Bbuddah hoga tera baap
Sixty is the new sixteen! The new age senior citizen, who is done with personal commitments, is taking up challenges, courting risks, chasing dreams,...
Sixty is the new sixteen! The new age senior citizen, who is done with personal commitments, is taking up challenges, courting risks, chasing dreams, pursuing full-fledged careers and enjoying it all with the rush of a reckless teenager. Be it our 80-year-old Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh or 66-year-old Infosys Chairman NR Narayana Murthy and several more closer home, they are back with a bang, a purpose, vision and mission. Some of them have never left the track. In these days of hectic workdays even at 60, where do evening walks, pravachans and the annual trips to Vaishnodevi feature, asks MANJU LATHA KALANIDHI
- Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is 80. His career began when he crossed 59 in 1991.
- Bollywood's biggest superstar Amitabh Bachchan still rules at 70.
- NR Narayana Murthy, 66, is back with a bang to Infosys, India's third-largest IT services company with a market cap of $30.8 billion
- Shobhaa De, 65, columnist and bestselling author sells more copies than Chetan
- Bhagat who is half her age
- Dasari Narayana Rao, 66, is making his 100th movie and shows no signs of slowing down
- PNV Nair, Editor, The Hans India, is a driving force at 71 years and works with the enthusiasm of a trainee journalist
- Dr Pratap C Reddy, 80, Chairman, Apollo Group, is still hands-on in his company
Sixty, it seems, is the sweetest age to be. That's the time when you're off with your responsibilities, done with your career, cleared off your EMIs and sprinting towards a carefree life! When you can finally live life on your terms, revive your hobbies and pursue your passions and rekindle your old fires.
A decade ago, the life of a 60-plus person typically featured leisurely morning walk, cups of coffee with the lady of the house while playing with the grandchild, afternoon naps, an evening stroll in the garden, Yoga with Baba Ramdev at 6 pm and Satsang at the temple. Not anymore. For today's 'young' and 'swinging' senior citizens, life after retirement is far more exciting, vibrant and replete with new challenges. Like Amitabh Bachchan famously roared in the Puri Jagannath directed movie, 'Kisko Bbuddha bulata hai re, Bbuddha hoga tera baap," with great attitude and elan!
India boasts of 98 million senior citizens currently and one out of the above four live in urban areas. With concessions in airlines, discounts on hospital bills, reverse mortgage loans and even online communities dedicated to them, sixty is a great age to be.
Pankaj Handa, who retired as General Manager, IDPL (Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited) six years ago, believes 'you are as young as you believe'. At 66, he is realising his dream of pursuing a PhD on 'Job involvement and quality of life of senior managers' pre-lunch and learning the synthesizer post-lunch. So when does relaxing and staying home feature? "Perhaps when I get older," he quips and eyes the 70s for these 'passive' pastimes.
MN Reddy, President of Salzgitter Hydraulics Limited, an industrial machine industry factory at Jeedimetla, has higher aspirations at 66. He doesn't want a job to kill time. He wants a damn good challenge. He specialises in reviving sick units and putting the smile back on the employees. "I could have worked as a consultant, dispense free advice and take home a fat pay pack. But I would rather put my heart and soul to see the light back in the employee's lives," he says.
Interestingly, Reddy has support and assistance from his better half Anasuya, who shares his passion and chips in with her bit for his pet project Aashraya International Charitable Trust that works towards free education of the girl child. "I want to use my age, experience and time to make a positive change," he says.
The senior generation believes that they have an advantage over the youngsters. "We got married and had kids early so by the time we retired, we are done with the commitments and we can start our twenties all over again. Taking risks, jumping jobs, talking back to the bosses and still get away with it because of those few grey strands on my head," they say. With at least 25 years of life left with the average life expectancy hitting 85, there is so much to do.
Erik Erikson, a American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst, in his 'Theory of Psychosocial Development', says old age is the stage in which individuals assess the quality of their lives. In reflecting on their lives, people in this age group develop a feeling of integrity if deciding that their lives were successful or a feeling of despair if evaluation of one's life indicates a failure to achieve goals. Historically, though no specific reason is defined, retirement at the age of 60 years is introduced because of mainly low life expectancy and provide security through pension arrangements.
After 60 years, a majority of people (again there are exceptions) experience decline in physical and psychological potentials. Psychologically, they may experience reduction in sensory registration speed and decline in working memory. However, there is much individual variation in these declines, and each particular cognitive ability shows a different range of age-related decline for each separate individual.
N Radhika Acharya, an M Phil in Rehabilitative Psychology at Deccan Hospital, Hyderabad, says that many people view retirement as a time to stop working. But new research shows that people who take on full- or part-time jobs after retirement have better health. Researchers showed that they experience fewer major diseases and are able to function better than those who are fully retired. But they should not take up just any other job. The job should be interesting and should give them job satisfaction. Working after 60 years can be advantageous if it allows to get respect, identity, enjoyment and gives meaning to life. It should give them more social, emotional and financial security.Dad, at 80 has harnessed his experience with openness to the IT age we live in. This has allowed him to reset his goals AND create a comprehensive health system geared to keeping India well. How does he do it? Discipline, hard work and belief, - Shobana kamineni about dad Pratap C Reddy
SIX SWEET THINGS ABOUT BEING A SENIOR CITIZEN
- Concessions in airlines and trains: 50 per cent concession for women senior citizens
- Fatter interest rates on Fixed Deposits in banks: 0.5 per cent more than the others
- Reverse Mortgage loans: Under this scheme, those over 62 years of age can mortgage their home for 15 years while living in it. In return they get either a lumpsum or a monthly income from the bank which has taken the house on mortgage. On the death of the senior citizen, the bank takes over the house.
- Personal Tax exemption for senior citizens hiked to Rs 1,95,000 from this financial year
- The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Bill 2007
- Reserved seats and queues in public places.
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