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A dreamer to the core. A thinker. A writer. A marketer. A poet. A management guru in the making! A keen observer of business, organizations, leaders, society, economic environment, consumers, and innovation. A confirmed maverick who loves to turn conventional wisdom upside down!

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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Stages of Old Age

I have been wondering about the exact time old age starts. When can one be assured that he has entered the old age? Different people have different answers. Without any consensus in sight, I decided to come up with my own theory of old age. And after a period of long research (read observation) here I am unveiling my theory of old age to the world.

Old age is not something which is constant through out the period of old age. There are, in fact, six different stages of old age. Each stage has its own uniqueness and a distinct character with a set of responsibilities. Each stage is a revelation in itself.

35-40: Infancy of old age (Bal Awastha)
Welcome to the childhood of old age. This is the time to bask in the glory of new found old age. This period symbolizes fun, frolic, ignorance and learning. In this period you learn how to cope with graying hairs and how to do that perfect dye. It is also a time when you learn how to behave like a child with your child. It is like revisiting your childhood.

41-45: Adolescence of old age
This is a period marked with sudden physical and behavioural changes happening inside you. You suddenly realize that half the hair from your head is gone. And if that is not enough, you face a bitter truth that your waist is in constant acceleration. All those trousers with 32 inches waistline and those crisp 42 cm shirts are bursting at seems. Similar experiences mark this period. Finally, all these have effect on your behaviour making you look somewhat irritated.

46-50: Teenage of old age
This is a period marked with rebellion. Suddenly you are asking too many questions and challenging everything that is happening around you. You start asking questions like: Why can’t anybody understand me? Your children annoy you a lot and you start asking yourself: Why can’t my children be like what we were at that age? Uncertainty also starts lurking and you start to ask: What should I do now? Do what I am doing since last 20 years or is it the time to be a maverick? All of a sudden you start thinking of becoming a gardener, a farmer, a writer, a film maker, and what not. This is a period of CONFUSION and you are CONFUSED.

51-60: Settled era of old age
With start of this period you are settled in old age. Start preparing for marriage (not your marriage silly but your children’s marriage). This is a time when SINK/ DINK (for non marketing people these are acronyms for ‘Single Income No Kids’ and ‘Double Income No Kids’) is revisited. This happens when children, after their marriage, leave the house of their parents to build their own home. By the end of this period realization starts to down that “I am growing old again”.

61-65: New arrivals
Welcome grandchildren. This period is marked with rain of grandchildren. You witness the return of nappy changing days. It is a period when you are supposed to dance to the tunes and tantrums of your grandchildren. So someday you have to become a horse and someday you are supposed to behave like an elephant and give a good ride to your grandchildren. Happiness all around!

66+: Old age of old age
It is the last stage of old age. It is a time to reflect on the entire life and recollect all the memories of good old days. It is a time to smile and savour the taste of a vintage wine that has matured for more that 65 years.

With so many interesting facets of old age to explore why worry about growing old. Say cheers to growing old.


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