I am 53 going on 60

So yes, I had that non-descript birthday last week. 53. Boring. A neither here nor there age. Not a landmark by any stretch.

Not an ‘18’ when you can finally stop ‘maaroing’ dad’s car at night and drive legally.

No more sneaking into ‘Adult’ movies with that horrendous fake moustache.

Not a ‘21’ (which was reduced to 18), when you can exert your voting rights. Not that you want to really vote since the options are equally bleak and there’s no real sign of ‘acche dins’ round the corner. But you want the option.

It’s not ‘25’ when you can buy a drink at Mumbai’s watering holes, without having to produce an ID or look around for marauding night cops.

It’s not 50, that magic 5-0, where you hit half a century. ‘50’ gives you that ‘greying dignified look’. Or “He looks damn good for 50”.

And it’s not 60. Where it can go either with ‘He’s on the right side of 60’. Or have that “wow he really lifts heavy weights ya” aimed at you.

53 is dull. Like vanilla ice cream. like a John Abraham performance (ok that’s not just dull, but you know what I mean).

No one says, ‘He’s on the right side of 53.”

A young employee, whose increment time coincided with my ‘janam din’ said to me, “Sir, 53 is the new 30.”

“Ya right, it’s not and no increment for you.”

It is true that 53 does belong to that ‘privileged bunch’ of people born in the early 60s, who Busybee once said famously of, had the best of the old offline world and access and an understanding of the new Internet era.

Dear Behram, let me tell you, I have no such understanding.

I will still roll down a car window and ask the kirana shop guy. “Hey Bhaisaab, India Bulls kidhar hai.” Instead of checking Google maps.

I still don’t fully understand the need for Instagram, unless you’re an ace photographer and want to ‘bond’ with experts the world over.

Instagaram seems solely to share ‘selfies’. I mean explain to me the idea of a selfie stick to wander aimlessly around town with a large stick attached to your phone!.

I hate selfies, largely because you can’t just shoot yourself or be shot spontaneously anymore at 53... low angles suck, you have to judiciously avoid the double chin from showing)

Then there’s the ‘uncle’ problem When you were younger, the kids in the building playing cricket, hit the ball to you. And shouted, “Hey uncle, pass the ball ya!”

Now there’s a circumspect... “Uhm...Mr...uh...sir...can you pass the uhm...ball please.”

There is of course two up sides to 53.

I’m still five years away from retirement.

And botox is still some years in the far distance.

Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62 @gmail.com. The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper.

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