Wednesday, September 17, 2014

On The Arrogance of Turning 40

Yes, I know I have been away from here for long but I will not bother to explain why, only maybe to mention that I have spent the better part of the last 20 months or so absorbing knowledge and reflection from all quarters. Sometimes it is good to simply keep quite and listen...and learn. That (and the occasional work - we all need to put bread on the table), is what I have been up to. 

In the process, I have also managed to detoxify myself...and not the bio-physical detoxification kind but more of the meta-physical, psychological, mental kind. I also became older. And stopped caring about much. Months of reflection made me realize that I almost stopped becoming what I should have been, and started becoming what I thought I ought to be. In a way I have also become "arrogant" - in that I don't really care what my social environment perceive me to be, feel that I don't have to be responsible for others. But again could this be just about getting old now that I have hit the big Four-O?

This is a passage I recently came across:

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. 

I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.” 

- José Micard Teixeira (words Meryl Streep)

I am not saying these words necessarily describe what I am today, but that I identify with most of it. I feel that as one ages, one starts to care less about the society's perception of their actions, their words and become more concerned about being authentic, about being themselves. I am now at a place where I no longer feel the insecurities of the world, I feel more creative, more alive, and feel like my life has just began. I now know what they meant when they said life begins at 40. 

I spent my formative years (in terms of developing my core values) in India, living their between 1994 to 1999. There are things that I saw, I felt, I learnt that shaped how my life was to become. Last year I went back to India for the first time since then, and as I visited the Taj Mahal, I had a chance to reflect on what I had carried with me from Hindustan (as we used to call it) all those many years ago. What I had lost that I needed to rediscover, and what I still had with me that I needed to lose. And now I feel lighter, and more creative. I have stopped doing the stuff that I did as duty, and now only do the stuff that I need to do out of love.  In a way, when one turns 40, they tend to become more arrogant...

At the Taj in October last year 

As I said at the beginning, I have spent time absorbing knowledge and the reflection of others. Now it is time to share my reflections and the knowledge I have gained as well. I have a feeling this ride will be merrier than the previous one!


  1. How wonderful that you were able to revisit India and places that were so influential in who you have become. It is nice to grow older and wiser. Not everyone does grow older or wiser ;-) It is freeing not to have to worry about what everyone thinks of us or what we choose to do or say. My hope always is to use the freedom wisely. God bless you as you continue using your knowledge and talents to make this world a better place. Welcome back too!

    1. Yes, using freedom responsibly, I hope I will always remember this

  2. Maturity of heart and soul. I think when we get to this point, we even calm down. The point where we do not feel the need to be accepted, but more the need to be. To notice the world as it is, not as we want it to be. Observing without judgement. Following where our hearts lead us to. :)

    1. Oh Carol, there you are, where have you been!

  3. Wellcome to this side of age!

  4. A happy belated birthday from a person who is most fond of birthdays, cake and parties. Sometimes I believe I have had far too many of each. The short passage that you kindly shared is a bit like a road map; As we grow older we hope to be wiser and happier. We share these gifts with those around us. We are no longer interested in conflict and controversy for its own sake.

    It is good to see you back here, sir