What’s your age?
Age is just a number but only for a few. Usually, it tells on many as it rises. At the same time, youthful exuberance has little to with age. However, those young at heart are a few and far between. Youthfulness generally takes you to nightclubs, treks, hotels, picnics and you automatically turn to temples as the age starts catching on. So-called youngsters want to avoid the company of ‘oldies’. Believe me, it (the company) could be a lot of fun. It’s my personal experience.
Needless to say I am young, by heart and age as well. I decided to attend a spiritual workshop at a renowned math. There would be hardly any people I thought but I saw the auditorium teeming with senior citizens. Little late (and in Western outfit), I naturally arrested attention! To tell you frankly, I was a little disappointed at the beginning. I warned myself I was there to hear what I wanted to and not to spend time in the company of anyone. To my surprise, all three days went off well. I enjoyed the company of elderly people as well as lectures.
Besides, the content of discourses, there were many things, more importantly, gestures and responses of senior citizens that added to enjoyment. At the beginning of every session, I invariably heard this comment. “We are proud; each of you carries a cell phone, but kindly switch it off during the programme.” Such announcements are important particularly in programmes attended by a high number of senior citizens. Some of them are themselves a little too much mobile whereas a few are already on offline mode! The mobile mob is rushing for something or the other. Most of them are lost, as they don’t know how the cells are switched off. Instead of taking note of the speaker, many of them are digging into their bags, mostly plastic carry-bags, adding to the noise pollution! Amid all this, a cell phone rings but who will network to stop it?
I was the point of attention all through being the only ‘young’ participant. While most of them were a little too sincere, I was choosy. “Who is this girl who vanishes during devotional music sessions and attends only lectures?” each of them was wondering, as more than half of them asked me the same question. “I don’t like it,” I was candid enough to say and I could see them taken aback. I fail to understand why all devotional sessions are so boring? Again, we see the chorus not at all singing in harmony. I saw a few women singing faster than the others in order to show they had parroted all the songs.
As we moved on, I was comfortable with the ‘old’ crowd and they had accepted my opinions. All in all, it was fun-filled. What was more striking was a straight question that came from arguably the oldest person. He asked me what had brought me there at a young age. I crossed-questioned, “What brings you to spirituality at old age?” Surprised, he said religion is for old people and it helps them in ‘God’s service’ and ‘prepares for death’.
I begged to differ. Religion and spiritually have nothing to do with age but if it has to, it’s more useful the young. What’s spirituality and religion? They just make one’s basics clear. Clarity is important at the early age, isn’t it?