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Thursday, June 25, 2015

You May Ask Me My Age, Thank You


That's me...now...in the past few weeks or so, bare faced and with hardly any makeup on save a dark kohl and an almost eaten up remnant of a lipstick.....and clicking myself on a phone cam.

That's me...hair not even combed out, on a road trip heading out somewhere I don't remember, but it was a five to six hour journey, so by the time I had clicked this as a fun selfie, I was already quite far from being 'groomed.' Not that I had started out looking very groomed though. The point is, I am kind of comfortable being this way...

I am 34, and no, I have no worries in sharing my age. A fun thing that I still get a lot is when people ask me questions and hints trying to know my age, but feel awkward asking me point blank. I always ease them by telling them my age myself. 'Never ask a man his income and a woman her age...' The old-age etiquette line we've been listening to almost all our life is kind of redundant now I feel. And very sexist. And very uncool. And very unnecessary.

Not that you have to tell me how old you are or how much you make or have stashed away in a cozy nest in your bank. Does not interest me either.

With so much around us changing and gender dictats shifting constantly, it is no longer polite to ask anything to anyone, or maybe it is okay to ask anyone anything. Depends.

Looking around, I see so many men in their supposedly settled age who are still struggling to make it, to have a stable pay, to get all those things that men (I speak in terms of general social thoughts in this case and not my own at all) are supposed to have 'achieved' by the time they are a certain age - a house, a car, a trophy wife (of course, its the truth), kids (ya, men get to hear that too, ask the nosy family members), who look fab, don't have a pot belly or a receding hairline, who seem to be stress free and are always up for a party. Men who sport their salt and pepper the way it is meant to be, dashing and charming, men with those old-world mannerisms that make a woman feel special, equal, loved, cherished, treasured if you may. Men who have made a mark and are happy to flaunt it, young boys who walk up to you in a bar, want to chat up, have that obvious look in their eyes and leave once you tell them to get up and go, men who leer and will not take no for an answer, men who will always ask if you are comfortable with them being around. Men who are committed and not looking, men who are always looking.


I see so many women who seem to grow thinner and prettier, who suddenly bloat up or give in to their food cravings that they kept under wraps for so long in an effort to retain that perfect figure, and one that now haunts them with an expanding waist line, I see so many women trying to stuff themselves in too-obvious teenage girl clothes, clothes that are quite a few sizes smaller than they should be, colors that are not flattering, foundation and makeup that is cakey, hairstyles that look fake and absolutely horrendous, and women who seem so comfortable that sporting silver is a style statement in itself, wearing a saree is beautiful, not wearing a short and tight dress with your lady parts spilling out and about is okay, someone guessing your age is the worst nightmare ever, someone calling you an aunty can give you a heart attack it is so potent, someone asking you your age is absolutely okay...

So much going on there......and you would never really guess...

The point here is that I am not trying to make any point at all. Societal restrictions are exactly what they aim to be - restrictive and claustrophobic, and I hate both, having been and forever to be a rebel. Comes with the personality so can't change it either.

I am growing older and it's only a good thing. I am comfortable in my age, I am happy the way I look, I have stopped weighing myself and don't know how much I weigh (I do know that I am vain, so it's better left unchecked), I am fine the way my skin is, I am fine wearing a certain kind of clothes and knowing that there are far too many out there that I will never be able to get in. It's absolutely fine though.

I really have no qualms in sharing my age, I have lived all those years out there with my memories, happy, bad or nightmarish, whatever they may be, but they are mine...and I choose to not hide them anymore, from me or from anyone...

So yes, next time you meet me or write in to me, it's okay to ask me my age :)

- Debolina Raja Gupta

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And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Debolina Raja Gupta