Mangaluru: Old is Gold!-that’s right.We don’t believe age is any more than a mere number. Not with these smooth party “young” ladies and men on the floor. Look at them go! Even in the glorious age of white hair and senior citizen discounts, their inner children are not only alive and well, they’re shaking things up too… literally. They are getting with the groove, boogey-ing, dancing well, doing yoga moves, and having some fun and frolic. As they say that “Ageing is not ‘lost youth’, but a new stage of opportunity and strength”- there is no age limit when you are capable of having some fun and want to party- even senior citizens know how to party hard and have fun and frolic.
In today’s civilized social structure, it is disturbing to see a trend of senior citizens being deprived of their comforts, particularly by children being indifferent to their aged parents at a time when the parents need parental care most. It is to look after such orphaned aged persons and also those senior citizens who need help managing their health, that some service-minded organizations like KMC Chaitanya and Mangalore Alzheimer’s Association have come forward to render their yeoman service in giving comfort, advice and love to these old-age citizens. I have been very much associated and communicating with many of these senior citizens, sharing their views and news-these seniors need someone to talk to and give them company to overcome their old-age depression.
KMC Navachaitanya has been keeping these seniors busy with various activities and exercises to keep them fit and healthy. A programme was organized today to felicitate three of their active and senior most members for their contribution to the organization – they were Sumathi Pangal; Smt Aroor Laxmi Rao and B S Rao. Also a guest senior most person of age 102 years, Michael D’Souza was also felicitated during the occasion. The felicitation programme was held on 11 February 2016 at KMC “Sushrutha” Hall-Attavar. The hall simply reverberated! Zahid Hussain Baji welcomed and compered the programme, while Surendra Bekal delivered the vote of thanks. The programme comprised of cultural programme with skit, songs and dances.
I end this column with few thought-provoking words of wisdom on “old age’-
“The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young. The complete life, the perfect pattern, includes old age as well as youth and maturity. The beauty of the morning and the radiance of noon are good, but it would be a very silly person who drew the curtains and turned on the light in order to shut out the tranquillity of the evening. Old age has its pleasures, which, though different, are not less than the pleasures of youth. The old are in a second childhood. When we’re young we have faith in what is seen, but when we’re old we know that what is seen is traced in air and built on water. No one wishes to grow old, to outlive their illusions. Only a short respite from cares and sorrow, a brief time of flowers, and music, and love, and laughter, and ecstatic tears”.
About: Sumathi Pangal
Born on 13th Oct. 1933 in Kasaragod. Married in the 16th year of age to Prof. Sethu Madhava Rao of then KREC Surathkal. Now NITK. As she was very keen in her studies, did her MA in Sanskrit at the age of 40 years and MA in History at the age of 60 years. No one was there to defeat her in acting and speech those days. Seeing her talent Mr. Belagidde Appayya promoted her in drama, as a result her talent was exhibited in several places those days.
She studied the art of collecting Japanese flowers and exhibited them in Bhutan etc.When Bhagini Samaj was in need of funds, she acted in dramas, collected the funds to the Samaj. In cultural activities she was on the upper side. She was thinking family upliftment is national upliftment. For this title of work, she got the national award. Silent pond (Shantawada Kola), “Mareyalada Hunnime”, “Hoogalu Maatuduvode” prominent novels written by her. She has to her credit 17 dramas, 7 Radio dramas written & directed by her & she is the 1st grade artist.
Andara Seva Sangha (Blind Seva Sangha) established by Sumathi Pangal couples has donated eye sights to a number of deserving persons. This Sangha has completed 208 camps so far and has helped so many persons. She is the active number of Nava Chaitanya, Ex President of Mahila Sabha and was honoured by many organizations.
She is the mother of one son and one daughter. Son is a great Doctor. He was the Ex. Dean of Manipal Hospital, Manipal. Both the children lead a peaceful life.
