Joseph Heller starts his chapter on Col Cathcart in Catch 22 with words which mean something like this (not exact quote): "Col Cathcart was a happy and a sad man. Happy that at the age of 39 he was a full colonel. Sad that at the age of 39 he was only a full colonel."
There is a Cathcart in all of us, and it surfaces rather menacingly when one is around 40. We feel that we have done something worthwhile in life, but also feel that there was much that could have been done left undone.
Gopi Warrier is my name. Crossed 40 a couple of years ago. Was a journalist for many years. Now I am on the other end of the table, handling media relations for the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). I live on the beautiful, expansive ICRISAT campus.
Here's a picture to set the mood. I like to call it the sentinel at sunset, for it shows a farm laborer scaring birds at sunset to prevent them from attacking the standing sorghum crop.