Monday, May 12, 2008

And this birthday's resolution is to grow a year older.

It’s a 6 hour flight from Sydney to Singapore. And on it, there’s 87 movies, 106 TV programs, 180 CDs, 12 radio channels and 60 interactive games. The amount I been traveling these past 6 months, I know the in-flight entertainment programs of most major airlines like the back of my L’Occitane moisturized hand. Back home of course, I don’t know how many TV channels we subscribe to – but that’s a different story.

There’s a movie starring Michelle Pfeiffer called ‘I could never be your woman’. In it, this beautiful older woman (Michelle Pfeiffer, duh) falls for a funny, insanely talented, much younger man (Paul Rudd). The rest of the movie is shit and one long whinorant – which btw is a cool word and something I just made up so I’m gonna hang on it on account of its coolness. But it’s not the flat storyline, or tired plot or slow pace that turned me off. There’s just too much old in it.

I used to worship Michelle Pfeiffer. She was the paragon of beauty. I watched Ladyhawke when I was growing up as a pudgy preteen with bad eyesight…

- Look at me now, beeyatch!

(Ahem. Ok yes I'm done.)

Truth was, I marveled at her ethereal beauty. I thought she was more perfect than a sugarcube. But watching this movie and the jowls of loose flesh hanging off that once taut jaw-line… I'm sorry, I couldn’t pay attention to the dialogues cuz every time she appeared on screen my brain would scream: HAG!

What is it about getting old that we dread so much?

My friend is 26 and she’s got a jar of anti-wrinkle cream that she religiously applies every night before turning in. She also wears elbow cream, foot cream, a face pack, hair curlers, under-eye gel, anti-cellulite cream, shea body butter and an exfoliating mask every Thursday night, before she goes to bed. Here’s news for you, the anti-aging and beauty industry is $72 billion with a growth rate of 9.5%. That’s a shitload of money made from assaulting unsuspecting otherwise healthy women with images of Andie McDowell applying L’Oreal Anti-Wrinkle cream. Yup, there’s big bucks to be made from making regular middle-classed women feel insecure about their looks.

Most of the moolah, of course, eventually finds its way into the pockets of the board of directors – average age 60 – of a huge multinational cosmetic giant, money, which will eventually trickle down, after his alimony payments to his three ex-wives each born a decade after the other, to his latest 20something pneumatic beauty, who will ultimately blow it on botox injections to her left nostril. Hurrah for modern economics and breakthroughs in cosmetic surgery. Can’t pay for the loan you took on the house you can’t afford? Screw it! Lets all go inject poison into our skin that’ll paralyze our face muscles. That way, you cant tell if I'm lying when I say, I feel your pain, you poor Lebanese baker sonofabitch who’s out of a livelihood thanks to the growing wheat prices set off by the US Subprime mortgage meltdown. Eat my shorts, Adam Smith.

My other friend is 28 and she’s a dancer. She’s also the hottest chick I’ve ever met. Ever. She’s got a body that’s built to drive men – and some women – insane. Add to that, insane amounts of brilliant mad talent, childlike charm, a genuinely great personality and the face of a Disney angel, she looks like she was spit out by Pixar’s PerfectAngelFaceMakingMachine ®. She eats well, sleeps well, keeps fit, dances for joy, lives for love, is with a younger man and that’s pretty much all I think she needs to fall out of bed looking like a bombshell. Next to her I look like the pigeonlady in Home Alone. With a couple of grey hairs.

But really. Why do we all fear getting old? And why do I always feel this way just before my birthday? Somehow at 23, I get the sinking feeling that it’s all gonna go downhill from here. What’s even more tragic is that I'm depressed at the prospect of being depressed in the future. Is this some sort of annual PMS thing that women go through? If there’s a God up there I’d like to tell him… Dude. I know the bitch ate your apple but give us a fucking break man.

But I digress. Back to the movie. The annoying thing is not so much the fact that Michelle Pfeiffer is old, but that she insists on rubbing it in your face. Ok lady I get it, you’re a few years closer to dying, your ovaries are prunes, you have so much loose skin they could make an entire range of Louis Vuitton luggage out of your hide, we get the point, enough already, Jesus!


One day I will be old. I know that. By 25 I'm probably gonna run out and buy my first anti-wrinkle cream, or turnaround cream, or freshness cream, or jar of formaldehyde or whatever euphemism they have for these skin-searing acids. I miss the good old days when I laughed as I watch Jerry dip himself into a tub of vanishing cream and walk invisible into the kitchen and scare the living daylights out of Tom. Oh to be as timeless as a cartoon.

- Lisa Simpson! Is that a beard? It’s probably the menopause hitting you, dear, those hormones can be a bitch.

But yes, the thing with getting old is we’re all gonna get there anyway. Heck, you’re getting there right now. Right. This. Second.



You can hear the sand-grains of your dying youth slipping away into the abyss of decaying decrepitude and eventual death. Pop goes the braincell. Cant change that. What you can do however is decide if you wanna hit old age kicking and screaming, or wear it with grace. Like Cher. With cans of industrial strength hairspray.

I'm prepared. I have a plan. And it is genius. My plan is... *drumroll*... I intend to get fat.

