“Mamma, what is FAQ?” asked my immensely inquisitive son.
That was an easy question to answer. But, the question set me thinking. What exactly are the Frequently Asked Questions in life? And why do we ask them? Of course, the FAQs of Life vary from person to person depending upon his/her situation, circumstance and perspective. In fact, even different priorities in life result in different FAQs.
When we are young, little children, we seem to face the maximum number of FAQs that plague our lives. From what is that shining object out there to why is Papa shouting at Mama. From why are the trees green, why is the sun yellow, what is that elephant cloud doing up in the sky, can I eat this soft thing ( incidentally, an eraser), why can’t I run like that big boy, to isn’t it nice that the TV changes colorful pictures just at the press of a button to several other questions. We all have asked these FAQs, got the answers for some, got diverted by something else midway but the Frequently Asked Questions remained.
I remember one of my most predominant FAQs when I was a teenager. And, it was ‘how can I talk to the boy next door without feeling shy?’ I remember asking this FAQ to an a much older 12th Std neighbour girl who I felt would know better considering the fact that she had a brother (while I didn’t) and also, I could see that she was very comfortable with the boys in the colony. Today, the teenager either seems to have less number of FAQs or get their FAQs answered much faster than we used to. There are lots of sources to get answers today like over-informed friends, books, television, and internet. Way back, friends and magazines were the only way you could get inquisitive, ‘not to be openly asked’ questions answered. Today, the line between ‘can be asked openly’ and ‘sensitive’ questions no longer exists.
The 20’s have a charm of their own. You have become an adult. The entire world is out there for you to conquer. You have so many dreams – to complete that course you wanted, to take up that job you always found fascinating, to make more friends, to just about do anything. Nothing else seems to matter. You are so intensely absorbed in what you are doing whether it is just having fun, getting into a relationship etc. Here, the FAQs come slowly, steadily and you find that the answers are not too hard to get although you may still wonder, Why are my parents so ‘unnecessarily’ worried when I come home late?, Why doesn’t my sister mind her own business? Or Should I take ‘the plunge?’ in case you are in a relationship and your hormones are urging you forward! Unfortunately, this happy dreamy phase passes away faster than you can imagine.
The 30’s phase is a kind of more chilled out period because you just busy running your life either the way you wanted or maybe not. You are busy working, taking care of kids, cooking, in one word, managing it all. The FAQs that come during this phase are more like, What should I do this weekend? (in case you are not married), Should I send my daughter for those keyboard classes?, When should I fix an appointment with the dentist?, Will I be free this week-end for the facial?, When are we (you, hubby and kid/s) ever going to make it that nice new restaurant? Etc. Sometimes, the 30’s take a longer time to go but go they definitely do……
….And then, you land in your 40’s. More or less, just a carry over from the 30’s phase but still different because you know that you are no longer as young as your heart feels. The countable strands of white hair that threatened you with their presence now decide to come to you with a vengeance. And then, you ask (if you haven’t asked in your 30’s already) Should I colour my hair? The casual word, ‘Aunty’ that barged into your life in the 30’s now seems to reside for eternity. The FAQs now, go something like this:
Can I ever fit into those jeans again?
Am I getting really getting old (after the usual round of love making which has now made you tired faster!!?)
Why can’t I look younger?
If only I could dance with him (‘him’ who? Hubby man! Don’t get ideas!!) like we did way back?
You are worried about your children. The FAQs are more about your son or daughter’s job interview, wedding, grandchildren, your husband’s cholesterol and maybe, God. Yes! Sometimes you wonder, Why Lord, all this moh maya? Or maybe, when a family friend passes away, you sadly ask yourself, When is my due date although you still want to experience more of life and share your family’s world!
Life edges on and is beautiful and contented if you have nurtured a hobby or an interest that keeps your mind and time constructively busy. The FAQs now are more health related like:
I wonder how much my BP is today (when you feel weak) or maybe spiritually related when you ask, God is there anything else left for me to do? Often now, you indulge in memory flashbacks and recollect your past years, wondering when you are alone, Had I not done that where would I have been now? Of course, your grandchildren mean the world to you and you relive their childhood and your motherhood again with them.
Frequently Asked Questions are a part of life. Nobody can escape them. That’s how we learn to grow and evolve. But, what we ask can definitely make us happy, sad or depressed depending upon how we answer the FAQs. So, friends, whatever your age, keep asking those FAQs and happy living!