Senior Citizens Cheering Life
Senior Citizens fuel the social fabric with their wisdom and experiences. Phycologists believe that young children raised in the family with grandparents around, grow up to becoming more compassionate and sensitive individuals. None can deny the experience hidden under locks of grey hair and their experienced eyes.
SUBURB in a candid conversation with dynamic senior citizens of Gurgaon who share their unedited views on changing social norms and living in the current times.
With breaking down of joint families, and mushrooming of the nuclear family system, a lot of tales of wisdom is getting lost. Oblivion to the granny’s love and bedtime lullabies, the little children are growing up to become self-centered and loners.
“Senior citizens are the family counsellors, the family caretakers and the vital link with past family traditions and heritage,” says Major Atul Dev, a retired Army Officer and a Convener with INTACH Gurugram Chapter who is living an action full life at the age of 81.
Senior citizens play a vital role in building the society, and in the Indian context, the role of senior adults in the family cannot get undermined. “Getting old first happens mentally and then physically. After retirement starts a new lease of life. Do not surrender or let go of the spirit of living a good life,” says Major Dev emphatically. “We senior citizens are virtually the mucilage that binds families together. Urban society in India had somehow lost its need for elders, which they are now re-appreciating.”
“My message to senior citizens is to keep themselves productively occupied. An active mind and physically agile body shall keep away COVID! I, for one, have been busier than ever during the lockdown period. I have treated this period as a retreat and a time to catch up with many pending plans and add more dreams to my bucket of life,” chuckles Atul.
Living life on your terms
Today, fortunately, most older adults, especially in the metros are living a comfortable and independent life, which was not the case a few decades ago. Many senior citizens are still pursuing their careers or indulging in their passions, serving the community and keeping themselves busy.
“Irrespective of your age, no matter who you are, live life to the fullest every single day, as if every day is your special day! Why should there be only one dedicated day to senior citizens or moms & dads,” says Krishan Kalra, former President of All Indian Management Association.
Indeed, so much to learn from the wise golden ager. Kalra is now involved in voluntary work in the areas of skill development, health care, environment conservation and empowerment of the differently-abled.
“Being a senior citizen is a privilege as only a few enjoy that. It is the time in your life when you have literally no worries. Children are settled in their own lives, you have retired from your job or business, there’s reasonable financial security; take the inevitable minor health issues in their stride, eat well, sleep well, take a walk, exercise a little, laugh a lot, meet friends, visit extended family and just have a Ball! Becoming a senior citizen in your next life is a long way off! says Kalra.
The golden phase of life-
In most cases, in the post-retirement age, one can put a foot up and relax since all significant responsibilities of life accomplished. It is a period to look back and marvel over the achievements and make peace with the failures.
Being a Senior Citizen is a privilege as only a few enjoy that. It is the time of life with little worries with children settled, ample time to pursue hobbies which got pushed due to lack of time in the humdrum of life.
In her 70s Prema Nair is happy and contented. “During the lockdown, I re-discovered my singing talent. Being an active member and office-bearer of Dignity Foundation, Gurgaon, Nair learned computer skills and now is very active in conducting zoom sessions. She likes to spend her time exploring her creative side. “I have painted bottles and made lampshades. Crafted table cloths and scarves out of old embroidered sarees and more. Of course, I’m scared in the current pandemic scenario, but that has not stopped me from utilizing my time effectively. It is up to us whether to see the glass half full or empty. I have to do my bit and keep myself as safe as possible for my sake and my children.”
It takes courage to be determined that, as one slows down physically, it’s an opportunity to grow more psychologically and spiritually. After all, life is an attitude of gratitude.