The Crisscross Panic

They embrace tightly, my tired face2014-11-10 13.54.53_01
Caressing gently, like never-ending vines
Cropping from every nook and corner
They hold me together, safe in their twines

They seem to be actually, quite fond of me
But I ignore them, like a forbidden curse
And when they tell me, to smile at life
I am worried, that it will make them worse

They reach to me with an aching soul
With teary eyes and broken heart
It’s me who gave them life, they say
It’s me who’s now tearing them apart

They beg me to look, in the pit of the pile
Of my present, and of the past I had lived
They say I’ll find the knots of their world
Clinging to the threads, of the quilt I had weaved

I looked deep down and saw some of them
Wiping away my tears as I cried
Some were holding the reins of my anger
And some were cheering in my moments of pride

Some were etched, from my smiles and my laughter
Some took birth like my babies, from labour pain
And some gave me company, as I waited for my children
To return home safely, as I always worried in vain

Wherever I went, in the lanes of my history
I saw their nurturing hands with myself
These lines that I had so abandoned in the past
Were the lines that I had created myself

These wrinkles and marks that cover my body
Are telling my stories of glory and pain
They deserve to be cherished like precious trophies
Instead I demeaned their existence in shame


A few days ago I came across an article which talked about increasing obsession of women with wrinkles and stretch marks, especially among those who are either reaching or have crossed the fourth decade. So far, I haven’t seen or heard any of my friends belonging to this age group, stress over the deep etchings on their faces. I think this lot of women, including myself, is too preoccupied with so many other things that wrinkles are the last thing we worry about. Lucky us, I guess!!!

Each individual has his or her own priorities in life, often dictated by the culture, upbringing, profession we are in, etc etc. But increasingly, either because of peer pressure or due to the pressure from the beauty giants, erasing wrinkles from one’s face has become one of the top concerns and obsession. Women world over are going to various extents to have a face and body devoid of any wrinkles or stretch marks.

This made me wonder…

  • If the pressure of physically looking good is removed from our lives, would we still make the same choices?

  • Can we make a serious attempt to see the journey of our lives in these wrinkles, and make peace with them? Or is too hypothetical?

  • Can all of us, as a human society, re-define the physical beauty, and by this I don’t mean a saint like philosophical and difficult to believe definition, that is impractical to internalize in this day and age; but an age appropriate version of physical beauty that embraces what is gifted to us by nature with each passing year. A definition that accepts the presence of wrinkles as a sign of wisdom that each of us accumulates as a result of our sorrows, joys, ambitions, triumphs, stress, anger, hurt, guilt, pain and all the other emotions that we go through in our lives.

  • Will it be ever possible to cherish these lines and give them the credit that they deserve? Surely, each of these lines has a story to tell. Can we objectively associate these wrinkles with events in our life or an emotional manifestation, that could have been responsible for their birth? Can we treat these wrinkles as a photo album of our past?

I guess none of the above would make any difference if we desperately want to cling on to our younger physical selves. We need to really start accepting and embracing our current physical and mental self, without judging it from a preconceived criteria of what classifies as a beauty, and how we are supposed to look, feel and behave irrespective of our age, growth and circumstances. Again, is it a hypothetical scenario?

Can we really get over this crisscross panic that may actually result in more of the same crisscrosses that we so desperately want to avoid?

Can’t wait to hear your views.

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  1. Beautiful Asmita….I loved each word of it….suddenly a sense of ageing gracefully beautiful..has bloomed within me…yes ur right each line has a story to tell…

  2. Totally agree with you there. Btw reading this is giving me more wrinkles…but no worries…they are just due to excessive smiling while reading 🙂

  3. Very new topic Asmita..never read before..analysed so minutely and deeply. Wrinkles can never be cherished or given credit…they r only to be condemned for overturning the effects of physical exercises 😀

  4. Hi Asmita
    V nice article. As you rightly mentioned, your friends are not worried about it. And I am your friend :-). Though I would love to look the same as I used to but of-course its not possible and there is a lot more to achieve in this lifetime rather than worry about wrinkles. Fortunately I am not in a field where it matters. On a lighter note, a little matured look is good in our profession so that people don’t take us on face value :-).
    With wrinkles, we might have to redefine our approach our outlook towards life and if required simultaneously bring changes to our profession. Even in film industry, those who have accepted their changing looks with age and moved forward are most successful..
    Every time I look into mirror, I thank God for keeping me healthy and I pray that till my last breath, I am able to perform my work independently. That is most important thing for me.

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