Friday, August 7, 2015

When I am Sixty (four)

Long time back, early 70s to be exact when one day I strolled from home to Hall Road to buy the Beatles' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band LP. The magnificent LP was bound in a double jacket and for this very reason it was priced Rs. 75.00 while ordinary LPs cost Rs. 40 in 1970s. This very LP had lyrics of all the songs printed on it and the inner cover carrying portrait of all the four Beatles dressed in the colourful army uniforms.

Although the LP had been released in 1967, it reached us in early 70s and we five brothers did not hesitate a moment to add it to our small LPs collection.

Beside many memorable songs, one of the these beautifully sung sings was 'When I am 64.' Though I listend to the song along with the others, I generally shrugged off the diea of being 64 one day as for someone in one's very early teens, 64 seemed something very far in the distant future.

But that teen, that happened to be I, never knew that time flies faster than the speed of light and the day finally comes when one is touching the 60s.

1967 - 2015 (12 years to 60 years - celebrating the 60 years)

I am flanked by my son (left) and my wife (second from right) along with family friends who joined us on my 60th birthday from Lahore

And today is the day that I am 60 (say happy birthday to me - thanks) and was just pondering over how I am transformed from a carefree teen into a man whose hair have gone grey and much have withered away with time, though some semblance of black is still struggling to survive. 

And the lyrics of the song have started to reveal their true meaning and reality. For those who have not listened to the song, here it lyrics:

When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I'd been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four?

You'll be older too

And if you say the word
I could stay with you

I could be handy, mending a fuse

When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four?

Every summer we can rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight

If it's not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck & Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line

Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four?

I (sitting far left - aged 12) with my parents and brothers 
This group photo was taken on 1 November 1967 (just the time when the Beatles album was released) on 25th wedding anniversary of our parents (may Allah bless them - Aameen)

Well today at 60, this song means much more to me as it did more than four decades ago. Luckily I have a loving wife and two grown up kids taking good care of me - not giving me any chance at all to feel morose or sad of reaching 60. But the goodness and the nostalgia of the days when I was in my early teens not caring much about growing 60 so 'soon' is still very pleasant and a bit melancholy as I have lost so many people in the time since then - specially my parents and eldest brother Gul Hameed Bhatti

The five of us (left to right): Gul - Zaffar - Kamal - Jalal (myself) - Jamal
The last time we five brothers were together (1981) - Gul Hameed Bhatti bade us farewell on 4 February 2010

This makes me sad for losing such landmark people of my life. So while I live on hoping to be 64 very soon, I continue to live in my memories with my wife and children by my side taking good care of a nostalgically 'growing' old man.

and before I share the video of the song mentioned above, let me share some of the best birthday wishes I received on my 60th birthday:
Someone said 40 is the old age of youth and 60 the youth of old age. Bravo for entering in youth. Great sir enjoy.
Sixty is sixty math does not matter.happy birthday.
Youth is not a time of life, it is a state of mind.It is not a matter of rosy cheeks,red lips or supple knees. It is a matter of enthusiasm, will, quality of imagination, vigor of emotions and the freshness of deep springs of life.

And the best of all shared by my son Wahaab Jalal Bhatti:

Now watch the video of the song (taken out from the Beatles album 'Yellow Submarine'):

For my young readers still in teens, enjoy your life and live it out meaningfully and full of joy for my age is right next door - while I wait for another four years to be 64!!

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ZAFFAR said...

It's always good to walk down the memory lane; one find and feel oneself in the same situation again!
And as for the comments on age, I want to add...AGE IS A MATTER OF MIND, IF YOU DON'T MIND, IT DOESN'T MATTER!