***** SPOILER ALERT: - YOU PROBABLY WON'T LIKE THIS, IF YOU ARE JUST ABOUT TO TURN 30. COME BACK AFTER A COUPLE OF MONTHS TO READ IT *****
Wow. Just how can closing in on 30 can change you! I am not 30 today, but getting there a day at a time.
As we near 30, we start to think and do a lot of things. I can think of a few that I do think and/or do myself.
1. We REALLY start thinking about our career and money.
And if you have seen one of those sans-Gandhi Rs. 100 note - you really do belong to a generation that has or will be turning 30 soon.
We start thinking about investments - proper investments - a house, maybe even a second. We start thinking about a promotion or even a start-up sometime. We start saving up for all of that and some even for a rainy day.
Just as a good career advice - network a lot. In India, it would be much easier to do it and you may very well get to meet high power corporate people (not extremely high power like Ratan Tata) much more easily than you would in any other part of the world.
2. We start eating a lot more at home.
A few years earlier you and I were probably thinking where can we go for my next lunch/dinner with my wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend as the case may be, but once we approach 30 - that's really when we start thinking that I should eat more at home.
This is not because you and I have become lazy that we don't want to drive down to that dhaba at Mount Road, but more so since we think that we spend a lot of our savings on eating out. (Refer Point 1).
3. You Plus (at least) One.
As any Indian guy turns 25 and 22 if you're a girl - people start asking you - "When are you getting married?" and if you are married, people start asking you about kids! OMG.
Yes, and as you turn 30 and if you are still single - some thoughts about getting married or having a kid starts creeping into your mind.
4. You really start caring about social issues.
My city's youth impressed everyone all over the world with their efforts during the floods in Chennai in December. I can't but quote what an Indian Army Officer said about the rescue efforts in Chennai - "In all other places we see more victims than volunteers, only in Chennai did we see so many more volunteers than victims."
I guess that pretty much sums up our mentality.
Once you start nearing 30 - your Facebook and twitter feed is no longer about Big Boss or about Virat Kohli's breakup. It's more about the why things happened at so and so. It's about assessing what has been done for India. You start thinking more logically about who you want to vote for (Ahem - readers from T.N. and Kerala).
5. We lose some friends and gain some.
As we grow older, we do lose some of your friends. It's a sad thing - but that's how life is. That's what turning 30 means. A lot of us must have now lost contact with some of the guys/girls we used to hang out with everyday when we were 27.
And suddenly, your boss and your senior at work seem to become your best friends and advisers for your life and career.
6. We become much more happier with what we have
As you approach 30 - some of the things mentioned above may have happened to you and you start to realize that you feel much more happier with what you have.
You decide that you don't need the new iPhone and you can save more money by using that old Samsung phone and a basic post-paid connection. I decide that I don't want some fancy number plate for my new car and I can just go with what I get.
7. We look back at your life so far and laugh at some and cry at some.
Life always has its ups and downs and when you turn 30 - you definitely look at your journey so far. The road ahead will no doubt be long and tortuous, but by 30 a lot of us would have seen a lot of things and that would give us the strength and confidence to face a lot more in life.
Bonus point - if you have that special someone with you, who will stand by you - no matter what.
8. You start valuing relationships.
Valuing relationships as a jeweller would. You value people who have been good to you, who have helped you/helped your family. You value people who have been bad to you and your family.
You will choose who you want to keep close to you and who you want to cut out.
9. You WILL travel.
Even if not internationally, at least to some place where you find your solace. This will definitely happen to most people a lot before 30.
This will give some experience or another. A story to tell your crush/girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband/kids/random stranger in the seat next to you.
10. You will understand courtesy.
A lot of us Indians do not know basic courtesy and I am ashamed to accept that. I know I will draw a lot of flak for saying this.
We definitely do not know to hold the door for the person behind us. We do not know how to stand in a line (cutting across and creating multiple queues for a counter). Despite so many of us being well educated, we don't even think twice about littering the streets.
We definitely do not care about being polite with people - saying please or sorry. Say please to the salesperson at the store if you need something - it will make their day. Thank your subordinate for the good job he/she did today at work - it will motivate them to do more for you. Ask "How is your day so far?" to that person on the other end of the phone at a call center resolving your issue - they hardly ever get asked that question and it will be very helpful (Trust me).
This is probably the one thing that anyone - 30 or even 3 will need to learn.