Many people in India, especially those who retired from Govt. Service at 60, come to the conclusion that their life is almost over and the remaining period is not worth living. In comparison, I’m amazed at the glowing aspiration and anxiety to live and enjoy life till the last minute, in the western countries. There is no retirement here. Work as long as you are fit. I retired at the age of fifty eight and worked for five years for a private company and would have continued even today, but for the hurricane lashed in my life. A junior at NIN, is now a professor in a leading Institue here at 75 or so and drives his car to the hospital despite his eye- weakness. While strolling on the lawns of the Columbia university, Srikanth told me, ‘Appa, if you can teach any subject well, you will get a job here!’
He, certainly, is not unaware of my age.
Recently, Dr. Vasudevan Kidambi, our family friend was narrating his experience in Boston, where he went for a medical conference. He wanted accommodation for a night and chose a home service in a nearby village as he preferred that.
Excellent ambience, excellent food and above all excellent service. The host was an elderly lady.
You know her age? She was a sweet 15 plus 80!
When the cab didn’t turn up, she boarded her car seat and offered my friend, ‘ get in. doctor,” she invited him. ‘I will drop you in the airport’ . Airport was 20 miles away. When my friend offered payment by cheque or credit card, for accommodation and food, she replied, ‘ if you don’t have cash, you may give me in your next trip’. He was totally a stranger!
The reason for accepting cash for her non- commercial service was, she utilizes that money to serve free food, once a week, for the poor in the village!
She served as a nurse during the Second World War. Once a soldier, always a soldier. Once a nurse, always a nurse.
“My first wife at 95 drives from New York to New Jersey,” claimed John proudly whom I casually met in a park . “I didn’t ask him how many wives, you have?” It was not my interest. But I could guess his age, roughly, if not accurately. He came driving all the way from Baltimore to Orlando- distance of 880 miles!
My suggestion to men and women of all ages is, ‘live your life, when you own one; If it is taken away, and it can be taken away any day, any moment, let that go. Enjoy as a child would when his kite sours up. If the thread gets cut, it is ok. But let it fly, fly high happily, when the thread is intact’