That trimming away of white hair in the moustache, that face cream or face pack to hide away the fine lines, the gaming arcades that we so grudgingly love, young movies like Rock on, Jaane Tu..., that visit to the nearby gym, often repeating that being forty something is nothing more than a mere statistic and that latching on to comments on one's George Clooney looks (i loved this one!) even if they were in passing - all scream our (mine for sure) quest for "Y-O-U-T-H". if the 40 something crowds at VLCC, talwarkar's or Kaya ; the "treatment" seekers at Ayush, Soukya or other SPAs, and those crowding niche apparel and lifestyle stores are any indication - then the focus on maintaining, preserving and projecting youth overrides any real concern for fitness or health. In fact these tend to be the more convenient alibi's rather than the intrinsic drivers for action.
Those ahead in this pack are seen as those who need to project the most...aka people like me in their late thirties to early fifties.But Why?
I guess purely because even while the age clock might be ticking, the hair might be George Clooney, and wrinkles may be preparing to appear, the mind is still stuck at that magic number (in my case @ 25.) Unmindful, the heart, mind and soul continue to sing a more youthful and peppy tune!
a) When people like me were 25, the options for things that we so desperately cling on to now - like those of eating out, of classy yet youthful apparel, of gaming options, of mobiles, sunglasses, cars, bikes and other gadgets, of fitness gyms, etc - were far more limited.
b) Even more limited was money in our pockets. It was the start of our careers at a time when india hadnot yet fully liberalised and salaries were yet to zoom. The desire to save for an impending marriage (either one's own or in the family), to buy stuff for the house and other basics was far more intense than to project any image. Whatever was left was to binge drink with friends.
c) Just as limited was our exposure to the internet, to vacation getaways and to all good things in life !
But now that we have learnt to like, to differentiate and to enjoy certain things, the heart doesnt want to let go. we want more of these. Honestly, not because we care about what perception or image our sartorial, epicurean or other preferences would create. But, because our choices are simply reflective of our acquired or innate confidence; of having travelled a certain distance in our lives and the fact that we care less about what others think of our preferences now. if they are perceived as youthful, great!
so if a friend announces to the world and celebrates her 40th birthday in great style, it doesnt raise our brows any more; another friend, unmindful of his near baldness dresses to kill the world, he is only being a rock star. and a third visits a gym to get rid of his never dis-appearing paunch, he is only being an icon that other 40 yr olds can emulate. In a way, what most of us seem to be doing now is what we could not do in good measure earlier! And as long as we have the inclination & desire and the resources, why not ?
But seriously, what matters is the ideologocal and not the biological age. whether we feel, think and act young is far more critical than whether we look young. As, anyways, on the ground, young imagery changes little. Projecting "youthfulness" in no way alters how the real 20-mid 30's see us. It only marginally alters the perception of those who are either our peers or those who are older or less youthful than us. and that too till the time that ideological age takes over.
There are those who talk about ageing gracefully and i subscribe to that as well. As i see it, the concepts of maintaining, preserving and projecting youthfulness & ageing gracefully are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
kyonki Baal chaahe safed ho jaaye, dil jawaan rehna cha-hi-yye.