MIDWAY: Sweet sixteen

When’s your birthday?” asked my friend. “In April,” I replied, to which she said, “Sixteenth, right? Wow!”

What’s the big deal about being sixteen? I said to myself. When I was around the age of playing with Barbie dolls, I used to take pride in adding a few more years to my age so that I could say I was a 10-year-old in order to be taken a bit seriously.

After my tenth birthday, I was equally looking forward to the eleventh because it was my favourite number. After two years, I was congratulated for entering teenage. I then had wondered what could be so special about being a teenager and today I wonder what could be so special about being sixteen.

Living sixteen years of life must probably be an achievement or else why would anyone confer upon this age group of teens the title of Mr/Ms Sweet Sixteen without having sprinkled around much of sweetness. In a way, it is good because at least for 365 days all our bitter and sour habits will be taken as a new flavour of sweetness. Another specialty of being sixteen could be that it is the middle of teenage which makes a person say with pleasure that he/she is a perfect teenager. Amazingly, students happen to pass out of school and enter the carefree days of college life also at this age.

Apart from a handful of boys, who look so awkward at this age due to their growing moustache, it’s the girls who look as attractive as the blooming roses of the spring. From my personal encounter with many girls, I’ve come to realise that girls don’t frown or give excuses like “you should never ask a lady her age” when they are asked about their age at sixteen. Probably at sixteen, she feels to be at her best. But as years catch on, she seems to grow no older than nineteen.

This age factor might seem really disturbing to most of the people, especially to women. However, my favourite teacher has found a permanent solution to this disturbing trend by telling people, “I am as old as I look and as young as I feel” each time she is asked her age.

As for me, I can only hope that my sixteenth year of survival will create such a mark on me that even after half a century I shall have a sixteen-year-old heart that feels young and special by the day.