Sunday, October 18, 2009


Yesterday, saw an Elder's Day procession on Cubbon Road. Some of the old gentlemen were carrying pink heart-shaped baloons. Like children on a picnic. The only difference being they were followed by an ambulance.

Remembered this old Anglo-Indian lady I saw the other day at K.C Das. I saw her from the distance standing in front of the shop, thought she might be waiting for someone. I was going in when she asked me whether I could help her get down the small step on to the pavement. The step was so low, I would not have even noticed it. But she was standing there waiting for someone to come and help her down.

The helplessness of old age, the diminishing of your faculties that nothing can stop. How ill-prepared you are for it, how unimaginable that one day you could be standing on city roads seeking the help of strangers. Strangers who will never see, beyond the wrinkled skin and sagging muscles, the strong, agile, fiercely independent young person you once were.

October 2003

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