Camera: Abhishek Ranjan
Video Editor: Vivek Gupta
On International Day of Older Persons, The Quint visited Panchvati, an elder care home and interacted with seven very cute and very wise goldies.
First love, ageing, social media, viral challenges on Instagram – in a no holds barred conversation, they opened up and how.
“I love ice-cream, I love chocolate. I love to show off. If I don't get something, I try to throw a tantrum but no one's here to through tantrums at,” says 75-year-old Siddhartha Pachisia when asked if ‘Budhe-Bache’ are the same.
Ninety-two-year-old Satwant Mathur believes that we all are corrupted by living in the world and weighs in by saying:
“The outward manifestation of certain childlike qualities are there but every old person is a different old person. Where is the innocence or genuineness of a child, tell me, in the old people?”Satwant Mathur
Elders on their ‘Pehla Pyaar’
“First and only love, my husband.”Sundari Biswanathan, 83-year-old
Some were coy and didn’t reveal the story of their first love, some were even thinking what their children would think if they revealed their best kept secret at this age.
Asha Baweja, popularly known as ‘sunshine’ in the home, got candid about her first love. Living in a conservative household, by the time she understood the feelings of love, she was married off.
“I am unlucky. My marriage was not successful. But after that, I fell in love with someone. That period of my life was very good. I will always remember that time.”Asha Baweja
Siddhartha Pachisia had a lovely childhood love story to share. He had a crush on an Anglo-Indian girl in school. He knew that it was unattainable but he did his best to stay close to her.
“I used to make sure that I get paired with her in school dances or birthday parties. Another thing was sharing chocolate or taking a bite of a cake and giving it to her. That was enough to send us into raptures.”Siddhartha Pachisia
Is It Boring Being Old?
That was the unanimous answer.
Ms Neelam Mohan, founder of Panchvati, says that she doesn’t understand what being boring is, she has never ever been bored in her life and hopes other’s don’t find her boring too.
We also had a bookworm among us, 78 year-old Neelam Mathur, who told us that book reading is her newfound hobby.
“No, I don’t feel boring at all. Really, because I have a lot of books here and there. I am busy with that all the time. And sometimes there are so many books which I like very much. I read 3-4 times because their character is so high.”Neelam Mathur
Sixty five years old, Saroja Ramachandram is enjoying life to the hilt - eating, watching shows, buying clothes. She also busts a common myth that old people don’t use the internet.
“I have my own Wi-Fi in my room. And, I use YouTube also and WhatsApp, Google, everything. And my friends send me messages also.”Saroja Ramachandram
On this myth about internet use, founder Neelam Mohan added that retention power of old people is less hence it takes them longer to learn these new things but given enough incentive, people learn and perform, no matter at what age.
“I remember that the only reason I learnt to work on the computer was when my son was leaving for Michigan for his studies, and he told me that this is the way we will stay connected.”Neelam Mohan, Founder, Panchvati
Age is nothing but a number and the elderlies at Panchavati have stopped counting years ago. As Bollywood superstar Rajesh Khanna says in his 1971 blockbuster ‘Anand’ – “Zindagi Lambi Nahin, Badi Honi Chahiye”.