Tuesday, August 05, 2008

How Old is Old?

My friend Raj a.k.a. Capt T. Rajkumar in Chennai sent me this interesting editorial from The Times of India:

There's no stopping good old music, they thought. Until the electricity supply went kaput and bailed them out. It happened one night when a retro session was in full swing.

An eclectic middle-aged bunch of golden-oldies aficionados congregated at a flat and soon yesterday's nostalgia-generating melodies hit the airwaves: Green Door to Besame Mucho to Sugar, Sugar.

That was fine for almost everyone. The 'seniors' in the apartment complex — retired defence personnel, public officials, schoolteachers and such — reached out to the relaxed, easy feel of the old hits. The younger residents, like IT professionals, were equally inclined to lend their ears.

And so on Saturday evenings windows were flung open to let in Julie London or Nat King Cole or the balladic Beatles, so good was the music.

Things got out of hand though when a teenage guitarist was allowed to bring friends and play a few interludes of 'old music' on their nifty little system. A big mistake. Sauce for the old goose isn't always sauce for the GenNext gander.

For soon, the building complex started to reverberate with amplified heavy metal. Trouble multiplied when Jagger's Satisfaction exploded into Metallica's audio signals. Its raw energy and raucous chords sent cold shivers up the neighbourhood, got street dogs howling and catapulted roosting crows noisily up into confused dark flight.

Outside, the Nepali watchman clung to his Gita. Some residents plugged their ears with cotton wool or pulled pillows on their heads while a quick-acting middle-aged lady raced to the police line only to find that a top cop was part of the music ensemble. One neighbour swore she saw her septuagenarian spouse knock back two stiff ones and dive under the cot with a razai — not just for the duration of the ear-splitting Creeping Death but for a good part of the night!

Finally, it was unscheduled load-shedding that brought matters to a grinding halt, and some order was restored.

Downstairs that night, the collegian music-makers hauled their gear and themselves into their vehicles. Even as the residents, and the old Gurkha tried to calm their nerves and get some shut-eye, the young guitarist wondered, "Dude, I just don't get it. People just don't seem to have respect for old music anymore!"

And an old MCKK buddy Hussein Hamid in Adelaide sent me this:

I went over to the TNB office at Jln Masjid India to pay my bills. As usual there was quite a Q so like any good citizen I got into line. Just as I settled myself for a long wait, the security guard came up to me and said "Tok (not Datuk...just Tok") and politely ushered me towards the next lane - which was empty.

I felt quite flattered that the Guard was thinking that I was a VIP Datuk and important enough not to have to spend too much time waiting in line to pay his electric bill...surely there are more pressing national matters I have to attend to. But being a humble guy, I said no, I will wait in line just like everybody else but now even the people in the line with me were telling me to go to the other lane. So I told myself if all these people think I am that important...I better humour them. So I got into the other lane and went straight to the counter and that was when the cashier told me, "Pak Cik lain kali ikut lane ini" and pointed to the sign on top of the counter: "Warga Emas".. I don't know whether to laugh or to cry.


  1. Hahaha... good one Capt.

    And I thought I was old... ;-)

    You should check out my story on the first time I was called `Pakcik'.

  2. salam uncle, don feel old ok ehehehee...segan kite nk panggil u abg...jgn mare.. well. selalu nya klu dh retired tu..dh kira warga emas kan...so, dh ader lane khas tu, di kira satu penghormatan la..u should feel honoured, bangga ader lane khas tuk u, wpon lelaki msh segak di umor lebih 55 thn :))
    take care

  3. capt., get some ici paint and they ask you to Q! the idea is good for those who really need it, the handicapped and so forth.For the heathy 'oldmen', this is a little not fair to others. when i retired, i show my card to ktm to get cheaper rate,the clerk asked, are you sure? as if i pulled a fast one.If the counter service is done as it should be done, all these are not needed, we seem to be very innovative for things that are caused by not being efficient in the first place! malaysia boleh!!

  4. Capt. I was in the states for two months. On arrival in Boston, our daughter told us to get a senior citizen pass for travelling on the train, subway and bus. We went to the Transport office and within minutes were presented with two passes, one for me and the other for my spouse. In the US, senior are those above 65 years of age. With that a ride of US$2.00 we only pay just 60 cts. We travel from Boston to Newark on special senior fare because of this card.

    Capt. that is the beauty of been in the golden age. Have a nice day.

  5. Tok',
    Lain kali, boleh tumpang bayar bill?
    he he...lol
    Either that, or you can start a service ! That way boleh charge mah!


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