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     Volume 5 Issue 90 | April 14, 2006 |

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Munize M. Khasru

This is it.
The year my friends and I officially move over to the other end of being 30 years old. Now we can no longer call ourselves "30-something". For, this is the year we become closer to 40 than to 30.

Strangely enough, unlike the year we all turned 30, this year there is division among the ranks. Some have found peace, and dare I say it…happiness…in turning 35 (and counting), while others are still struggling with the math.
But what's the use of fighting the inevitable? One can hide one's age just about as effectively as a balding man can hide his increasingly shiny spot. Sooner or later, the truth must emerge from the remaining, carefully brushed strands.

So for all those 30-something-no-mores out there who are fretting about the image in the mirror, here's a list that will, hopefully, bring out the smiles, laugh lines and all.

Ten Reasons to be happy at 35…and counting…
1. By now you have a good idea of what you want to be and how to go about achieving it. In fact, the lucky ones may have even accomplished it and are enjoying the experience.

2. By now you have a good idea of what you do NOT want to be and can assert yourself to the authority figures that be...parents, bosses or the over-achieving classmate you never really liked.

3. After the pom-pom ankle socks, Farah Fawcett side-winged mane and numerous flared skirts, you finally have a definitive style of your own. Let others struggle with their long or short, tight or flared debates. Let them get tangled with six yards of cloth. You know what suits you, so wear it with confidence.

4. You are no longer lost in a crowd. This is an age you can sit and chat with any decade of generation. Next time you are in a wedding, try it out. Join the elders table. They won't think you are being an upstart, and more importantly, you find their conversations interesting. Then, try the youngsters table. They feel obliged to make space for you and more importantly, they find your conversations interesting.

5. Ah, the power of being in the middle. You are young enough to listen to your favourite pop music in any decibel you choose but old enough to ask your younger siblings or kids to turn down that "racket they call music".

6. After a decade of working, you are now financially stable and able to indulge once in a while. Weekend trips with family. Therapeutic shopping sprees at Chandni Chawk. An extra scoop of Maple-Walnut ice cream. You decide, you pay.

7. You're still young enough to pull all-nighters, but joy of all joys, it doesn't have to be over homework! You do it just because you feel like it and not have to answer to anyone about it, nor have to listen to anyone's lecture as to why it is bad for your health.

8. You are officially too old to care about the "coolness factor" with peers. So go ahead and dance Travolta-style to Habib. Or don your faded, torn T-shirt and get into bed at 9:00 pm on a Thursday night.

9. This is a great age to be around your parents. Have friendly chats with them over Friday lunches, describing the highlight of the week. Come evening, if you feel like going out, you can leave your kids with them and let them enjoy being grandparents.

10.You are now old enough to be someone's role model…if you play your cards right!

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