen my mum performing the oblation of nullifying the effect of 'evil eye' to my brother after each exam! But then , this evil eye is a funny thing. It is cast on only the people equal and nearest to us. Yesterday, I read in the Tamil daily that Nita Ambani owned a cellphone that costs around Rs.315 crores! Do we feel jealous of her? No way! But when the lady in the adjoining flat buys a phone for Rs.10000 when we are struggling with an ancient cell phone, our stomach goes on fire!
    Sri
     
  10. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @HariLakhera
    Dear Hari
    I was not smart. I was just plain lucky that the questions that were asked were all those that I had gone well prepared for. If they had asked questions different from what I had prepared, I would have been standing before the Employment Exchange. Further I did not like the job or the atmosphere in the Bank from day one. So I left just after completing 25 years. Fortunately my decision worked well as there was great demand for retired bankers from corporates to handle their financial affairs and since I was the youngest retired official (I was only 48), it worked well for me. I am now a full time Rambler in IL and this gives more satisfaction than all the jobs I had handled in the past!
    Sri
     
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