It was very cold outside. Not cold for the Englishmen but very cold for a Mumbaikar. I was out in a park in London. The trees looked green, with yellow spots showing their presence. Autumn, I thought.
“September 22. Yesterday was the equinox, Lulu.” I spoke to Lulu, my parrot.
“Yeah! That marks that arrival of autumn formally.” Lulu said as he moved closer.
“I was thinking about it. Autumn has already arrived in my life.”
“Oh! I did not realise it. Ha ha. It’s all in the mind, right?”
“Not exactly, Lulu. You realise it when you get up from a sitting position. All the joints register their presence together! You realise that autumn has arrived when you raise your hand; sharp pain reminds you that you had a frozen shoulder.”
“Ha ha. I heard you talking about this to your friend yesterday. Did you see a doctor?”
“No, I did not. I am carrying enough medicines; on all possible body aches.”
“When men are in the autumn of their life, they become practising homeopaths or unregistered medical practitioners!”
“They know more about specialisations of doctors in the nearby hospitals than brands of shirts in the malls”
“You are hitting hard, Lulu.”
“Do slim fit shirts work for you?”
“Must you embarrass me, Lulu?”
“Oh, no such intention. Tell me, man, what do you read? Don’t you read stories of bitter war between Rahul Gandhi and Modi instead of cold war between Deepika and Katrina?”
“All this really does not matter.”
“That’s true. Choice of articles and news reports changes with time. That change is not important. What matters is the change in conversations. That’s a remarkable change.”
“You mean the topics or quality of conversations?”
“Hmmmm …… That’s true, Lulu. I spoke to my darling wife about what she should do after I proceed to the ‘land of no return.’ And she too discussed the other scenario.”
“Wow! This is serious.”
“I am thinking… yes… conversations! You speak more to your wife; I mean more often and, on more topics, than in the past. I was never the talkative type and I never shared the office stories with her. Now I think there are many things to share. Sometimes the good old office stories.”
“You always had enough to share; but you just never did it.”
“Right you are, Lulu. I could have done it earlier. Speaking about some pleasant experiences is good. Speaking about unhappy experiences is so cathartic! I have opened up to my wife, though late.”
“People make one big change in their language as they grow. For some it takes autumn of their life. They give up the language of prizes and praising of their corporate life. They begin talking the language of ongoing regard. That language is sincere, authentic and touches both speaker and the listener.”
I looked at Lulu. He too gave me a look. It infused something positive. Some things get communicated with a look, words can’t carry such some messages!
Vivek S Patwardhan