Turning 30, Maggi ban and Bollywood….
Few days back I turned 30. I remember it was at the age of 26, when I first wanted to strangle that annoying kid who called me and my friend ‘uncle’. I was not annoyed because he called me an uncle, it was the timing. That little piece of dumpster turd did it when I was bursting crackers, my favorite childhood activity. It was like waking you up in the middle of a wet dream with a bucket full of ice cold water and that was just the beginning. Silver linings in my hair had started itching like sweaty underwear after a long workday. Time passed quickly, I turned 29 and before I could realize the dreaded 30s were at the doorstep knocking heavily. The winter was coming and this was going to be a long one.
CHAPTER 1: The long list of People
I started feeling like a TV series or a movie character who has been around long enough without any great contribution to the plot. It is fine if you are an extra, but not when you are the lead actor of your life. This part of growing up was usually clipped in 70s/80s Bollywood movies. The hero’s parents die, he starts working, deceived by the bad guy, starts running on the road in shorts and suddenly grows up and he is wearing pants. Just like that 20-25 years of your life summed up in less than 30 seconds. First few years of your life are in fact like the first few minutes of a 70s Bollywood movie. It is happy and star studded, the cast being…
Mother (Ek Maa) – Jo karti hai tumse pyaar, kabhi daatati hai, kabhi maarti hai magar pyaar se khana khilati hai (A mother who loves you, scolds you and still feeds you before)
Father (Ek Baap) – Jise tum weekdays pe sirf morning and evening (Office jaate hue aur office se aate hue) mein dekhte hon par weekend pein unhi ke saath rehte ho (A father who is mostly busy on weekdays, but makes sure he spends time with you on weekends)
Sister/Brother/Both (Ek Behen/Bhai/Dono) – Jo tumse jhagade rehte hai, par doosro ki daat se tumhe bachate hai (A sister, who fights with you, but will protect you when you are being scolded)
A series of treacherous girlfriends (number various from 0 to 1000, based on your flirting skills or imagination ability)
A lot of friends and a few close ones (who stick around with you – tumhari lene ke liye)
By the time you are thirty, a person, who in most cases is not present in the first half of life becomes the main character, pulling most of the strings in your life. Of course I am talking about ‘The Wife’, ‘Biwi’, ‘Patni’, ‘Baayko’, whatever you want to call her, it does not change. She is like the actress, without whom, the movie can be complete, only if you want it to become a boring documentary.
Another two people who enter your life are the ‘in-laws’. The two main characters that fall in this category are ‘father in law’ and ‘mother in law’. In most cases, ‘father in law’ is the calm one, while the ‘mother in law’ … well that needs a dedicated blog post. (Disclaimer: I am purely joking here. I repeat, purely joking).
CHAPTER 2: The never ending questions
When you turn thirty, your life becomes a bag full of questions? Like, ‘Why the fuck do I exist?’, ‘Why the fuck this world exists?, ‘What is the meaning of my life?’ etc. Your body takes the form of an ugly external viva examiner and starts asking you questions too – ‘Why the fuck do you drink so much?, ‘Why the fuck can’t you control your diet?’, ‘Why the fuck do you get tired after just three rounds of masturbation?
Remember, you have a wife? So she has her endless list of questions, which is as big and as pointless as Kim Kardashian’s ass. Wives and girlfriends have doubts in a dumb Sharukh Khan movie. You can gauge the number of questions by that. The bigger problem is that these questions aren’t meant to be answered. You just have to keep milking them for a happy relationship. With every answer comes the probability of it being wrong, which in a man’s case is almost 100 %.
The most dangerous being, “When should we squeeze one out?” i.e., “When can we have our own parcel of joy?”.
CHAPTER 3: The Changes
30 is the age when you realize that the things that were important part of your childhood are not relevant any more. “He Man”, “Tales Pin”, “Jungle Book”, “Parle G”, “Monaco”, ”Maggi”, “Mamta Kulkarni” are few members of the long list. I know that “Change is the only constant”, but having Maggi banned two days before my 30th birthday was a big shock.
Coming to more relevant things, you have the strange realization that your parents are old. Your dad, the strongest man you have ever seen, needs your help. You start seeing yourself in his position few years back. Your mother who used to pick you up from school every day needs to be picked up from the railway station. Suddenly you are the captain, you are the one to switch off all the lights before sleeping. You are the one to pay the bills, the protector of the realm. 30’s is the age, when you realize that you are not a mere lead actor who is acting out the plot, but you are the writer, director, actor, producer and even the spot boy of the film. You are not just contributing to plot, you are writing it, this plot has just started…