For some strange reason, human beings in the last 150-200 years have become vain and finicky in nature. Unable to stop all ills that plague us, especially, the advancement of Father Time, we become boorish, short-tempered, anxious and silly as we cross youth and arrive at Middle age. This is somewhat like what happened to me in the last six years. Till I was 41-42, I never felt the vicissitudes of age; I was agile (well, perhaps not as agile as, say, Roger Federer or Kaka), remembered things very well, looked forward to more work and was considered a capital fellow among my friends and cousins. I cannot say with certainty if girls swooned behind my back after I had passed them by, but you can be reasonably sure that that was *not* the case :-)
At the same time, I knew that I did have some intrepid women who secretly admired me even then. I can't say I can add the name of my better half to that list, but I don't think she *hated* me. In the last six-odd years, I have perceived the actual phenomenon of growing old. My memory does not serve me as well as it did back then; I do not get "readily aroused" on seeing feminine flesh or the icons of beauty; I have an uncharacteristic liking for lying frequently on the bed whenever I am free and around in my home; and by far the worst trait of all: I have become silly - unforgiving, short-tempered, boorish and all those other things I wrote above.
This has, no doubt, led to several uncalled for "scenes" during my normal acts of social activities. I raise my voice in public, and immediately regret having done so, since the "public" looks up to me to learn the meaning of the "good life" ... where the tempers are mild, the manners, impeccable and the mind and the body, relaxed. My wife reprimands me whenever she is there - sometimes by raising her eyebrows in that characteristic style of hers that authors have described as being an act where looks can kill; at other times, she will keep quiet at that time, but haul me over the coals at night when we have said our antiseptic good-byes to our daughters and have retired to the battle-ground of our "bedroom". She will then dissect every nuance of the conversation, discuss each and every word uttered by me and also point out my 118 mistakes in the course of that 3-minute experience.
I dread these post-motems, not because of the sound and thunder but because, invariably, she is always RIGHT.
More some other time.