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Saturday, 6 June 2015

Life begins at 50

50plus is the age when your children are no more kids and flown away from your nest, its an age when you do what you like to do and don’t care what people will think, its an age when your happiness matters the most.

With many years of experience, you become hard nut to break; you have already seen the outcome of bad moves from your own experiences as well as that of peers and it is the age when you begin to have faith in yourself.

Gone are those days when women were just home makers, lived under servitude of family’s happiness and had no life of their own. They lived in a box, catered to family needs because ‘Children and husband came first’ Social group was mainly kitty parties/card sessions or a visit to spiritual meetings. Hobbies included stitching clothes for their children, knitting for grandchildren and if they were more creative, they would explore some culinary experiences like cooking a better food or baking a cake. Even if they chose a career, it was always teachers or bank clerks that was adjustable to her timings at home with her family. At age of 50 she looked old and drained, stressed and tired.

But now things have changed. Women are gradually learning to respect themselves and want to do something that gives them opportunities to rediscover themselves.

This week I was at 50youngconference  and was happy to meet the most inspiring ladies from different walks of life.

Anita Gurnani, is the most dynamic woman with pleasant personality. At 57, she has ventured on a new project of bringing enterprising 50 plus women under one umbrella to explore new horizons and facets of life, growing and evolving in the process. When she called me to be a part of this project, I was hesitant at first, mainly because I do not like to admit that I am approaching towards that ‘oldies’ group. It is difficult to come to the terms that I am aging and is no longer that energetic and bubbly 20s-30s youngster although mind refuses to grow up. It has the same emotions of enjoying every moment, same childishness, same curiosity of discovering something new. What actually hinder are the health issues and physical limitations. The idea of joining 50young did not appeal to me. But after seeing the vibrant spirit of Anita, I decided to learn more about it and agreed to attend the conference at Bandra.

At conference, I met women from different walks of life and they were so very inspiring.

Varshaben Vijay Mehta didn’t walk alone towards the dais for panel discussion, one young girl held her hand while she walked. She is able to utilize only 5% of her vision, but still at 57 years old, she runs a business of household and hygiene products and boasts of a large clientele including enterprises and consumers.

Surjit Kaur, entrepreneur and dance enthusiast is 65, but if you were not told her age, you would never guess. She is the member of the dance group at ‘Terence Lewis Academy’ where the oldest member is 88years old. It was entertaining to watch the group of these ladies shaking to the Bollywood number of ‘Lungi Dance’ 

Woman finds happiness when she is able to do what she loves. Children and grand children are her best supporters and very proud of her.

There were about hundred women in the room, and most of them successful and proud. Being it the first ever conference, selected women with their success stories were invited and the experiences were very enriching.

For most of them, life began at 50, when the demands of family slowed down, and women began to appreciate their ‘Me’ time and utilize it to seek happiness to its fullest. It's the age not to retire but to retry.

With a proper support group, many more women will find true worth of themselves. 

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Equal Street In the Suburbs of Mumbai

Since November 2014, Equal Street became alive every Sunday morning with kids and their parents in free expression of art, music and song.

It was the early morning event where traffic was diverted to other routes to give the street back to the public.

In the present scenario, there is really no room to walk, with traffic blaring its loud beeps and footpath with broken slabs. The society compound, too have no room to play like we had during our growing up days. Children spent their major part of their time on computer games or attending private classes. Come summer, and summer camps mushroom all over the city, giving children less time to think independently and be engrossed in more organized games in their peer groups.

I remember, my childhood was spent in building compound playing all kinds of games. We invented our own games, we had our own rules, Everyday there was a new game and the choice was endless. Remember, the hopscotch? We drew blocks on the ground and played with pebbles. It didn’t cost us much to play group games with friends. When we got tired playing in the hot sun, we came indoors to play Carom, Chess, Monopoly and other board games.

‘Equal Street’ had created such opportunity to revive our childhood and introduce this games culture to our children. With traffic out of way, the streets converted into large compound with ample space to spread our creativity. Children learnt many street games like hop on blocks, seven tiles. There were no rules to follow when they played badminton, or cricket or football. Also indoor games like Carom and Chess were brought out on #EqualStreet to encourage people and arouse interest.

Then there were many who walked or cycle down the lane. It was interesting to see youngster bring out their fancy bikes and do some stunts. Many of the children have even learnt to cycle during this summer.

For those who did not want to run or jog behind their children, they preferred to teach their kids for some joys of art. The road became a free canvas where creativity found an outlet. The children helped themselves with colored chalks and created amazing art.

Then some formed groups and performed dance while other preferred to do Yoga, Tai chi and other forms of exercises. At different junction we saw different set of people involved in different kind of activity. There was room for every age to find his medium of entertainment.

With traffic out of way, the smooth tar road was pleasure to play...

Summer comes to end so does the activities on suburbs roads from #Bandra to #Santacruz..

Like I had mentioned in my earlier post at my other Blog Post on Mumbai that

In an attempt to help reclaim streets for people, EMBARQ India has initiated “Equal Streets – A Citizens’ Movement” with the help of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) and Mumbai Traffic Police, and with support from the Times of India Group.

It was fun while it lasted...and everybody had their share of fun

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