On My Mind

At 60, shades of grey

Sixty is first, before anything else, a privilege. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: PEXELS
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I’m sitting in a small Indian hospital in mid-October and vomiting into a bag. The overworked doctor is ignoring me but he’s only obeying history from Napoleonic times. By the triage guidelines set down during war by French doctor Dominique-Jean Larrey in the 1790s, I don’t matter. There’s a lady hit by a scooter and a man holding his chest. Throwing up is inconsequential.

There is, of course, a pathetic card I can play. I was then a week from 60 and maybe I could have waved this fact around and sagged and gasped like a Bollywood hero commencing a 10-minute dying scene. But in this chamber, my age and my rank (almost senior citizen) was irrelevant.

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