Old and unripe

I really liked the song Dil toh bachcha hai ji when the Vidya Balan-starrer Ishqiya was released. I found it cute and would often hum along when it came on the radio:

Dil toh bachcha hai ji. Haan, thoda kachcha hai ji.

(The heart is just a child. Yes, it’s a bit unripe.)

Today, though, I reached out twice for this song (thank God for smartphones and their ATM, any-time music). I suspect that the dual themes of growing old and longing have been playing around in my head.

The song looks at old age with humour and poignancy. I am not quite there yet (in fact, my mother often reminds me that many people my age are just about getting married and starting new lives). But then, I am a mother of two adolescents. There is an acceptance of time going by. I am 37, much water has flown under this bridge. Let’s accept it: the jawani is more or less done and over with – and most of mine went missing in my ‘Dark Ages’. A certain wisdom, practicality and busy-ness has taken its place. I really have no time for ishqiya, for fanciful dreams or youthful passions.

Then comes the second, more important, part of the song. Just because I have no time or bandwidth for it, does not mean the longing does not curl around the corners of my mouth from time to time. I do, from time to time, think with a tiny craving, of the abandon of youth, the freedom of being single, and the license to live and love freely that I perhaps never had. I do, from time to time, tentatively smack my lips with the tiny little greed for a few moments of ishqiya, fanciful dreams and youthful passions. Just a very tiny little greed, just a very few moments. A mountain breeze perhaps. No responsibilites, thank you. No reporting times and deadlines. Just the heavens, a smattering of trees, the burst of hormones, flying wisps of hair about the face, the soaring spirit of love and the dreams of a rosy future.

Then, of course, the lips set themselves in a sober line, the silly notions are brushed aside, and the alarm clock is fixed for the morning. The tiffins will have to be packed, the clothes put in the wash, the beds made, the magazine has yet to go to press, pages are pending.

Then, of course, as I shut my eyes and try to sleep, holding it all in, the tiny little greed, the sliver of craving, the kambakht longing, escapes from my lips in a sigh.

Dil toh bachcha hai ji. Haan, thoda kachcha hai ji.


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