A couple of weeks back I started reading this book called ‘Being Mortal’ written by Atul Gawande. I haven’t yet finished it but so far it has been a very fascinating read. Its subject is something we conveniently choose to overlook — old age.
Some time back, I heard Atul Gawande on the FarnamStreet podcast. Previously, I heard good things about the books he had written but this was the first time I was listening to him talk about mortality, progress, the profession of doctors, and life at large.
In the book Being Mortal, he gets deep into the subject of how human beings spend their last few years. Bringing frailty, debility, and reduced functioning of almost every body part old age takes away what we take for granted -control.
The book explores the subject from a medical standpoint as well as from a social, cultural perspective. Giving the reader a realistic idea of what, how, and why things are the way they are.
A few days back after reading the book just before going to bed, I had these 1 AM thoughts expressed in this tweet.
I recommend reading this book, if not entirely at least you must read the first 50 pages. It has some really good insights.
This brings me to the topic of this post – turning 29!
A few days back a close friend said he had turned off birthday reminders on Social Media so that people who remember his birthday only wish him and others don’t. He continued his line of argument by adding that it is a task in itself to reply to each and every birthday wish you get from people you don’t care about.
I gave it a thought but chose to do otherwise. Contrary to my friends’ line of thought, I think it is good that on one day in a year people message you and potentially reconnect.
Secondly, in this age and time, it is super hard to remember birthdays. If a social media platform is helping people remember and wish each other happy birthday, why not.
I received a lot of birthday wishes. From S who still calls me Suffic, from T who calls me Shafi, from folks who shortened my name to Shaf, from relatives who I detest 364 days of the year but when they wish me happy birthday, I can’t help but feel a little happy about it.
To add to the list are some acquaintances, who along with the vanilla HBD send surprisingly good thoughts about me. I think they really don’t know me well. 😉
Followed by these is the opportunity of getting on conference calls with friends. This time it was four of us from UK, Pune, Bangalore and me in Mumbai. It was super fun.
Now that I am 29 years old I can so relate to Bing, Chandler Bing from Friends:
I’m 29 years old, damnit! And I want to sit in a comfortable chair, and watch television and go to bed at a reasonable hour!