'Life is about taking a step back’

Oct 13, 2015, 11:19 IST


Twinkle Khanna revisits a hilarious and slightly alarming episode from a summer holiday that helped her understand the real essence of a milestone.


"Growing older is all about learning and passing that knowledge on, otherwise there is no reason for biological evolution to keep us alive after our reproductive years are over. There has to be a silver lining to being able to hoist your boobs over your shoulders and getting to the point where not only do you have eye bags, but even your eye bags begin to sag. I have not reached that stage yet but now that I have fulfi lled my function of ensuring that the population of India continues to explode, and before dementia starts setting in, let me pass on what I have perhaps learned along the way.

"A few summers ago we went to Orlando. My best friend had also joined us with her husband and her two lovely children to participate in a ritual—which causes joyous
exhilaration in kids and leads to extreme exhaustion in their parents—a mandatory trip to Disney World. One afternoon, my friend and I were eating burgers and hotdogs by the poolside and our kids were in the pool with the husbands when my son started shouting, ‘Mum! Help me!’ I ran to see what was happening and realised that all the kids and the dads were indulging in some horse play and hitting each other with balls and fl oats. Not to let such opportunities go by, I picked up a ball and aimed it with all my strength at my friend’s
husband. As the ball was leaving my hand, I started slipping and before I knew it, I had landed in the pool in my dress with my stupid shoes still on. Everyone around me was laughing.

"I had bruised my bum and more than that had bruised my ego. I couldn’t let this humiliation go unavenged. So I started to chase him to beat him with whatever I could get
my hands on. The kids also joined this mock-fi ght. I reached my target. I grabbed his swimming goggles and we were in the midst of this violent skirmish in the middle of the pool
when suddenly my friend’s son said, ‘Dad, you are bleeding!’ I stopped in my tracks and looked up. I had managed to scratch my best friend’s husband just under his eye and
there was blood dripping down his face. My dearest friend who for all this time was only interested in merrily eating her hot dog ran towards her husband. I was horrified at this
turn of events, my friends were upset and my husband was embarrassed.

"I could turn around and say it was all an accident, which partly it was, but because I was older and wiser I took a step back and re-examined the situation. Why did all this
happen around me? Why was my life like an old ’90s television show with comic drama erupting in every episode and then it hit me that all this happened to me only because of my fierce nature. I was never forced to beat all the boys I knew since I was in sixth grade. I didn’t really have to aim coconuts at passing eveteasers, and I definitely didn’t have to go
crazy kicking and screaming for revenge because I fell in the pool while trying to aim a ball at someone’s head. Over dinner the other day an old friend told me, ‘You are a rebel without a cause,’ and perhaps he is right. When I was growing up, I needed to stand up for myself in many situations, but I can’t be the same person I was at 11 because my life is not the same. I have always been the non-conformist, ready with my fi sts and armed with cutting words to fi ght against any real or imaginary injustice.

"So the important question is what can I do to tweak my personality a little to suit my age and place in life? Can I finally give up being a rebel? I doubt that very much but I
can definitely find the right cause. My entire life I have seen people (including me) making the same mistakes over and over again, and then bemoaning the fact that life is unfair.
Life is about taking a step back, assessing your role in events and then jumping back into the sometimes-calm-sometimesturbulent sea of life. We are all stuck in behaviour patterns that we have formed in our childhood. We are still reacting in ways that are based on our past, and very rarely do we adapt to the reality of our present.

We go on doing the same thing in every situation, jumping at random triggers and then justifying our behaviour by blaming everyone and everything around us. Healthntrends asked me to write a piece, on the milestones in my life, but to me milestones are not events that happen to you. A true milestone is when you figure out why these things happen to you.