Pen To Paper: Ageing - A Captivating Journey of Joy and Suffering Unveiled

Pen To Paper: Ageing - A Captivating Journey of Joy and Suffering Unveiled

Each individual perceives the ending differently, but one thing is certain: the joy and suffering woven into the narrative make it worth every turn of the page.

Shreshtha VermaUpdated: Saturday, April 13, 2024, 10:20 AM IST
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Reviewing ageing is like reviewing a book with a predetermined ending. We all know the final chapter, yet what truly matters is the journey - the words that spark something inside us, the chapters that leave us scrambling around the room and squealing loudly, and of course, the lessons it etches in our hearts. As a fifteen year old just beginning my grand ol’ novel, I can already feel the tremors arising in my lower back like a soft grumble of a volcano before the big burst, the blurring of distant numbers on the clock, the thickening lenses of my glasses year by year. If this is a sneak peek, the chapters beyond must truly be unspeakable. 

The Beatles’ song "Yesterday" perfectly captures this bittersweet feeling. Though its meaning doesn't match with our book, the lyrics, "Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away / Now it looks like they're here to stay / Oh, I believe in yesterday," ignites a powerful sense of melancholy and remembrance. Those misty mornings with dad, the sizzling of his silver frying pan, and the twinkle in his eyes as he admired his CDs—these memories already carry a faint air of nostalgia. 

My personal experience with this book? I quite like it right now. Although my board exams are approaching, I really wish I could go back to Chapter 1, when things felt right. As the book slowly goes on, you observe its miniscule details. The way my grandmother’s hand shakes violently as she hands me the metal thali full of steaming food every day or the way the old man who walks on the patio at 6 p.m. sharp has a slight waddle to his step. How they were once too like me, and how dashing they all must have looked back in their day. It’s scary noticing these details; all of them seem to scream, Your future is going to be the same, so slow down and savour it while it lasts. 

Ageing might be a "Ballad of Big Nothing" in its ultimate destination, but the author, whoever or whatever it may be, leaves the journey irkingly ambiguous. Each individual perceives the ending differently, but one thing is certain: the joy and suffering woven into the narrative make it worth every turn of the page. 

While I'm only fifteen chapters into this vast tome, I rate it a 3.5 stars. It's a captivating read, but we could really do without that terrible backache.

(This review is part of the winning reviews published in the Pen to Paper contest hosted by The Free Press Journal annually . This exclusive contest is open to teenagers only)

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