Through all the phases of life, you hold a bunch of people at a certain level of respect and aspiration – people about the same age group as you, in the same school, college, workplace, neighbourhood- maybe friends, colleagues- some people who you think are right, perfect examples and who you would like to be, who you would love to be associated with, to be talked about with. Maybe this admiration of them is indirectly peer pressure. Group A.
And there is always a group you simply abhor- for some reasons of your own, you want a distance from them and don’t want to be talked about in reference to them in anyway. So much that if somebody likens any of your action/achievement to theirs, you desperately fend yourself and describe the difference in the mutual situations. Group B.
Anyway group A, which you believe is the ideal one, indirectly , defines the phases of your life, the boat you should be sailing in at each time of your life. For example in girls, the first time a girl waxes her arms and legs – the appropriateness of the time to do that is the time when that group of reference of hers,does it. And a group that does it earlier than that is outrightly wrong for her. And the time to read the romantic Mills & Boon novels is the time when her right group does it. The time to wear natural-shades of lipstick, the time for bigger earrings, the right way to wear the hair – all that keeps on building contemporarily with that frame of reference.
Its time to listen to music while studying. Its time to drink tea in the night after dinner. Its time to have a collection of your favorite assorted songs and share with your group.Its time to spend some pocket money on accessories like earrings and trivia like nailpaint.Its time to go shopping with your friends.Its time to have a small birthday party at a restaurant just with friends.Its time to learn driving a vehicle, other than the bicycle.Its time to have posters of your favorite actor above your study table. Its time to grow your nails and file and shape them.Its time to quit school and go to college.
Its time to talk about good-looking and bad-looking guys, funny and boring guys, well-dressed and shabby ones.Its time to have your earlobes pierced the second time. Its time to worry about what shoes go with what dress. Its time to buy more elaborate make-up stuff. Its time to start going out with guys. Its time to get a job- be employed. Its time to learn survival cooking – daal and rice separately- and when mixed.Its time to get married and realize and accept what marriage is. Its time to go for vacations. Its time to switch jobs. Its time to buy life-insurance and retirement policies.Its time to start stashing away some money for a rainy day.Its time to buy a four-wheeler. Its time to have children. Its time to buy a house. Its time to be called ‘aunty’ by teenagers. Its time to shop for clothes that don’t make your problem zones conspicuous. Its time to have some quiet me-time with no one around. Its time to go for low-fat, low-cholesterol meals. Its time to go easy on caffeine. Its time to get your eyes tested. Its time to have the camera shoot you from a distance, not too close to your face.Its time to dig out youthful pictures of yours and get them framed and hung on the walls. Its time to buy a second car.
But I don’t want it yet to be the time to start using anti-wrinkle face creams. I don’t want it to be the time to dye my hair- as in serious dyeing, not just trendy haircolor. Not the time to stop dyeing the hair and resign to the recalcitrant grey hue. Not the time to take yearly heart-checkups. Not the time to take insulin shots. Not the time to retire. Now I want it to go slow -at a snail’s pace – there is not an iota of aspiration whatsoever to reach the next milestone. And I want that group to stand still too, to stop growing – no more defining times of life.
And I wonder, how does one know when its time to kick the bucket? Does an exemplary group define that time? Which group they would like to conform with when the time to die comes. When they hear of group A or group B passing away, when they read their obituaries, can they really find a difference in circumstances. That time it will be just one group which is slated to die, nothing right or wrong about that. The timing is appropriate. No peer pressure in that.