60 and Growing Younger by the Day

Neena Article

My ‘Spice of Life’ Article in Hindustan Times Today (8.8.2017)

So much has been said about ‘age’ or ‘old-age’ per se. ‘Age is just a number’ or ‘age is an issue of mind over matter’. It depends upon how you look at your own age, your own mindset and your own circumstances, but there is no denying the fact that a sea-change has taken place in people’s perception about old age.

These days, the 50 to 60-year bracket is not at all considered ‘old age’, thanks to the medical science and health facilities available. Instead of ‘bazurg’, one is called a ‘senior citizen’. However, there are more of impelling circumstances than any hype behind this change.

There was a time when in the joint family system, the day the father retired, he, along with his wife, would become relaxed, free of tension, spending his time sipping tea, reading newspapers, visiting temple/ gurdwara, tending the garden and playing with grandchildren. The son, usually the eldest one, took over family responsibilities, financial and otherwise, including the health and well-being of the parents; whereas the daughter-in-law took over the household duties.

But today, with the children settled away from home, the old couples can hardly afford to perceive themselves as relaxed or laid-back ‘bazurgs’ as they have to look after themselves, their health becoming a major priority. Their daily routine consists of sportsshoes, yoga, green-tea, aloe vera, neem juice, and what not. They have to keep themselves fit and fine to be up and about, as the man is still the master of his own universe, and the lady – the queen of the kitchen.

Now, they have lot of time on their hands, with no grandchildren around to play with; no family discussions at the dining table, and no involvement in their children’s lives. Loneliness, listlessness and a vacuum in their lives can be torturous. Laughter clubs, self-help groups, senior citizen associations, and kitties are the new activities they are taking course to, not only to spend their free time, but to address and tackle their mutual problems as well.

With their love for latest fashion, they convince themselves that they are still young and that there is so much still left in life.

And then there is Internet — that opens a whole new world of the social media network for them. Today, I find those very people who at one-time called it useless and ‘veleyaan de kamm’ (idlers’ time-pass) busy on their mobiles. It has become a necessity as it helps them connect with people they know, or even don’t know – family, friends, relatives, colleagues, acquaintances, children’s friends and friends’ children!

The best thing about the social media is that one is recognised not by his age (or gender for that matter), but by the content he shares; the things he likes; and the comments he gives. Whatever one’s age, one can very easily connect and interact with like-minded people – young, old and not so old.

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Posted in Article, Causes by Narinder Jit at August 8th, 2017.
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