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To Talk About Age to Ladies! What An Audacity! Another Controversy!

Discussion in 'Wednesdays with Varalotti' started by varalotti, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    WOMEN AND AGEING!

    We have been taught pretty early in life not to ask a lady’s age or a man’s earnings. Either because both are sensitive or because these are the matters which people want to conceal at any cost.

    But over the last one week I have developed the audacity and have gradually steeled my heart to talk to you ladies about age. About your age. And about the ageing process. So you now harden your hearts but open up your minds and listen.

    When I took my driving lessons (I was only 15 at that time and learning to drive then was not even legal) I asked the old driver who worked for us about shifting gears in a car.

    “When you drive in first gear you have enormous power and energy but you consume a lot of fuel. There is so much friction as well. When you shift to second the power comes down and the speed goes up. And so on till the top gear or overgear where the power is less and you simply cruise.”

    He could have stopped with that. But at his age, the full 65 years of it, he could not help being philosophical.

    “This is also similar to ageing. When a person is as young as you are, there is lot of energy, but lot of friction, because you are driving in first gear. As you grow old you become less energetic but start to drive with less friction as you drive in second and third gears.

    “This is because you know the ways of the world. And when you get to the top gear when you are very old the friction is the least and you can simply glide. But remember when you are in top gear you cannot drive uphill.”

    I was not very comfortable with the appropriateness of the simile. With the kind of sharpness you could see only in fifteen year olds, I asked him “Then what is death?”

    The old man answered with a smile, “Death is when you reach your destination and then you no longer need the car. You switch off the engine and go home.”

    Well, let me be very frank Ladies, philosophy and similies apart, it is very difficult for women to accept or reconcile to their age. (I would say men are worse in this department but they have greater skill in hiding their anxiety about their ageing. But there is no point in discussing men’s ageing blues here. For that we should start something like www.indusgents.com and have a forum there on ageing written by the sole woman in the site. Ha ha ha.)

    Many women take all out efforts to hide their age. That explains the billions of dollars invested in the cosmetics industry. From simple efforts to dyeing ones hair to very complicated facial make-ups and cosmetic surgeries there is always a war being raged against one’s age.


    The object of these wars is not an outright victory which anyhow is impossible; the object is just to give a kind of temporary solace.

    One of my friends a very handsome chartered accountant was once asked by a newspaper, “How do you not worry about your age?” (He was in his late thirties at that time).

    He replied with a disharming smile, “When my age goes up by one year, so does every one’s age. So why should I worry? Ageing will be a disease if I alone am affected by it. If it spares none then what’s the point in my worrying about it?”

    I know a lady who even in those days was a working woman, something rare in <st1:City><st1:place>Madurai</st1:place></st1:City> at that time. This lady lived in the street where my father had his office. She was the “talk of the town” and we used to see her sitting at her doorsteps. In <st1:place>Central Madurai</st1:place> one important activity of timepass is just to sit at the door of one’s house and just watch at the traffic.

    I have seen this lady over a period of several years. I could see her ageing and the very severe resistance she had against the ageing process. At 55 she would be there with half-an-inch thick talcum powder on her face. Poor soul! She was not aware of the advances in cosmetics.


    Apart from the ultra-thick face powder and a complicated hairstyle she knew next to nothing in cosmetology. So she became a caricature of herself. Being endowed with reasonably good looks, she would have been better off if she had accepted her age with grace.
     
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  2. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    To Talk About Age To Ladies II

    WOMEN AND AGEING! II

    Resisting age is like resiting the onset of autumn. There are surely many cosmetic techniques that makes a woman look beautiful even at 60, but without making her look younger.

    A few months back one of the ILites had sent her picture to me. She should be nearing sixty, a mother grand and a grand mother, to use my oft-quoted words.


    There was something unique about her picture. She did not attempt to look younger. She looked her age. But with what a grace! What a beauty! There was no make-up about her face. Or may be some kind of a light foundation cream and a dab of lipstick. Her hair was neatly arranged and sat wonderfully on her head.

    I did not know how to appreciate her beauty. So I borrowed the conventional phrase, “you look younger than your age.” She was happy. But the reality is that she looked her age but looked very beautiful. I don’t want to speculate what she would have looked like when she was younger. But at her current age she looked beautiful.

    Two years back when we holidayed in <st1:city><st1:place>Delhi</st1:place></st1:city> we saw the former Miss India Naffissa Ali in a <st1:city><st1:place>Delhi</st1:place></st1:city> market. She should have beed 60 plus. And at that age she looked very beautiful, precisely because she had not taken any efforts to hide her age. With her grey hair and wrinkled face she was still a stunner.

    That made me to ponder on age and beauty. Every age has its beauty. A woman is beautiful at the prime of her youth. And she is beautiful in the eventide of her life as well. But the problem comes when she wants to fight with her age and resist the grace of her age.

