As I myself revealed how my twenties was the best time for me. 1990 to 2000. It’s interesting to see this question answered by others and the reasons given.
Yes I can truly understand that prior to the fatwa would have been a much better time for Rushdie. I can’t imagine the strain of that threat. The fears.
I couldn’t help but think, would his younger son be hurt to hear this as he wasn’t born yet. But then again for me the period in my fourties (although still reeling from the deep trauma of losses) were made magical and divine all thanks to the little angels in my life and am utterly thankful. Can’t even put it into words, because I am overwhelmed by gratitude. Priceless moments I always treasure and just look forward to every new one.
Just to expand on why my twenties? For me it was:
1. Being in a vocation where I was actually happy and passionate about what I was doing and surrounded by people I admired and liked.
2. Life was exciting surrounded by great friends and my extended family with my aunties uncles and all my cousins.
3. Travel was fresh and exciting including my first trip to London and Basel in Switzerland in 2000 when I was 29. It was the furthest I had been. Prior to that a family trip to an ashram in India which was magical. That was December 1996 and I was 26.
4. The energy of youth, best shape of my life with the ease to swim 40 laps for two hours, silky hair and skin that glowed. No clue that in my 40’s I would get cancer. Blissfully unaware.
5. The carefree period where I felt I would have my young father with me for decades more. No clue he would be taken suddenly. How he loved me and indulged me. Made me feel so safe and indestructible, because he believed in me totally. Mostly because he showed that he valued me and needed me.
6. That same feeling of safety with my grandmother around. Didn’t know I would loose her just 3 months before loosing my dad. She was truly the glue of my family. Also miss my cousins aunts and uncles terribly. Every loved one leaves a vacuum that can’t be filled.
7. Financially able to do things I can’t now especially in terms of gifting others. Being generous was something that gave me the most joy. Also just the freedom, happiness and peace of mind it gave me.
8. Away from a childhood with a string of abusive teachers including a pedophile. It was better to be an adult and to be more aware – less innocent, less vulnerable. I was also surrounded by people who stepped in to protect me. Loyal angels. One of them was B. So that was how it went.
9. Done with exams and now I could read and gain knowledge of my own volition and pleasure.
10. My beautiful (inside and out) mum being so young and energetic and just having so many happy experiences with her. We did a lot of things together. (Better without devices) Wishing her good health always. Miss her cooking because she cooked a lot of my favourites then and I’m drooling thinking of her sambar and pumpkin curry and a million other dishes. I should learn then but I’m not passionate about cooking the way B is.
11. Did a lot more with my sister. We even played squash together. I miss that period of life.
12. Being a family of 4 not a fractured one of 3 broken souls. I miss watching tv together, playing board games and travelling as a family. Well just everything.