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Old age is no place for sissies. [Bette Davis]

We live in a senior citizen's village. Don't confuse it with the homes for  old and unwanted people. These are affluent people who, after living a full active life wish to live an independent old age.

This is a gated community where outsiders are not allowed. Neat streets and lanes, most negotiable in a wheelchair if needed. Parking lots, and facilities. There are golf greens but I have yet to visit that. Three large club houses equipped with gym, swimming pool etc. And to my delight- a fabulous library and all this free of charge.

We see all kinds of vehicles on the roads, cars of different descriptions, mostly sedans, to golf carts which many use as vehicles inside the gates. People are seen going around on foot, walkers are seen any time of the day. But all these people have cheerful faces, neatly made up. Club houses regularly have entertainment programs and citizens attend these in great numbers. I attended one such program recently. I could see them all women decked up, smily faces, some with their significant others , and most with friends. Men were quite dandies, in sporty or formal clothes, I saw a few fedoras here and there and those who still had hair took great care to style them with a panache. Women were accessorized with multitude of scarves-jewellery-belts-bracelets,  here and there a few were with flowers in their hair. Nowhere did one see the sorrow and defeat that one frequently sees on the old faces. In India ( and frequently even from my mother ) one hears the tone that everything is now over- so whats the point of dressing up. Here these golden oldies dressed up with the enthusiasm of a teenager out on a date.

It has been my observation for some time now, the older a man gets the more his eyes develop a twinkle. I don't know how that works. Young men don't have that twinkle. Sad really. Maybe life needs to ripen them for that twinkle to develop.

These people lead an active life, pursuing hobbies, creating wonderful artwork. I visited their art classes and was amazed at the quality of the stained glass panels, pottery and ceramic work, paintings and jewelry created by arthritic hands. It curiously humbles you.I am sure there is a down side to this picture. Feeling of neglect, sense of sorrow about lost opportunities, or worry over future and ultimately death. But in the meantime- let's  party !!!

This write didn't have much scope for humor but as the title says- Old age is no place sissies :)


Suni i love this post. It makes me even more sure that this is the kind of place we should have here in India. Most of us who are in our 30s and 40s will not have time to stop and smell the roses all through our work life. At least retirement should give us access to stuff that by rights we should be doing now :)
suniti joshi said…
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