Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Life begins after....

....... yeah.... after....

Check out for yourself.............

Srinivasan uncle a retired business man from Bombay came to stay with his son due to his health setback. He is regular with his morning and evening walks in our housing society and is a crowd puller. The young and the old in our society love listening to his motivational and pre-independence talks . Not one to sit idle, he is now off to his home town Coimbatore to start a business.

Can you guess his age?

He is 83. When asked how he could manage a business at age 83?. He says ‘ Why not? I have the experience, the will, the energy and most important the enthusiasm and to that he is blessed with an extraordinary memory.

Shantha Rameshwar Rao, fondly called shantha akka or shantha amma is a frail, sprightly lady. She has an amazing zest for life and does her own work. An educationist, a children’s author and also the founder-principal of Vidya ranya school which celebrated its 50th year on jan’2011. Her school Vidyarany a is not our regular school. I was proud to have met this lady in a recent party at my aunt's place, where she recalled having seen me in a wedding some 5 years back, that too amongst a crowd of more than 100. Her memory awed me.

Now guess her age....

She is 86. Read more about her here.

Jayamma aunty a retired nurse is my parents neighbor in Bangalore. The speed and style with which she walks puts me to shame. I can’t match her strides. She is the ‘Florence nightingale’ of our locality’ , eveready to help even at odd hours, manages the family while her children are at work. A regular walker keeps herself busy with her house hold work , satsangs and attending carnatic music shows. Being a single parent has struggled all her working life to raise 4 children. Now , she indulges herself in sarees and jewellery which is her enjoyment and she often compares herself to Vyjayanthimala bali who is her age. Stylish and graceful with her grey hair.

Her energy and style just floors me. She is 85.

My own MIL who at 76 is active and energetic. She is the one who springs on her feet to answer the door bell. She is always occupied reading, travelling (next month she is off to Nepal, Muktidham with her siblings who are all 70+), cooking for her fussy grandchildren or cleaning the shelves etc.

Cracking the tamil crossword and Sudoku puzzles is another favorite past time, at 76, even the toughest Sudoku is cracked by her in a few minutes. 'Moolaikku velai kuduthunde irukkunum'. ( we should always give work to our brain) is what she says often.

Parvatham patti ( my MIL’s aunt) has no issues. She is younger to mil by an year ( 75) who lives in Lalgudi and another independent and active lady who cooks, cleans(has no maid for her huge house), washes her clothes, travels to all weddings at Chennai, Bangalore. An excellent cook whose greatest fan is my husband . She is also the inspiration for my cookery blog.

My retired appa(Dad) who at 69 is always looking for some work. With his two daughters married and away, he is always there ready to help his siblings, niece and nephews. With him around, everything will be in its place(spic,span and in order). Appa too is a great cook and helps amma in cooking, cleaning,gardening etc.. He needs no plumber or electrician around. He is busy fixing things.

Amma(mom) is very systematic in her work. At 65, she manages both home and outside work. Appa and Amma are too occupied with their friends, relatives and work and their tours. They have no time to stand and stare except during summer time, when their grand children topple their world and keep them extra busy.

Rawal uncle( a retired engineer) and Alka aunty who at age 62 and 60 live independently while their children are abroad. They have enthusiasm to learn swimming, dancing from the youngsters of our complex. They are busy with a consultancy, keeping fit and the house work. Uncle says “ We have worked all these years, now is the time to enjoy and party’.

Srinivasalu uncle who has retired as medical director is now a consultant at a premier eye institute. With no time to think or brood , in between he takes off to tours and is an active member of our housing society.

Raji aunty at 65 does voluntary work at an NGO which counsels people who have suicidal tendencies.

Sundar uncle, a retired colonel is occupied with the children at the Bal Vikas and community work.

Indira aunty at 62 simply zips past us in her Honda city to attend her 'Thirupugazh class' and the way she sways to filmi numbers during parties with teens makes me think she is too young and....

... from our own blogging community we have, Maiji - the oldest blogger I know at 83. See her video here.

I could go on and on…………

And all those 60+ aunties and uncles who live around me, whose children stay far away. They are occupied with their satsangs, kitti party,picnics, bridge games, social activities ,their daily evening talks and walks, team outings etc... the old couples of our complex have planned for a trip to Kerala.

Post- retirement they are full of beans, yet lead a relaxed life, punctuated with strong will power,abundant mental strength and healthy habits. Television plays a minor role in their life.

For them ,Attitude towards life dominates their retarding aging process. One needs to be physically and mentally occupied. Besides reading and writing, talking is also important as it opens up your mind.

When there is a slight disturbance in their health they say ‘All is well” and keep moving with the flow of life.

Sometimes , when I feel lethargic and low, these are the people who flash before me and give me that extra push and propel me to be in the orbit.

Hats off to all these people who say ‘ Age Is just a number’ and inspire me to redefine the saying
‘ Life begins after retirement’.

God bless them and May their tribe increase.


  1. Oh yes age is a just a number I dont beleive in that I do much more now that i did when i was in 20's so life is as you make it to be ..

    I am in better physical health now then ever so its all in the mind :)


  2. True, I too agree, am much active too what i was before.

  3. When There’s a Will, There’s a Way.....
    But they do need an emotional support from the young ones of their family...

    One thing is for sure, that you will get lot of inspirations from these people as you know so many of them personally....:D

  4. Lovely post: a true inspiration for a lot of people, especially the younger generation, who are dead tired, with work, work and more work, and rarely find time to keep themselves fit.
    I would like to add my father too to your list, he is almost 90 and is still healthy and very active, can cook by himself go around whizzing in his moped, go to to his native town Srirangam often, battle all the cases he has put on various people, still able to talk with anybody on any subject, and always in the most positive mood, and always willing to help anyone at any time. This despite he has lost his hearing a few years back. A Scientific officer, a pharmacy graduate, and a lawyer to top it all, Oh i forgot he is also a homeopath, and his favorite hobby and passion is to make lovely face cream, amurthajanam,iodex and tooth powder etc, which vanishes the minute he makes them.
    He is a real inspiration for all of us in the family.

  5. Some determination and grit! Let me hope to become active atleast towards retirement ;)

  6. @Uma- towards retirement...That was a good one:)

    @Rama- Driving moped at 90 and with so much of activity.amaaaaaaaaaaaazing!
    Truly he tops the list. God bless him.

    @irfanuddin- u are right about emotional support. yes, I am surrounded by positivity,thanks :)

  7. Wow for me they are amazing people

  8. @Talha and asma - Thanks for your thoughts :)