    A kind word, a smile on the lips, a loving thought in the heart, would make a woman look beautiful at any age. Wasn’t Mother Theresa beautiful? And I think that beauty is something worth striving for.

    Are you heavy because I talked about age? Please forgive me. And let’s have a light moment as I sign off for this Wednesday.

    This happened a few years ago. I could see some grey hairs on the head of my 30 year old professional friend. The grey hairs looked so good. And like the grey hairs on Mrs. Indra Gandhi it gave a very matured look to him.

    “Your hairs have gone grey so early. What happened?”
    “sh… “ he whispered.

    And came near me to explain his secret.

    “I have coloured my hair grey. Now I look wiser to my clients. You know something, I have increased my professional billing rates by 10%. Isn’t that a super idea?”

    I was baffled and could not respond.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2007
  3. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    I have not yet finished!

    Women and Ageing III

    I happened to read about the great actress Ms.Sophia Loren in Sunday's Hindu. She was asked to pose in the prestigious pin-up calender brought out by the Italian tyre-maker Pirelli. And the beauty of it is that she will be placed alongside the likes of current heartthrobs Naomi Watts, Penelope Cruz, Lou Doillon and Hilary Swank. And Ladies, I am very proud to tell you that Ms.Loren is 72.

    I fell in love with the words of this beautiful woman when she shared her secrets of her youth:

    "There is a fountain of youth. It is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age."
    Varalotti
     
  4. krishnaamma

    krishnaamma Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I Finished

    Hello Sridhar Sir,

    Happy New Year to you, and your family . You told that 'I have not yet finished' but I finished reading your article. It is superb. I enjoyed it very much. Your examples are very very nice. Your driver, your friend the 'handsome chartered accountant ' who replied lovely to the news paper is very true. I too dont know why all want to reduce or hide their age?
    My Co - sister got promoted as PAATI ( grand mother) but she warned her grand daughter that she must not call her as 'paati'. She asked her grand daughter to call her as 'ammamma' or 'balu amma' (Balu is her another son's name). Me and my husband wondered and when we asked about this to my Co-sister, she replied , 'if she calls me paati I will feel older':x . We didnt know what to say?

    But some people are there like your another friend who made his hair gray. I think it depends on ones mind. Actually we must keep our mind young and not our body. is it not?

    Any how Thankyou very much for this topic. And I request you to remember about my request.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2007
  5. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    It is a sweet wednesday!

    Dear Sridhar,

    A nice start to the new year with this topic. The universally accepted fact is that : When we are young, we can't wait to grow old , and then we grow old, we use all the tricks in hand to appear young.
    When you started, i was thinking my what are you getting yourself into this time. But as i read your piece, i am sure now you will receive bouquets rather than brickbats!
    Both men and women are obsessed with aging, and as you rightly said, women more so. But then most people just relate aging to external appearance. And then spend so much on cosmetics and procedure to stay young. Where as what really matters is to be young in mind and at heart. I loved the quote from Sophia Loren. Yes she is a beautiful "young" lady indeed.

    Thanks for a nice read on wednesday. Now lets see what controversial topic you are going to deal with next.

    Vandhana
     
  6. sriranjani

    sriranjani New IL'ite

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    It is not audacity, Varalotti, but...

    Dear Varalotti,

    Only you can have the courage to talk to an all-womens forum about age and ageing and walk away with the crown. But I don't think it is your audacity, Varalotti, that gives you this credit, it is the affection these girls have for you.

    Jokes apart, Varalotti, I really enjoyed the entire write-up right from that of your driver's words of wisdom to Sophia Loren's message of confidence.

    Way to go, Varalotti.

    While on this, a small request. I am not complaining but cant help saying that in the ageing thread you have given too much of importance for the ageing of the body. But being a writer and such a profound thinker, you know Varalotti, the mind also ages. And the beauty is that we can prevent the ageing of mind. But if not arrested ageing of mind would destroy a person however young the person may look physically.
    Varalotti, I don't want you to reply to this; but let your next topic of discussion be ageing of mind and its ramifications.
    Will you do it?
    regards,
    sriranjani
     
  7. slgayatri

    slgayatri Bronze IL'ite

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    Hello Sridhar Sir
    This article is really very nice.
    I enjoyed reading.
    Now a days, hiding the age became a habit kind of thing.
    Every one, apart from heroes and heroines, are going to hospitals and doing cosmetic surgeries. What the hell are they doing? I'll always feel ridiculous about this. U depicted a nice article about this.

    "There is a fountain of youth. It is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age."

    I too liked this statement a lot.
    We've to take care of the beauty of mind, not of body. If one has good habits and healthy mind, the health and beauty of body will also be good, automatically. This is my opinion.

