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The Sassy Side of Sixty: Health

by Aiden

Dolly Koghar gives her generation’s perspectives on topics du jour.

As a senior citizen, I totally agree with Andy Rooney’s quip, “Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.” I’ve found that now life seems like a wait for the moment when it’ll all be behind me: the successes, failures, disappointments and fulfillments; the friends and the foes.

Regrettably, time can’t be rewound, unlike watches and clocks; and neither can my worn-down body parts be replaced like those in cars. However, agemates, we still have it in us if we’re reading this article with our own eyes and the grey cells are still gleaning some sense out of it. And if we’re past 65, then, we’re amongst the lucky 8 out of a 100 people. In fact, Josh Hartshorne, of Harvard University, has amazing news on aging: “There’s no age we are best at everything – or even most things,” which means that there’s at least something we’ve become better at, thanks to our years and years of experience picking ourselves up after falling. We’re now better equipped to make the right decisions, although youngsters still won’t agree. Nevertheless, our hud-betee advice (bone-deep experience) is worth heeding, so, to avoid the maladies we brought onto ourselves, with the unhealthy choices we’ve made, here are a few perspectives:


  • Like most women, this lady spent her prime years taking care of everything and everybody except her own wellbeing, and though she’s in pretty bad shape, she’s yet unable to find it in her to prioritise herself.
  • This sprightly granny hit a good balance between duties and herself, and early on sensibly relinquished the urge to run her adult children’s lives, financially or otherwise; and enjoys a healthy, tension-free life.
  • Like many women, this woman was relatively fine, till menopause hit her like a tornado, both physically and mentally. She’s resolutely fighting off the excess weight and looking to challenge her mind by learning something new.
  • This mature lady wished she’d trusted herself more and didn’t drive herself to hypertension over society’s verdict of her or her children.
  • Otherwise a sensible person, this one’s dour outlook on life has now left her tackling health issues.


  • Typical of men, this fella jet-setted frequently chasing after moolah, and missed out on wholesome meals, sound sleep, relaxation, and exercise.
  • This desi man went crazy with fries and shakes during his years in the U.S. of A and is now paying for it with obesity and its sidekicks.
  • Meanwhile, this gym (over)enthusiast has a warning message to those pushing themselves beyond capacity and trying to be their own trainer.
  • While this nearly-80 man, despite various ailments, exhibits vitality and joie de vivre and says that life beyond 60 is a rare gift. He believes that every single day should be lived fully and in gratitude; relinquishing the bygones and baggage, while dancing unabashedly to our own tunes.

My Own Journey:

I’ve brought onto myself a bushel-ful of health issues, because I live as a fly on the wall and mostly in my head, and since swimming didn’t require a partner, I took up indoor swimming at the Kobe YMCA. I also walked aplenty, downhill to pick up bread from the German Bakery (during an era before Japan baked the best breads); or to go to the India Club, a place soaked with memories of soirees and Diwali functions; or further downhill to the market, to pick up veggies from the yaveeya-san (veg vendor); or I’d trudge uphill to my uncle’s place, which served as a second home for my children and me, for 32 years.

But I’d give due credit for my sanity and present-day agility to the yoga and the life lessons I learnt from an amazing teacher. I’m also deeply indebted to the trainer forced onto us by my daughter when we moved back to good ‘ol Bangkok for good. But despite it all, my limbs still go numb and my balance is laughable. I’ll also ‘fess to my fast-n-feast eating habit – once I start, I can’t stop, especially sweets; in shaa Allah, the daily walk in the Benjakitti Forest Park haven, along with some yoga stretches, will see my husband and me through many more hale and hearty years!

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