About: Smt Aroor Laxmi Rao
She is the wife of Late Aroor Krishnamoorthy Rao of famous Aroor family, who was the last Managing Director of the Shanker Vittal Motor Company Ltd., which was one of the largest Bus Operators of DK. Laxmi Rao continues to be the patron of Bagini Samaj and is a well known figure and active member in the social welfare field of Mangaluru, being the ex-president of the Shilpa Women’s Multipurpose Co-Operative Society; Ex-president of Mahila Samaj; President of Ishwarananda Mahila Seva Samaj;
Besides holding a Master’s degree in Arts, a Rastra Bhasha Visharada in Hindi, and a student of Sanskrith of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, she is a keen musician herself and an exponent of the Veena and has given several public performances, and has taken great interest in the field of Karnatic music. She is popular dramatist and has also taken part in dramas to raise funds. A keen member of the Women’s Organization, she has taken part in several national and International Women’s conferences. A enthusiastic gardener and winner of several taluk level flower shows and kitchen gardens, she continues to engage in this hobby as well as in culinary, cooking, and stitching for which she is very well renowned.
Laxmi Rao has widely traveled across India and abroad to almost all countries except Africa and Russia, and has given various talks there. on Indian Culture, Heritage and Religious Practices at various gatherings and forums. Smt Rao is ex-president of Bharat scouts and Guides; Vice-President of AGE-Mangaluru; founder member of KMC-Ashraya, now known as KMC-Navachaitanya. She has two sons-Dr Aroor Prasad Rao and Aroor Vasanth Rao-a engineer; and has a daughter Sheela Rao settled in USA. She is a proud grandma of 7 grand-kids and four great grand-kids.
About Charles Reuben Robert Michael D’Souza:
“I’m totally fit all the way blood wise and somehow I must’ve gotten an extra gene. My wife passed away two years ago and we were married for over 78 years — that’s about as long as most people live these days” he said jokingly. “My doctor says I’ll live as long as I want to live. I have no health problems beyond the usual, and once in a while I do check up on my eyes, heart and lungs, but have found no problems whatsoever. I try to keep myself healthy and happy, without worrying about anything” said Michael boasting about his 102 years life on this planet.
Michael still lives independently (having lost his wife in 2012, and has no children), wakes up by 4.30 or 5pm and cooks breakfast, prepares his own lunch and does most of the upkeep on his house himself, spends time in his garden watering the plants and enjoying the nature, and he always ready to have friends at his house to share some news and views, at his small tile-roof house on Microwave Station Road-hat Hill here. When asked how come he wakes up so early in the morning, he said it has been the habit since it was the wake-up time while he was in the British Army. He said that he is good in cooking Mangalorean style pork bafat/sorpothel and chicken items, and he has invited me for lunch or dinner one of these days. He currently holds a Karnataka State driver’s license issued in the year 1959, and expires in the year 2019.
Michael has been driving for the last 82 years, ever since he joined the British Army when he was just 18- and has been a safe driver since then without any traffic violations/tickets. He says even today the local police officers/cops respect him with dignity and salute him while he drives by them. He has driven in most of the parts in India, probably quite a million miles. Born to Charlie Sam (a Greek origin) and Mary on 16 October 1914 in Ooty – he was the tenth child among 13 children in the family. Out of the 13 children, only him and his brother Benjamin (Ooty) are alive, while his mother passed away at the age of 108. He had his schooling only up to the 10th Std, and then he had to join the British Army when they ruled India then.” It was a British rule then, if there were more young men in a family, one had to join the army. And since I was hefty and well-built then, I was forcibly picked to join the army” said Michael.
Although he worked for 10 years in the army as a agreement, he was lucky that he didn’t had to fight in any wars. Leaving the army job in 1942, he joined as a jeep driver for PWD in Mysore district. He was also a vehicle driver for Gas and Construction company-Achutnagar, and also jeep driver of Sandhya Farms in Bangalore. Then he served as a driver for two PWD contractors in Kinnigoli and Mangaluru, until he retired for good few years ago. Although he is retired, he still does honorary job by driving his friend’s car and doing their errands.
“It’s a case of, every day is a new day, there was no objective to live beyond (a certain age); if you felt good, you made it.” said Michael when I asked him how does he feel living to be a Centenarian.. Michael was also quick to point out that the best tip for living a long, healthy life is “everything in moderation.”
Yet another person who was suppose to be felicitated was Mr B S Rao: A retired school teacher and Head Master from a school in Karwar, is a founder of AGE-Mangaluru and KMC-Navachaitanya. He is blessed with only one son, Dr Satish Rao, who is a assistant professor of Medicine at KMC. Due to his health problems since last 3-4 months, B S Rao couldn’t make it to the event- he will be felicitated at his residence shortly.