Reminiscing the 60s in our 60s!
It’s a beautiful rainy day in the city, and I’ve just settled in my living room’s corner chair looking at the mist outside. Somewhere in the room, matching beats with the tip tap of the rain against my window, my playlist of 1960s classic Bollywood music is playing. Ah, what bliss!
I’ve always enjoyed listening to songs from what I consider the golden era of Bollywood—the ‘60s. Why just Bollywood? I really believe it was a golden age to be in. The high bun hairstyles, long cat eyeliners, tight chudidars, eye-popping sarees… I feel blessed to have been born in an era where people were really discovering the bold side to them.
Now that I’m in my 60s myself, life feels like it’s slowed down just a bit from the hustle and bustle of making ends meet, getting children to grow up the right way and setting them up for life. And it’s now I realize how much I pine for life from the ‘60s.
The best part? All the other nanis and dadis I meet these days seem to think the same way! We all grew up idolizing Sharmila Tagore’s graceful looks, Mumtaz’ rock ‘n roll inspired shimmy dancing… the beautiful songs adorned by deep, meaningful lyrics still play in our homes, even if our kids and grandkids scoff at how “old” they are!
You know why it doesn’t matter so much to us? Because women are often the happiest from the ages of 50 to 70! Don’t believe me? Well, you should since a study by the University of Melbourne shows it’s true! It’s hard to believe that your grandmom is probably happier now than she was ever before.
Think about it, though. We’re in our 60s, free of our obligations, retired, children have their own lives. All we have to do now is relax, cook the food we love, look after our bodies, our partners, play with our grandkids and spin some ‘60s music! Take it from me—I’m your not-so-regular track pant donning, tattoo sporting grandmom who’s found in the gym as much as I’m found on a ramp strutting designer wear—my so-called golden age is now!
Heck, in fact I’m STILL toying with the idea of opening a Grandma’s Cafe—another new venture I’d have undertaken after becoming a senior citizen, on paper.
Turning 60 is a grand milestone in life. So many of us have made it a point to not just catch up with old friends on a regular basis, but also make new ones! Who’d have thought friendship was possible at this age in life?
We spend way more time imparting values and lessons and love to our grandkids than we did to our children. It was harder for us, while working or keeping the house running, to be able to have leisurely time to spend with our own children. Like they say in Hindi, “Mool se zyada byaaj pyaara hota hai.” Our grandchildren are the interest on the principal that our own offsprings are.
But I’m also acutely aware that not all women have the privilege of realizing their best life is still ahead of them. Some of them struggle with being so far away from their children and grandkids who may have moved abroad; some who live with long-term illnesses that makes socializing a problem. There are a million ways life and circumstances may derail a senior woman from living their best life that studies show are totally possible.
And in my own way, I try to help women my age see the brighter side of things. Through my multiple workshops, events, senior home visits, my only mission is for seniors and youngsters alike to understand that ‘old age’ is a comma and not a full stop. Your body isn’t what it used to be decades ago, but that isn’t a criteria to stop you from aiming to live a beautiful life.
Every phase in your life brings different challenges, but you find a way around.
Your 20s bring work and the pressures of starting a family. You find a way to still keep fit and maintain friendships.
Your 30s and 40s see you trying to make the most of your work life and make a solid foundation for your children to grow off of. You still catch up with your hobbies and your close ones.
Your 50s see you give one last push to your career, and see your children make a name for themselves. You still find a way to make the best of your life and take vacations.
So why not when you’re in your 60s? This mental block is something that we, as a society, must help rid ourselves of. Make our seniors believe that they’re worth the fun, friendship, laughter, and frolic.
This World Senior Citizen Day, I hope you too will pledge to bring the possibility of their best life to a senior around you! It will be fruitful when you see the warmth and the happiness in the faces that didn’t believe they were worthy of it!