Culture,Life & Love



If someone refers me to be an old duck, well — ‘Buddha Tera Baap’!

For heaven’s sake please, let ‘ME’ decide if I am ‘OLD’ because I am still basking in the sunny beaches of YOUTH and vigour.

Who gives the right to a (comparatively) younger individual to call me uncle?

My friend got his 22-year-old son married at a bingo (Gosh! What to say?). Like an obedient son, his virility rose to gigantic tides and the very next year he became a cute baby’s father. Now, the sweet two-year-old kid skips, hops and giggles as he calls me ‘Doctor Dadoo’ in his lisp jargon.

Gosh! – me a ‘Dadoo’ – a grand pa? Certainly, can’t behold the forced honour. SORRY.!!

To me – ‘Dadoo’ personifies an old man (like my late grandfather) sitting crouched on an easy chair — coughing and farting relentlessly while cursing everyone around with his choice of anecdotes and abuses.

At a doctor’s meeting many years ago, I was sitting with a senior doctor. A young first-year MBBS girl approached me and said — “Uncle, will you sing for us?” Well, I was taken aback to be referred to as an ‘uncle’ when I was on the pink side of my early thirties (with jet black hair and wearing Levi’s denim jeans with a funky shirt). Reading my twitchy expressions the senior doctor chuckled – ‘don’t mind Anuj, you will get used to it.’

Get used to it – my foot!

How do you react? When at a family function or wedding, a young couple walks towards you and touches your feet and someone says, ‘Beta, Ye Tumhare Sasur Jaise Hain, Inka Ashirwad Lo.’


No wonder I feel, as junior residents, why we used to call our fifty-year-old professor– ‘Buddha’. A ‘Buddha’! when the concerned professor used to dress like a Casanova and drive his green Fiat at the top speed of 80 km/hr on the college premises.

Today at the shady end of my chronological 64, I relent by calling a 50-year-old professor a ‘Buddha’ – what should I call myself, NOW? – ‘Kya Main Sathiyaa Gayaa Hoon?’

Well, that’s a debatable issue.

Of course, the Indian Government used to retire employees at the age of 58 (Now 65, I guess). An age when there is still plenty of grey meat in the brain to work with. I have seen people deteriorating faster after forced retirement. The void of nothingness and a big hole in the pocket leads to early geriatric medical issues that are more mental than physical.

GERTRUDE STEIN, says— ‘We are always the same age inside.’

I love this line and want to hammer into my reader’s head that I actually feel like a young kid at heart. You are all young too. It’s the people around you – your friends, your family and colleagues who make you accept that you are ageing, by decorating you with horrendous nomenclatures. People judge you on their pathetic claustrophobic intellect and self-attitudes, and likewise, decide your age.

When people talk about high-end books like Haruki Murakami etc — I listen silently because my take is still TinTin, Asterix and Dennis the Menace. I love these fictional characters because they make me feel like a young boy and I giggle at the Obelix’s and Thomson and Thompson’s caricatures.

The head chair for my formal dining room was inevitably assigned to me after the demise of my father. No one sits in that chair (BUT ME), be it a formal dinner or a family get-together. I have been forced to respectfully accept that NOW, I am the oldest person in the house – an old man, huh!

Am I right in resigning from my homely juvenile space and tolerating the status of the head person in the family? Well, again a debatable issue. I think it’s more about personal choices and preferences. Can’t help, I still feel like ‘Bittoo’(my childhood nickname) with pranks and choicest tomfoolery.

I don’t defy the natural seasoning of my body with the progression of the annual seasons and tides. I enjoy the orchestra of the knee joint’s creakiness, the lure of placing progressive glasses on my nose — 24/7, popping in pills like a daily soap for my sensually gyrating blood pressure and naughty thyroid and respecting the sexy greying of my side locks and frontal hair tufts… So what?

After all, ‘age is just a number we count until we’re old enough to know it really doesn’t count’. Right?

I contemplate giving the world and the people around me, sixty-four years of love, music, writing, professionalism and friendship. I don’t deny some shortcomings and heartbreaks too, but, that’s a part of life. Isn’t it? I cannot please everyone. I am no Messiah.

INGRID BERGMAN so neatly quoted – ‘Getting old is like climbing a mountain. You may get a little out of breath, but the view is much better.’

So, don’t be a cheese where shelf-life matters, it rots with age. Be it a bottle of wine or scotch where age glorifies the years.

Take up a challenge — Prove yourself wrong every time your mind cautions, ‘hey! You are old, you can’t do this.’ Just reply back with equal conviction— ‘I CAN DO IT.’ Then, regardless of whether you jump from a cliff with a parachute or swing in a parasail or plunge into the Pacific for scuba, you have made your point. After all – ‘Ye Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.’ And to top it off, if someone calls you a ‘Buddha’—look at him with a monkey gaze and tell him— ‘Buddha Tera Baap.’

I agree with TOM WYATT’s version – ‘Old people were young people before young people were people.’

Remember, growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.

Five tips to defy ageing:

*Don’t stop learning.

*Don’t lament or reveal your physical issues.

*Don’t stop living your passions – there is no age, to begin with.

*Don’t let people and relationships take you for granted and make you sulk.

*Don’t stop loving –BENJAMIN FRANKLIN said, ‘Those who love never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.’


 Take home message . . . ‘More than Physical health, take care of your Mental and Spiritual health—the willpower to live, not just survive.’








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  1. A K Vimal says:

    Truth of life,so purely depicted

    1. Dr. Anuj says:

      thanks a lot A K Vimal.

  2. Dr Ashok Kumar Ojha says:

    The blog * At the mercy of someone to be called young or youth* has been critically analysed and scripted.No doubt, aging is an ongoing process and has to happen..We have to accept it.Nevertheless, it is a mental state of mind that precisely defines how old do you you feel.Infact many people, though older and retired look younger and are young at heart as well..They enjoy and relish the company of young ones, not only by thoughts but also by their mannerism.We are also in a group of young officers who are younger to us..They share their experiences and development going on in our mother organisation ONGC..In one way we feel that their company keeps us updated..It is very common that at times, people who may be 10-15 years younger address seniors as Uncle.It is just a word that’s convenient to them to address their elders.In our Gujarat, ladies are normally addressed to as Ben..It is a sort of respect of elderly ladies..I personally feel that one should be young at heart even after attaining retirement..That enhances longevity and makes you feel young all the time. Let us not make any fuss of what we are being addressed to.Generally decent people address you with either Sir or Ma’am by and large and it is a common practice…. Superb blog Anuj..

    1. Dr. Anuj says:

      You have said it Ashok Bhai. Thanks a lot for sharing your experience at the ONGC. You know my father had friends who were forty years younger than him. Unbelievable na? But yes he spent most of his time with them… going to movies, picnics, etc. He led a cheerful life doing everything he wanted to do– wearing the latest denim and printed colorful shirts.
      We should all try to inculcate youth in our hearts no matter how old we are. Life will not give us another chance bro.


    A quite hope-instilling article indeed.Thoroughly impressed.

    1. Dr. Anuj says:

      Thanks a lot, dear Dr. Asha Kumar Rastogi for the appreciation.

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