    Gayathri.
     
  8. vidyasarada

    vidyasarada Senior IL'ite

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    Hi
    Trying to look younger or looking their age is a matter of personal choice and the compulsions of the societies they live in. My grandfather may not use talc or hair gel, but the "ever green" Dev Anand has to undergo periodic facelifts, weekly facials, monthly hairdyeing so that he remains Evergreen. (we are supposed to ignore his sunken eyes and pokkai vai out of politeness.:|)

    Dancer Chandralekha, who passed away recently, did not dye her silvery hair, even for her performances. But she did attend to her face to keep it glowing young- er, younger than her real age.
    The quest for youth is a biological urge in the evolutinary motiff , according to Jungian analysis. So if we want to invade a beauty salon to get ourselves an Aish.Rai/ Hrtk.Rosh image, lets shift the blame to our ancestors who gave us that want-to-be-young gene ! Or, we can point fingers at Yayathi.

    By the way, do see the (old) movie, " Death Becomes Her " Starring three wonderful stars: Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn and Bruce Willis. Young forever ? Thats scary !

    VS
     
  9. Pallavi

    Pallavi New IL'ite

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    Ageing gracefully

    Hi Sridhar,

    Your post has kindled lots of introspection!! I am sure this thread will be hot till next week! I will have many things to say on this topic. But here are the first few thoughts i tried to pen down during coffee break!


    I am not an old woman. But I have gone through the phase where I have turned into a woman and a mother from a girl. This has brought about significant physical changes. When I flip over my marriage album or soon-after-the-kid snaps, I am astounded at the changes the years have brought to my appearance. At the same time if I reflect on my behaviour while I was like I was in those snaps; I realise that I was not half wise and beautiful as I am now. So I feel while we are ageing physically, we are also ageing mentally. But the irony is that the physical ageing may usually decrease the beauty while the mental ageing will increase the beauty within. But my statement on the inner beauty due to age cannot be generalized. The inner beauty has to be innate. If such a beauty exists within you, then it only gets better over the years! A Satan can’t turn to an angel just because he has grown older!

    I dont support the women who try to hide their age artificially; But i dont mean u have to get shoddy with age. Dressing elegantly at any age will make u look beautiful for that age!

    Good examples you have come up with to make the write up illustrative and interesting. Thanks!






     
  10. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Something More On Ageing!

    Most Gracious ILites,

    I have not yet started replying to your posts which I will do from tomorrow or the day after. But meanwhile I have gathered more information on ageing from some of my friends who are in cosmetology.

    One friend talks about the botox treatments for looking younger. She says that it is the current craze over there.

    Of course if I have to talk about silicon implants and all which my cosmetology friend vividly described I would be lined up for breach of Forum Etiquette.

    My friend says that Nancy Reagan (wife of Ronald Reagan, Former US President) used to tape her multi folds behind her ear with skin coloured cellophane tape to make her face look taut.

    Back home, my friend talks about Rajesh Khanna who had so many facelifts that finally the cosmetic surgeon told him that he will not do any more nip the chin, tuck the cheek tatics any more. And she says with disdain, "Look at Sreedevi's smile, is more like a grimace from her various cosmetic surgeries. Her nose lost its pug, the pug just descended to her smile."


    Let me make one thing very clear. These days every one of us need some kind of beautifying arrangement. May be it is dyeing the hair, using make-up, lipstick, or some moisturising lotions or some skin lotion, something. From the use of talcum powder to that of an elaborate professional make-up, the difference is only of degree.

    I am not averse to simple beautifying arrangements which makes us look a little more beautiful or handsome than what we actually are. They are graceful. But when we start resisting ageing and go for gaudy make-ups that are not befitting for our age then we are in trouble.

    And now an incident in lighter vein. I started dyeing my hair pretty early. I have been dyeing it jet black for the past 15 years or so. Till 1998 I used to sport a big mush. But soon the mush turned grey and I found it very difficult to dye that bunch of small hair over one's lips.
    And even if I did, with frequent washing of my face, the dye will wear away and the mush will look milk-white.

    But the hair in my head used to be black - thanks to Godrej, Indica and Kaali Mehendi (famous brands of hairdyes in India).

    When a friend asked me one day while we were in a gathering, "Hi do you dye your hair?"

    I said half in jest, "No it is naturally black. You see I am only 28...."

    My friend did not allow me to finish. He said,

    "Sridhar, my UG specialisation is logic. Let me tell you one thing. You got your mush probably when you were 15 or 16. When your mush itself has gone grey, how come the hair in your head, which is atleast 15 years older than that of those in your mush can remain black?"


    My answer was the most uncomfortable smile I ever had in my life.

    regards,
    sridhar
     

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