BIKRAM VOHRA You know your age has passed the halfway house and it is all downhill from now on when: You actually know the people in the obit section. Someone says: so how are you? and you find you are telling. You never look at the job section. You have no idea how to work the play station controls. People tell you to take it easy, slow down, you are not getting any younger, lean back a bit - and you hate them for saying it. Everyone has advice on cutting out various foods. You never hear enough of it, as they babble on about salt, sugar, coffee, tea, fried foods, cigarettes, dairy products, ...oh go away and leave me alone. You actually read those I am Johns liver type of articles in the magazines. Your hypochondria gallops around like a young colt and every symptom you read about or see on TV you know you have it, no doubt at all. You spend hours googling your symptoms. You actually have memories and talk about the good old days when things were cheap. All the young people suddenly get very busy when you say: let me tell you when I was your age... You cannot believe what things cost, as compared to your childhood and you cant wait to share the comparison, if you can get someone to stay long enough to listen. All the job ads are for people old enough to be your son. Ads on herbal medicines and what they do to your system fascinate you. Someone sees you playing squash tell you it is dangerous at your age. Every little twinge in your chest and you start thinking, uh oh, whats going on here. Someone you know - knows someone who keeled over at 45 and that gives you periodic spasms of terror. Gravity seems to be winning hands down because now life is one big sag. You wish your metabolism wasnt such a lazy sod and you didnt have to beg forgiveness every time you ate rich food. Less and less food agrees with you. You go around the house yelling about electricity bills and switching all the lights off. You meet some young guy whose swash hasnt buckled and he reminds you of what you once were, and you loathe him for it. Then you go home and sadly realise youll never run the 400 metres again. Someone gives you his card and you spend a minute squeegeeing your eyes to read it; is that number a 6 or an 8 or a 5 squint, squint. Your kids tell you this is not your type of a movie, it is too 'now. No one in this generation knows who Malcolm X is. You find todays youngsters lazy, shiftless, spoilt, pampered, ill mannered louts ...not much different from what you were. You go to a party and yearn for a chair to sit in; then you dont want to get up every time somebody comes in. All your food intake is on a quota system. The doctor talks about you in third person, like what does he like to eat or how was he feeling this morning and you want to say, hey, I am here, okay talk to me. Your whole breakfast is a saga in roughage and fibre and you actually read the ingredients on the packet to see if you have had 60 percent of your riboflavin - whatever that is. You discuss the details of your flipping daily 'walk with others of your who cares, did you ever think youd do that? If you do something young at heart your family is embarrassed, like not at your age... You cant believe this is the generation which is going to inherit your legacy, I mean what a mess theyll make of it. Your after-late-night morning recovery time is two mornings, and you like fizzy solutions like fruit salt. You find yourself obsessed by your digestive system and its mysteries. You wonder where the time went, there was so much of it just was yesterday, promise, just yesterday and now you are 20 years older. Khaleej Times