As the grey evening descends . . .

Syed Badrul Ahsan
Thursday, September 21st, 2017


The company of older women has something of the literary about it. There is no reason for you to suppose that because they are ageing or have aged, there is not in them the passion which all too often defines the young. If anything, love and romance are integral parts of the lives of older women. Most certainly, and in most instances, such feelings stay curbed. But when an older woman comes across a younger man intelligent enough to appreciate her for what or who she is, she goes through a renewal of spring in her life.


It helps that these older women happen to be intelligent people, in touch with the finer aspects of life. They read good books, are connoisseurs of music and surely love the many aspects of nature life is influenced by. For the younger man, therefore, it is always a matter of huge delight being in the company of such women. They have much to give him. For his part, he causes a rekindling in them of interests they thought had withered away with the ageing process.


In physical appearance, an older woman possesses sex appeal of an intense kind. Imagine her, with those streaks of grey in her hair, those certain lines around her neck and those wrinkles under the eyes, indeed physical beauty which once caused fires all around and still is tantalising enough to have a man want to experience their fragrance, conversing with you in the fading light of day. She was once, you tell me, a raving beauty. As she speaks to you of poetry, you travel back to her past, to her twenties maybe and picture her as she used to be. All the young men in the neighbourhood must have swooned over her. Now, in her late sixties or early seventies, she is the woman you have secretly fallen in love with. Suddenly, like a teenager, she gets up, goes behind your chair and gives you a hug before rushing off into the kitchen to make you a cup of tea. Your masculinity comes alive again.


If there are or have been some older women in your life, you will know the meaning of love in its maturity. That wonderful person you met when you were forty and she was fifty five is yet the woman who keeps the fire of love, and often lust, burning. Her figure is magical, enough to make you want her company at all hours of the day. Think of the ageing Catherine Deneuve. Here is an older woman you can fantasise about all you want, for there is something of the grandeur of Creation in her. And when you see the seventy-nine year-old Sophia Loren, you remember the moments of undiluted, robust artistry she demonstrated in her movies. Aparna Sen is a constantly evolving intellectual challenge.


Older women have the sort of grace which younger ones may not always have. There is a serenity in their conversation, a quiet desperation in their yearning for love. And they love exceedingly well. It is not raw passion you can expect from them, but a composed approach to romance. Even as they touch you in the way only a lover can, there is a hint of the poetic in their approach.


Older women are fantastic company on silent evenings, especially if you are looking forward to a few hours to be spent in ruminations on the joy that comes of learning from others’ experiences. Older women tickle your imagination, excite you in ways that appear to suggest growing fascination for you, for both your physical appearance and grey matter. They read poetry; and you know they do it very well. There is an unmistakable sparkle in their eyes as they ask you to sing. You sing, and their sense of delight never ceases.


An older woman is a book on the ways in which life can be organized around aesthetic principles. You observe the way she clothes herself, the softness of her conversation, her understanding of the various themes she studies, her view of faith, her opinion on romance. Falling in love with an older woman is truly a study in the undying nature of the relationship between man and woman. She falls in love cautiously, but when she does, she does not look back. You stand ready to reciprocate her ardour in the fullness of the meaning.


Older women in love with younger men are a statement on what life ought to be. Or could have been. Think of Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman.


In the company of younger men, older women are transformed into emblems of youth again. Have you seen them throw their heads back, laughing uproariously at the wit which issues forth from you, even as bright afternoon mingles with the grey of evening?

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