Ok, hear me out here before you write me off as a neurotic insanobitch! (Um. Ok, hear me out here despite you already writing me off as a neurotic insanobitch.) Think of all the gorgeous, delicious, beautiful woman you remember or see everyday. Marilyn Monroe. Scarlet Johansson. Sophie Dahl. Even the older ones, the ones that got old, and still stuck around in the public HighDefinitionTV eye. Nicole Kidman. Julia Roberts. Catherine Zeta.

Here’s what I noticed. Thin young chicks look hot. They’re hotter than hot. They’re sex on toast. Thin old women, look like dried out vultures that the earth spat out cuz the grave couldn’t stomach so much botox and skin. When you’re 45, your beauty’s come to a screeching halt anyway. Might as well fill out the wrinkles with all those hateful fatty-cell demons you’ve been staving off with that chainmail armour. Remember all those calorie-counting years in your 20s where you put your advanced knowledge of arithmetic and Laplace transformations to good use? Yup, don’t need it anymore. That last spoon of death by chocolate? Go ahead. Heck, buy yourself a whole new cake. And a bakery.

If there’s light at the end of the tunnel, it’s this. At last, you finally get to stop sucking in your stomach everytime you pass a man, and start turning into that sweet old lady in the oversized floral pants who's always fishing out chocolates from her purse to give the kiddies. Starve all you want for the whole of two decades between 20 and 40 cuz face it, you’re never gonna look as great as you look now. That whole deal about woman aging like fine wine? Yeah, I don’t buy it either. Women age like fine wine the way fine wine gets menopausal and neurotic and flatulent and wears orthopedic shoes and granny pants.

A friend of mine put it all into perspective one day during one of my dark moods. Do you know a woman looks the best between the age of 21 and 27, he shrieked. I nodded. Do you also know what an absolute dearth of hot Indian chicks we have, he screeched. I nodded. Then fuck woman, he screamed, if you’re thinking of killing yourself you sure as hell better be ugly.


But really, you’re gonna hit an age anyway and start looking like shit. Might as well make the most of now. And when you do realize the inescapable truth the morning you wake up and you get to the bathroom before your tits do, dragging on the floor, you can think to yourself… well, those were some good years and some great pushup bras. And then reach for the chocolate cake.

What’s the point at 40 of looking like an anorexic twig whose sole comfort is that she still fits into the same jeans she bought back when Madonna was a virgin. Inside every thin woman is a fat woman waiting to get out. Be that woman. Eat that cake. If you’re gonna get old, you might as well look like you’re happy you got there. Like a giant benevolent Mrs SantaClaus, all smiling and red-cheeked, with her fat-pig arms permanently hidden in a cooking pot, cooking up a storm for all those hungry little bastards at the north pole. Ho ho ho, mofos.

As Rocky Horror would say… Give yourself over to absolute pleasure.





Chinku said...

and thus speaking this girl made me laugh and push me about 6 months to the future when I will face the exact same situation! turning 24... mother-fucking-shit!!!!
WHY? There is this necessity to look younger, for whom? weird slobs who stop bothering when they et married... their downhill starts the second they put a gold chain around your neck and call you wife at the holy altar of fire... pfffft!!!!
ah.... aging and its related scariness I will contemplate in November... until then... much hugs to you and wen you are a pro at being 24... let me know...( I love the rhyme scheme I tell you)

the next topic of discussion HAS to be... marriage and kids... and how this is the most fertile period of your life as a woman!!

Dheepikaa B said...

Yelo again!

Must say I love reading your writing like always. Especially the usages like: 'I'm depressed at the prospect of becoming depressed' ; 'I know the bitch ate your apple but give us a fucking break man!'
(That one is super cool) and I loved the usage to describe the woman -"more perfect than a sugarcube" :)

This post got me thinking very much. I was thinking of my days when I was 18 and I never wanted to get older than 21. When the 22 started descending on you like it was a season of unending winter with biting cold or the summer in Chennai that you dread every year, it was not just painful but also 'came' as a relentless fight against not wanting to feel the need to be young.

It is a very time-relevant post, especially when a lot of people (not just women) are desirous of staying back in the twenties.

And like chinku said, what is it with having babies and getting married in twenties. Lol.

The solution could be to realter the hardwires; deal with it psychologically; or start a dont-want-to-get-old club if you dont want to get cosmetic surgeries done. But fuck man, time just walks into your life every day and night, eventually in the form of one whole year even before you are prepared to see it does.

This time I decided two months before my birthday, and thanks to you, I think I want to remember the wrinkles on my granddad's face than those on Pfeiffer's. :)

Cheers to getting old! Happy Birthday.

Ashok said...

Gone were the days when we were eagerly awaiting our b'day.The loads of presents or calls from long lost friends don't help anymore to pull you out of the depression, the reality, that you're getting older than you were a year before, 'officially'.

May be i could quote that growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional. or that the age of your mind is what counts. But that doesn't change anything.

Anyway, Happy 'I grew a year older' day in advance.

Kaushik said...

Nice post. I like it. Short on bananas, though.

I am failing to come up with a deep thought-provoking comment. Maybe grannies should be grannies and make nice cakes and neiappams and kozhakattais and stop trying to be anti-ageing.


Anonymous said...

Aaarti said...

hahahaha.... well, girl next time we meet lets talk about getting old from my side of the fence...hehehe....

was good meeting u today
and see,i managed to remember ur blog url... phew~~ :D

see ya next weekend
bring along the troops~!!