‘When I Get Older, l Will Be Stronger! Elderly Generation Walk the Ramp Hand-in-Hand
Mangaluru : Quoting lyrics from Somali-Canadian artist K’naan Gill’s song ‘Wavin’ Flag’- ‘When I Get Older, l Will Be Stronger, They’ll Call me Freedom, Just like a Wavin’ Flag…”, perfectly suits the present elderly generation, where their vintage age is just a number. Old is Gold!-that’s right. We don’t believe age is any more than a mere number. When looking at some of the vintage revelers from in and around Mangaluru, started to walk on the Ramp, along with their children and grand children, which was a unique event organized for the FIRST time in Mangaluru.
If Mangaloreans thought that only beauties between the age of 17 and 30 could walk the ramp and strike a pose, you are wrong, because we also had our Vintage Young Beauties between the age of 60 and 75 plus also who walked on the ramp and struck a pose, surprising the audience and receiving loud applaud. It was truly amazing to look at them go! Even in the glorious age of white hair and senior citizen discounts, their inner children were not only alive and well, they were shaking things up too… literally. They were getting with the groove, boogey-ing, dancing well, singing oldies, 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.
Every year, Ms Maria D’Costa, the Director of Uxcel, Institute for Excellence, Attavar, Mangaluru comes up with unique programmes for the elderly, and this year was no exception- she hosted the “Generation Walk The ramp Hand-In-Hand’ in association with Rotary Clubs of Bantwal and Mangalore Down Town, both sponsors of the event. At this festive evening held on Rajothsava Day at Forum Fiza Mall , the elderly from all over Mangaluru walked the Ramp with their children and grandchildren.The Program commenced with a prayer song rendered by Rotary President of Bantwal, Rtn Ms Shivani Baliga whose dynamic spirit pervaded all through the preparation and the event.
The elderly very enthusiastically walked the ramp with children and grandchildren and showed the world that age was just a number and encouragement was all one needed to come out and enjoy the moment. Over 130 Young Seniors walked the ramp and received gifts presented to them on the chair of honour, amidst loud cheers of the audience. “Mrs Photogenic” Ms Mamatha Rebello and “Mrs Stylish” Shivakanya walked the Ramp and added glamour to the show. Prof. Dr. Olinda Pereira , 96 years young was the chief guest and Rotary Governor Elect, Ranganath Bhat was the presiding officer. Addressing the audience Ms Olinda said, “We are all joined as one family, and sitting together as Educated people. We are not old, but still young to enjoy life to the fullest. Lets’all be happy and make others happy”.
Ms Devika Purushotham, international yoga trainer, examiner and coach demonstrated important Pranayamas and mudras for healthy, happy living. The elderly took stage to sing and dance. Little Eshani Baliga, just 4-years-old sang a beautiful song and added to the joy and wonderment of the listeners. Her mother Ms Pramila Baliga entertained the crowd with the famous song “My Heart Will Go”from the movie “Titanic”. Positive affirmations were rendered in chorus for a positive, good life. Team Hisrar Events and Celebrations managed the event efficiently and the seminarians from St Joseph Inter diocesan Seminary-Jeppu, Mangaluru volunteered during the event.
Rtn Ranganath Bhat spoke in glowing terms about the success of the program and thanked the elderly profusely.He also thanked Prof. D’Costa for the brilliant idea. “Rotary International is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together community in order to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. It is a non-political and non-religious organization open to all people regardless of race, color, religion, gender, or political preference. The Rotarian’s primary motto is “Service Above Self”; its secondary motto is “One Profits Most Who Serves Best”. As a Governor of these two Rotary Clubs joined in this event, I am overwhelmed to be associated with this unique event, where we made the elders happy and send them home smiling”.
As a kind gesture from Ms Maria D’costa, Yours Truly of Team Mangalorean was also felicitated with a memento for the wide coverage given to the past senior citizens events- and this gesture is truly appreciated with millions of thanks from my side, because we hardly get recognized for what we do by many other organizers, but Ms D’costa’s courtesy was phenomenon and very touchy. Thank You, Madam Maria D’Costa! Miss Florida Almeda also rendered a song “Waving Flag”by K’nnan Gill, and few other seniors also sang, enthralling the audience. The programme ended with a non-stop Baila, where the Seniors made the best use of their time. Savitha Salian of UXCEL rendered a heartwarming vote of thanks.
“You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.” had said George Bernard Shaw, and for that matter all these young vintage revelers from our City, showing off their hidden talents in the form of dancing, oration, and unbelievable stage performance, proved that they are still young at heart and young to do fun activities. When you look at many of these seniors happily walking the Ramp, many in their age might have had surgeries, hip replacement, car accidents, deaths, divorces … you name it, and many have been through it. It’s how you react to it and how you grow from it that gives you wisdom. But this unique event has given the opportunity to pass that wisdom down to “younger” generations.
They are mothers and grandmothers — having survived illnesses, lost spouses and children. This event planned by Ms D’costa is the camaraderie of the ladies and even though they’re at this stage in their lives, they still have so much to offer and so much to share, and these “Young and Energetic” seniors in their sixties, seventies and beyond, is an perfect example, showing that you can still be young even though you are old? It’s never too late to dream a new dream, and it’s never too late to live out an old one. I think when you can you should share your experience, knowledge and enthusiasm for life, and that’s exactly what these young revelers did on stage.
Other Seniors should follow in the footsteps of all these Seniors who unleashed their hidden talents, after all of you live only once- and if you have the talents at the golden ripe age, why not step into the challenge, and make a difference. Yes, believe it or not, the present seniors are the new hipsters. The generation gap has changed. These days you can see seniors wear the same embellished sneakers, off-shoulder tops and trendy nail polish millennials do. They’re just as adventurous — and it’s no longer any difference between between younger women and older. “Fresh, healthy and fit” is the new “growing old gracefully.” Aging in place is no longer an option.
Seniors are not invisible; they’re invincible! Women in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s are no longer waiting to be noticed. They use their voices and presence on social media to show how informed, global-minded, outspoken, opinionated and tech savvy they are and seek like-minded friends and confirmation of their ideals and goals. Remember: Age is just a number, and everyone can perform and be at their best, if there is a way and will. And to Ms Maria D’costa and her team, you all did a great gesture in showing your kind gesture and love to these elderly folks, who did made a difference and showed the world that even Seniors can Rock and reach to the top in golden ripe age. After all SENIORS ROCK even in the present era!
Ending my column with a perfect tribute song “Waving Flag” by Knaan Gill on YouTubeto all the Young Seniors-