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Tilak Rishi, born in India, has been working as a career corporate executive, after doing his MBA. Passionately pursuing his hobby for writing, he also remained a regular contributor to newspapers in India and the U.S. Many true happenings and characters he came across in life, including interaction with former president Bill Clinton, inspired Paradise Lost and Found, his first novel. A family saga, it starts from Kashmir, when this paradise on earth is lost for the tourists who thronged in thousands every year to enjoy its scenic splendor. Terrorists have turned it into one of the most dangerous places in the world. The family is not only a witness to the loss of this paradise, but also to another tragedy of much bigger magnitude. In the aftermath of the partition of India, along with millions uprooted from their homes in Pakistan, the family leaves behind all that it has in Lahore. Starting from a scratch on the difficult path to progress, it still has many joyful moments when along the way it makes a difference in many a life. The survival-to-success story climaxes in California where the family finds the paradise that was lost in Kashmir.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Big B "102 And Not Out"!

Superstar Amitabh Bachchan has turned a year older but he is certainly not 102-year-old man. Well we are talking about his next film 102 Not Out in which we hear actor will be seen playing the role of a 102-year-old man. The film will be directed by Umesh Shukla and produced by Bhushan Kumar. Reportedly the movie will also star versatile actor Paresh Rawal too. 102 Not Out is about a man who wants to break the world record of the oldest man alive and to achieve his aim he needs to live another 17 years.”
  • Media report

We are totally looking forward to this cinematic experience. It means Big B will be striving to be a supercentenarian in the film – a person who has lived to the age of 110 or more, something only achieved by about one in 1000 centenarians. Even rarer is a person who has lived to age 115 – as of July 2013 there are only 30 people in recorded history who have indisputably reached this age, of whom only Misao Okawa is still currently living. The subject of the movie is such that it must be requiring much research on persons who have reached the 100-year of age or close to crossing it. May I contribute my bit to this research by relating my personal experience of being close to at least two such persons – my own elder brother and my next door neighbor - both in their nineties, about to cross their 100-year milestone:
First, our neighbor and a good friend, as only yesterday we wished her 'Happy Birthday” when she graciously invited us to a family reunion of three next generations – daughter, grand daughter and great grand daughter – gathered to celebrate her healthy normal life about to enter the league of centenarians. She lives alone in her 3-bedroom beautiful single home, her husband having passed away about five years ago. She does all her house work, including cooking, cleaning and gardening, herself with weekly par-time help from a paid cleaning woman and a gardner. She drives to downtown daily to buy vegetables and grocery and for any other needs. Most of her spare time she spends reading newspaper and novels, and also likes to visit us and enjoy interesting conversation, especially comparing culture and customs in her country and ours, over a cup of tea. Interestingly, one day she wanted my wife's advice on a very personal matter, which clearly showed the cultures of our two countries are as far apart as their lands are located on the world map. She said her son, 65 years old and living in Hawaii, wants to move here to live with her so that he may help her in day- to- day needs. My wife's instant reply was not to think twice to have him live with her and look after in her advancing age. A couple of days later she came to inform us that she has said “No” to her son as some of her friends have advised that his staying with her would interfere with the independent life she is leading and would be an unnecessary burden on her time and money. Anyway, that is her life, but what is important is how she is able to have absolutely normal and healthy life at her near 100 years of age. Her categorical answer is that she never followed her chronological age and always felt at least 20 yours younger - “I don't think old and I don't feel old, the trick is not to act your age”, she says. She also credits her longevity to her positive attitude which has been critical throughout her life. On her diet, she says she is scared of 'super-sized portions' which are the trend today and prefers eating nutritious food in moderation. But the biggest factor she attributes to her body being healthy at her age is, as she puts it: “Move it or lose it – you have got to exercise your mind as well as your body”. She never misses the daily Yoga class and the periodical Line-dancing practice at the Senior Center in our neighborhood, where actually she met us for the first time and became our friend. We were much impressed by her active life style in spite of her age approaching 100 years, and is an example for us in our advancing years.

My brother, settled in London, flies to India every other year to celebrate his birthday with our nephews and nieces and their families in Mumbai, most recently his 95th birthday. God willing, he plans to celebrate his placement amongst the centenarians too in India. That's the spirit that sustains him in his nineties and, hopefully, will do so after he crosses his 100th year. The cold London climate and its highly healthy food which he has been enjoying for over half a century since leaving Srinagar (Kashmir), may also have helped him to be fit and fine at his age. It was an interesting example of destiny playing a definite role in deciding where he would spend his life after escaping the wrath of invading tribals backed by Pakistan army who had almost entered Srinagar. He was then a bank manager and we had joined him from Lahore to have safe haven in Srinagar. We all were part of a panic evacuation by the Indian army in their planes and arrived in New Delhi. On his reporting to his head office about his leaving Srinagar under the unfortunate situation, his superiors took it as a serious lapse of duty his leaving the post after locking the branch, and decided to dismiss him. Fortunately for him, my father had just received a very sympathetic letter from his boss at the Oxford University Press, on his plight in the aftermath of Partition and offered to render any help he needed. My father immediately responded requesting him to provide a job to my brother explaining his dismissal under dire circumstances and what a luck, he got a job with OUP with all expenses of travel to UK paid. After serving Oxford University all his life since 1947, he is now living a relaxed life in retirement with his daughter on his side. His wife, who served Indian High Commission in London, had died of cancer many years ago. My brother's secret of living a healthy long life is simple formula which he firmly put to use all his life: “Don't worry. be happy”. Even the most tragic incident in life doesn't stop him to move on and somehow find happiness in new happenings. Always trying to be happy, he runs away from controversies and conflicting conversations and watches only feel good films. Worry is no word in his vocabulary and he is not at all worried if people call it his callous attitude. “Let them worry how I lead my life, I'm not worried. I'm happy as I'm and will try to remain so as long as I live”, he says.

Wishing Big B a long life of a super centenarian, not only in reel life in “102 Not Out”, but also in real life as the most beloved head of Bachchan family as well as the Extended Family he has created on his blog and loves so much.


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