A lot of non-retired folks I know dream of retirement. The quiet mornings, the relaxed lunches and the walks.
The retirees I know are in one of two phases.
1) Yearning to get back to work where they miss the hustle and bustle of a daily routine, and just can’t get used to the fact that nobody is expecting them at an office when the clock strikes. I call these withdrawal symptoms and hope they would get to the contentment stage without causing themselves too much harm.
2) Relaxed, like they’ve surfed the turf before. The looks on their faces tell you they’ve seen the turbulence and rode out the calm. It is now their time to sit on the beach and watch the waves idly lapping the shores. Contentment poring out of them in short.
I dream of retirement too. Yes, so what if I am young? The promising youth looks forward to his future does he not? Many a time, when the early morning doesn’t look enticing to me, I fantasize that I would absolutely loll in bed when I retire. I would get up and stick my tongue out at the alarm clock and tuck myself back in with glee. The rooster can retire when I retire for all I care. I might even dropthe alarm clock in a pot of oil, and cover the pot with a mattress after switching the thing off, that is. Purely from a closure point of view.
Just when my fantasies really take root, I find a disturbing article telling me that older people need less sleep. Why?! I thought old age was the second childhood and all that, and I remember being told to sleep for a solid 18 hours or a number near there.
To top this, I come back from a the retiree’s paradise – Garden Island of Hawaii, Kauai. The whole island is full of migratory retirees, who spend the harsh Winter months in the warmenvirons of Hawaii. One couple stayed next door, and they gave me a dose of my paati and thaatha in shorts on the beach.
After the usual courtesies have been done with, I ask the thaatha, “So what are your plans for today?”
I should probably tell you at this point that our plans included, among other things a 5 hour round trip drive to a Canyon, with 3 trails to see, 5 different waterfalls, a trip to the beach, some serene walks in the forest followed by a Hawaiian dance performance Luau or something. In other words, packed is the word. If we’d had another half an hour, we’d have thrown in a coral reef exploration program alongwith Scuba diving or snorkeling. But we were firm, we were going there to relax, and relax we shall. No Coral reef explorations. Just relax!
Bear me while I give you a feeling of a no interruption narrative, I’ll ask the Thaatha again,
“So what are your plans for today?”
“Oh, I am going to read a book.”
I have that look on my face where I am waiting for the sentence to finish. I am leaning my neck forward and waiting for the remaining, and then realise that good ol’ thaatha has finished his plans. There is nothing more to the day. He does not plan to save the planet today or crack his back overcoming some imaginary roadblock. He just plans to read a book. Lovely!