There is something about old people that leaves a warm and cosy feeling in me. Having lost all four of my grandparents (both paternal and maternal) at a very young age, I believe there is a void in me that I try to fill by interacting with older men and women. I never miss a chance to observe them (out of curiosity) like how you observe your toddler nieces and nephews, trying to understand their behaviour, interpret their actions or decipher their thoughts. I believe the older you get, the closer you come to being a child once again. Life comes in full cycle.
Today’s post is of one such old man, whom I see sitting in his balcony every day. I see him on sunny days sitting there on his rocking chair, fanning himself. I see him on rainy days, admiring the light drizzle and the humming breeze. I see him in the noons, watching children play or the birds sing, his eyes twinkling with admiration. I see him late in the evening sipping tea with his wife – a bubbly old lady who I see in colourful floral dresses every day. They have a middle-aged grandson so I am guessing they are well over 80 years of age – A long life and a long companionship.
They live in a house on the first floor of the apartment opposite ours while we live on the second floor. So, while I can see them every time I visit our balcony (which is quite often), their view is compromised by the extended ceiling of the building. On one of the rare occasions, the old lady’s eyes met mine. I waved back awkwardly. And was rewarded by a warm smile and a small wave back. Ever since then both of them have become my ‘Waving friends’. We wave and smile at each other whenever our eyes meet.
While the old woman appears cheerful almost always, I see the old man is often lost in his thoughts. I see him sitting there early in the morning with a faraway look on his face and see him in the same state many hours later. It makes me wonder what thoughts would someone who has lived almost a century might have. What would have been his experiences? What places had he lived in? What regrets did he have? A forgotten love or a lost opportunity? Or was he thinking of something new? A newfound interest, perhaps? I will never know.
I never see him with a cellphone (making him even more likeable). He sits there observing his surroundings, appreciating the small things. Reliving his childhood while watching the children play. Becoming his younger self as he watches couples pass by walking hand in hand or perhaps recalling the first time he rode a bike (or probably a scooter that was the ‘sensation’ of his time). There is a lot that happens in the crossroad where our buildings stand. And I bet the old man in the balcony knows more about this place than any of the youngsters around.
It makes me wonder, what thoughts would I have at his age? What would I regret the most? What treasured memories would I carry to my balcony as I sit there sipping a cup of hot tea on a cold winter evening…
That’s all for today.
Featured Image by Pixabay from Pexels
Photo by fotografierende from Pexels