Tag: Forties

Specky Me!

In my new specks

And finally, it happened! I have been asked to wear glasses. Well, that’s no surprise. People usually need reading glasses after crossing forty and I am well into my forties. Though my eye sight’s been always good. While many of my friends and contemporaries had to go for reading glasses, my eyes didn’t let me down. It’s my genes I thought. In my family people needed reading glasses much later in life. But then the lockdown happened, and screen time just went up manyfold. “It’s the lockdown effect,” the ophthalmologist told me after looking into my eyes.

I start my day reading news on various apps on my phone. Then 8-10 hours before laptop. The world has gone virtual, even meetings are on screen now. Late evenings I either entertain myself on an OTT platform or read or write, on screen off course. I sometimes get on video call with family or friends.  So, screen has become all pervasive. Screen, be it mobile, laptop or TV, overpowers me and dominates my life. No wonder my eyes gave in!

It happened one fine morning, about a week ago. I was working on a presentation my eyes suddenly felt very tired. I had to strain my eyes to continue working. I tried watching TV in the evening, but the screen felt too bright for my comfort. So, I went to bed early thinking I could sleep it off. Next day was as bad and it wasn’t getting any better, so I decided to visit an ophthalmologist without further delay.

Going to the doctor finally!

“I can see your eyes are dry,” the doctor said after one look. “Now let’s check your power.” After checking my eyesight for both distance and close reading she announced that I have cylindrical power in one eye. “Oh, I thought I would need reading glasses,” I said. “That’s also there, though the number is not very high. But you will need to wear glasses all the time because you have cylindrical power in one eye.” Gosh! I did imagine myself flaunting my stylish reading glasses but having to be spectacled all the time. “You can either go in for progressive lens or two different pair of glasses,” the doctor added.

Choosing health & the right pair of specks

I will go in for progressive lens, I decided immediately. Two different pair of glasses would be too inconvenient. No, this has nothing to do with reluctance to admit that I need glasses to read. I have seen people averse to taking out their reading glasses in public for some vain reason. They cringe their eyes while working on the laptop or reading a message on the phone but refuse to wear reading glasses. It dents their ‘youthful image’ I guess. I have often wondered why people choose vanity over health. As far as I am concerned, it would be easier to get used to one pair of glasses rather than two.

I didn’t want to delay getting spectacled any further, so I immediately drove down to BONTON Opticians. Progressive lenses are expensive, the  comfort range of progressive lenses starts from rupees thirteen thousand, I learnt. “Well can’t you give me contacts for my cylindrical vision and a reading glass?” I asked. “Ma’am your power is too low for contacts. It will be good if you go for progressive lens,” the shop manager advised.

Next step was choosing the right frame. I will be wearing specs all the time, so the frame has to be both comfortable and smart. It took me while to decide. I tried almost every frame in the store. I didn’t want anything boring, nor anything too flashy. The shop manager was very patient I must say. Finally, I zeroed down on a half-rimmed metal frame. The pair cost me almost twenty thousand. But what the heck. It’s an investment on my health and on a fresh look of course!

My New Glasses

BONTON delivered the glasses to me on Sunday evening. It will take a few days to get used to the new pair I was told. Second day in the glasses and I am still getting used to them, though I am very happy with the comfort before the screen and my new look!

Junction 40

40ssss! It seems so easy breezy now. I am happy, I feel fab. I have cracked the code, nailed it!!

I have embraced the 40s and I feel great. I am financially more solvent. Folks have stopped bothering me about my marriage plans. Maybe, they have given up on me and it suits me perfectly. I can go on with my life without having to frame polite responses to the very intrusive questions posed mostly by distant aunts and neighbours. “My Babli just had her second child. Her husband bought a Merc. So, when are you planning to settle down? You are seeing somebody I am sure?” While I would try to smile and say politely “I am already settled aunty, in my job and career,” my angry heart would yell out, “Well your Babli rides her husband’s Merc, while I drive around in my own car.” After a while, these questions stopped bothering me.

But trust me it hasn’t always been easy. It did take me a while to admit even to myself that I was turning 40. The first flush of youth, that I kind of took for granted, is over and I am entering a more mature phase in my life. I still remember when the neighbourhood grocery delivery boy called me aunty, I was shocked. I would have strangled him if I could, instead, I maintained a stunned silence. When my hairdresser casually mentioned, “You seem to be greying Ma’am,” I wanted to snatch his pair of scissors and chop off his ponytail. And then, when the grey streaks started showing up adamantly, I did get upset for a while. Finally, I streaked my hair red. To hell with the greys!

Mid-30s were probably the most difficult. I suddenly felt time was running out. I often pondered upon how life was passing by and I have done nothing worthwhile. Wallowing self-pity would engulf me from time to time. Fear of dying alone would keep me awake at night. I somehow blamed myself for the fact that I didn’t have a ‘special someone’ in my life. “Should I marry the next guy I meet?”, was the question I constantly asked myself.

One evening, while I was pouring my heart out to a friend who was on a sabbatical after having her second child, she looked at me enviously and said, “You are financially independent, you do whatever you like, go wherever you want. What more do you need?” Sounding a little exasperated she added, “Look at me! Even stepping out for a cup of coffee is a challenge,” Maybe it was me raving and ranting, maybe the baby girl wailing on and off, got on her nerves.

Driving back that evening I thought about what she said. My life seemed so much better compared to many people around me. I could get up in the morning and go for a walk or get up just early enough to reach office on time. In the evening I could meet a friend for a coffee or a drink, or just curl up in the bed with a book. I cooked when I wanted, what I wanted. My house was always in order. No toys or shoes lying here and there. Don’t get me wrong, I am not belittling conjugal bliss or motherhood. My friends’ amazing kids somewhat take care of my maternal needs. I am the cool aunt who gets to do all the fun things.

When I look back at the nervous 21-year-old taking a DTC bus for her first job interview, the girl confidently driving to her own apartment certainly seems to have come a long way. Once I realized what I achieved, learned to look at the positives, I was freed from the occasional sense of panic or rush to complete the accomplished tasks. I decided to enjoy what I have instead of fretting over what I may not have. The approaching 40s didn’t look all that scary, instead, I looked forward to the years that lay ahead of me and what they may have in store. Having a supportive family and amazing friends certainly helped!

I recently came across an old clip where Simi Grewal was interviewing late Dev Anand. On being asked about aging the evergreen star said that he doesn’t feel old at all. “I still feel 20, I have only matured.”

I feel better than I felt in my 20s, the passing years have made me wiser and happier. I have learnt to love and appreciate myself and that feels great! Of course, the lush green has somewhat mellowed. But who wants to be evergreen when there are so many colours to look forward to – the yellows and the reds, the beautiful orange of the autumn or the serene white of the winter!

Junction 40, with so many choices, winding lanes and rich hues is probably the most exciting junction where I stopped a while to ponder!!