Pablo – When to Tell That You Are Growing Old

When your life entirely depends on remembrance, know that age is catching up with you.

I met one of those family friends who end up being your uncle just because they went to school with your parents. He was nostalgic of the ‘good old days’ and very bitter with modernisation. He kept belittling everything that seems to be in vogue. He claimed that letter writing was more effective than emails, more creative than text messages, and created a sense of anticipation, unlike instant feedback on ‘WhatsApp.’

He was reminiscent of their composed dances like waltz, salsa and ‘squeeze’, unlike today when the youth are taken up by rap, hip hop, raga, reggae and ‘bend over.’ I could tell that he wasn’t only losing his temper, but hope as well.

When you outlive your creditors and enemies, know that you are really ageing. I was seated next to this old man at a funeral recently. He gave me a list of his peers who died in the first half of the last century and how he is at peace with everyone. He had been to jail for unpaid debts but was released because the creditors had died and he had become a museum of sorts in the prison.

He used to narrate the history of the prison to the warders, cellmates and commissioner general of prisons. There was nobody to pick him when he was released. Everything in his life was deceased, apart from his memory.

You also know that you are growing old when the companies, associations, cooperatives or ministry you once worked for is none-existent. I was at a gathering of an old boys association of my former school. I was almost shocked out of existence to hear that some of these ‘Boys’ had retired from public service even before I was born.

The chairman told us how he used to work with Lint Marketing Board, joined Banyankore Kweterana Cooperative Union before crossing over to Uganda Airlines where he retired.

When a person starts relating to people you learnt about in history, know that age has nailed that one. I met an old man at the vintage car expo. We shared a cup of coffee as he gave me a recap on his life.

His most memorable moment in life was when he bought his first pair of shoes in a shop owned by an Asian trader called Alidina Visram who is believed to have been the first person ever to open a shop in Kampala.

The other precious moment in his life was when he met Vasco Da Gama who was running away from the man-eaters of Tsavo national park. I politely excused myself. I couldn’t stand his traumatic stories!

Source : The Observer

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