By Rashida Jiwani December 2012 The ageing process is usually accompanied by problems like fading eyesight, deteriorating hearing and memory. The other day, I was sitting in the balcony of my house and looking at the garden below. I spotted an old man and a woman, taking their evening walk. I said to my husband, “Look at how the world has changed. The wife is sitting at home and the old man is walking with his daughter-in-law.” My husband said, “My dear, look carefully. He is not with his daughter-in-law but with his wife.” My weakening eye sight had led me into a gaffe. At times, the weakness of my legs has also led me into trouble. Once, I saw some nice jewelryin a shop window and went closer to have a better look. The owner, on the other hand, stood outside, locking up his shop. Accidentally, I stepped on a broken tile, and tripped. To avoid falling, I ended up grabbing the shopkeeper from behind; the way a cop might catch a thief. He cried out in fear. I guffawed, and some passersby who had seen the entire thing couldn’t help laughing as well. My parents too underwent similar embarrassments when they were growing old. Once they went for a stroll, near Marine Drive. My mom got tired, and sat down while my father continued walking. He told her that he would return to pick her up. He walked some distance, came across the bus that plied on his house route, caught it and returned home. On reaching home, he unlocked the door, ate his dinner and went to sleep. All this time, my mother sat waiting for him at the esplanade. She finally returned home late in the night. Most people approach the ageing process with trepidation. They are afraid of losing their senses and, eventually, their mind. But if we approach the ageing process in a light mood, we will be able to learn from our experiences. We will either come up with some solution to compensate for our fading senses, or will accept things as they are and learn to see the joy in every situation.
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