Senior Citizens of India

Even before you are aware of it, retirement is around the corner and with it comes a sense of apprehension, trepidation and maybe a sense of anticipation. The first few days when you acquire the status of a senior citizen are full and the consequences of retirement have yet to sink in. A month passes and time hangs heavily and in a sense you feel lost, but a change in attitude can alter all that. The Indian government has given many concessions to senior citizens and it would do good if you focused on the advantages rather than the disadvantages. Even at a personal level you can think of it as a new beginning rather than an end of a phase. Look around you, wake up to the things around you, have a new perspective and find time for all those things that you wanted to do but could never get done.

Books and reading are all time favorite hobbies to indulge in. In India, subjects like astrology, tarot reading and palm reading have attracted many. So serious do these senior citizens become that you would never guess they were novices. Heated discussions, debatable debates on politics and religion have also engrossed quite a few. Then there is this small segment, which focuses on economy and finance. Many Indians who have never taken investment seriously start reading business magazines, and catch up on bullish and bearish trends in the market. Surprisingly many of them become prudent about investment and offer a lot of advice to the so-called tyros. Listening to music, attending music festivals, participating in musical activities help to turn the focus from retirement to aesthetics. Many philanthropic Indians have been known to devote their attention to social causes and have been known to form clubs, which volunteer to help people. The sense of deep satisfaction that one gets from this is absolutely incomparable.  Developing a passion for sports, evoking an interest in everything around you keeps you mentally healthy and emotionally fit.

There is a decline in mental abilities as one ages and this is mostly an offshoot of certain pathological changes in the human brain. While senior citizens become more mature in judgment , the ability to recall things declines. Doing crossword puzzles, solving things mentally and a conscious effort to relate and recall can greatly alleviate this decline. Aging is only in the mind, you are as old as you want to be. Reading spiritual books, committing the Saint Kabir’s shlokas to memory is a wonderful exercise for the human brain, for it emphasizes the fact that nothing, no matter however difficult is unconquerable. A positive attitude and a desire to learn as many new things as possible is the key to a full and happy life. Many computer institutes in India conduct computer courses for senior citizens and they are able to use the Internet, send e-mails all over the world, store information relating to investments and handle their bank accounts.  There are limited job openings for senior citizens but ideally they should take a job only if they have to.

Exercise, yoga and meditation keep senior citizens in good physical condition, as they are less prone to ailments, which tend to dog their footsteps once they have crossed 60. Physical conditioning augurs emotional and mental well being. Exercise tones muscles, improves circulation of blood, reduces stress and wards off depression. Joints remain flexible, the risk of arteriosclerosis is reduced, muscle and bone loss is drastically reduced. In India, many old people have taken to doing pranayama on a regular basis.

For Senior citizens, this is a period of growth and the proper time to attain the riches that life has to offer. This is the time in their lives when they can live their lives they way they actually want to. The concessions they are entitled to makes it actually worth being a senior citizen. Airlines offer discounted fares and the Indian railways offer a discount on all tickets . There are separate queues for senior citizens at the post office , railway counters and some buses even have seats reserved for them. It all boils down to one thing—It can actually be quite appealing to be senior citizen once you look at yourself with esteem and have confidence in your abilities. Eat healthily, exercise, sleep well and extract every ounce of elixir that life has to offer.  ~ author Mini Swami.