Discovering Happiness In Old Age
Ownership, Hoarding & Child-Like Amusement
‘My jewelry. My money in the bank. My cupboard. My TV set. My bed. My AC. My mixer-blender. My dishes. My chappals. My curtains. My doormat. My hair oil. My light bulb. My shoe-rack. My Neha.’
It’s strange how the sense of ownership and the urge to hoard only gets more intense with age (though humans, like squirrels, are hoarders by nature).
Well, that’s my beloved grandmother in her 80s, an unlettered woman, a recent widow, carving out ways to find and determine and define her own version of happiness, which she is doing successfully with impressive grace and adroitness.
A staunch believer of independence, she lives independently, cooks for herself, which is nothing short of an extravaganza on festive occasions, maintains her home exactly as she feels fit, and pursues her interest in cooking and baking.
I marvel at her courage and ability to live independently and happily at her age, and will forever admire her for the perfect blend of emotional, physical and financial fitness that she is.
Her bleary eyes reflect child-like amusement as she pauses to notice the myriad visitors in her balcony — sparrows, crows, squirrels, pigeons — and cats below the window sill.
She reminds me of the fact that there is indeed a child in us all!
When not busy with her household chores, she is often found munching on Mysore Pak and oil-drenched Aloo Wadi, and sipping on oversweet chai.
Ironically enough, I’m writing this while I’m standing in a tree pose holding a cup of black coffee.