When age wasn’t more than just a number

The other day, a friend of mine (and a fellow Voiceian) sent me a few words penned by her on the occasion of the day she admits to everybody that she has grown an year older.

The words are reproduced below followed by my two cents worth of thoughts

I’m scared. She’s my best friend these days (I’m at home and my other friends are busy working people who stay far away). She’s the most frequent visitor home and I delight in her company. We laugh over Suppandi stories, share chocolates and tell each other tales about crazy people in our respective schools (er…campus, in my case).

Shuba is 10 yrs old. She thinks I’m only a few years elder to her. I’m terrified of what would happen when she learns my true age. Will she be repulsed that I’m so old? I mean, 25 would seem like a very large age to someone who’s 10, right? She’s not yet asked me my age. I live in dread of the day she does. If she does…well…er…will heaven forgive me if I lie?

~ Smrithi Murthy (MRDG, IISc)

You know, the qualities I admire most about children are, the innocence, the readiness to believe, the trust they place in others and the way they actually speak their mind, never indulging in the double talk that some of us adults call “diplomacy”.

Sometimes I wonder whether the world would be a different place if everybody retained the desirable childlike characteristics we had when we were kids.

In case you are still curious, this is how Smrithi tells me it all ended

The inevitable happened. Shuba asked me how old I am. I looked at her, brought all my courage together and said, “25”. She looked at me first in disbelief, then thoughtful. “But you’re still studying?” she asked. “Yes”, said I. “And you’ll finish your studies when you’re 28?” “Yes” (well…I couldn’t tell her that was only my best guess and one can never predict a PhD). “You don’t look that old”, she commented. That was it. We then began talking normally, of other things. I felt like I’d passed some test. Phew!

~ Smrithi

Glad to hear that, at least for children, age is just another number to be forgotten

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