So, I get this call from a PR person: a world famous DJ is coming town, called Armin Van Buuren. He's doing a big concert. It's part of a tour and he has chosen to come to India. All this is told to me with a sort of weighty voice, capitalized emphasis and pregnant pauses, so the impact carries through. Armin Van Buuren has Chosen to Come to India. Be amazed! Which I would have been had I the faintest clue who he was. So I call up a friend and colleague, close to my age and I was told that he is in fact a BFD. Also that Avicii is actually much better.
Now who the heck is Avicii?
More googling... and it turns out he's a 25-year-old music sensation whom the teens and tweens are just wild for. Some more research and I discover names like Madeon, Zedd and Foxes. One of them is 20. Which is when I have my moment of revelation - I have been working about as long as some of them have been alive.
And that's when it hit me: I am officially on the wrong side of the age line. I'm...old? At least to these young professionals. And I just want to know how the hell that happened?
Ok, so fine, I rang in my fortieth birthday a couple of months ago. It was fun. Many people said it was no big deal. 40 is the new 30 they cried. No it's the new 20! I was sent messages, all assuring me that life begins at 40. That this is MY decade. That it only gets better from here.
What a bunch of shameless liars. Seriously, four decades and all I have to show for it are a bunch of friends too insincere sweet to tell me what is what.
Not so long ago (and I had the TV show to prove it), I was at the top of my game. I was at every hot event that happened, I would chat with the stars, I was amongst the arbiters of cool. People (poor misguided people, I grant you, but still - people) aspired to have the life I had. I rolled my eyes at the elder folks who'd arrive at every do - hanging on to their last illusions of youth, I thought patronisingly. Poor pathetic wannabes, I smirked. I was upto the minute with pop culture. I knew what was happening, what was cool and who was cool. I thought that I had edge too. Not too trendy but just enough. I was one of the smart girls. I could hold spirited discussions about how the '80s gave us some of the greatest music we have ever had, about the enduring, under-appreciated genius of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", I would quote Shakespeare to any one who would give me half an ear. I considered myself cool and anti-cool at the same time. And it was my time.
But now it's not. I'm the one being eye-rolled by posses of PYTs and the hunks who hang around them. I'm the one getting in the way, taking up space which should belong to them. I am the one being heard out - indulgently (which is the unkindest cut of all) - by those too polite to tell me to shut up. I am the one saying none of this is music, its just noise.
When did this happen?
I kept up. I really did. I weathered the Bieber storm. I trilled along to Katy Perry. I could crack a Lindsay Lohan joke with the best of them. And now, I am undone by a couple of DJs barely old enough to participate in the parties they helm.
I speak to my friends and we talk about our aches and pains. Which means, of course, that we have aches and pains to talk about. Then we stop. "Geez" we say, "we sound like our parents." And when you think that you know you have. We suddenly realise that we are adults. And adult adults too, not that glorious 20s-30s stretch where we're just adults-in-waiting. We're grown-ups. And not all of us (clearly) are happy about it.
So what do I have to say to my fellow folks? Fellow middle aged folks - apparently - belonging to the nether generation (when did we cede that too, by the way?). I have read lots of pieces and many articles offering sundry platitudes and life advice. Take that holiday! Spend that money! Give up that job! Have that one night stand!
I have read them, thought about them and my contribution is this: Denial.Denial. Denial.
Embrace it. Enjoy it. Surrender to it. Let the farce be with you. We will stand our ground. Hold our turf, even if we're horribly in the way. We will not give up without a fight. Or go gently into that good night. No, Sir. We will stay true to the Bryan Adams' battle hymn: 18 till we die. (Fine, fine- 35!)
(Of course, the very fact that Bryan Adams qualifies as our war cry pretty much settles things once and for all.
Perhaps I'll just pull out that old Elvis tape my parents loved so much....I'm told it'll fit right in on my playlist.)(Aneesha Baig is NDTV's Lifestyle Editor and Anchor, Will Travel For Food)Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.
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