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Longevity & Habits

Discussion in 'Interesting Shares' started by Thyagarajan, Feb 22, 2024.

  1. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    Longevity & Habits

    Coming on to 98 and still earning more than I did in my younger days, people ask me how I manage to do it. They regard me as an expert on longevity.
    Earlier I had written that longevity is in one’s genes . This did not happen in my own family. My parents who died at 90 and 94 had five children.
    The first to go was the youngest of the siblings. Next went my sister who was the fourth. My elder brother who was three years older than me went a couple of years ago.
    Two of us remain; *I, who will soon be 98, and my younger brother, a retired Brigadier three years younger than me and in much better health*.
    More important than analysing longevity is to cope with old age and make terms with it.
    As we grow older, we are less able to exercise our limbs. Right into my mid-eighties, I played tennis every morning, did rounds of Lodhi gardens in winter and swam for an hour in summer. I am unable to do this any more.
    Now I take A good massage by powerful hands going all over my body from the skull to the toes. I have this done at least once a day or at times twice a day.
    I am convinced that this has kept me going for so long.
    Equally important is the need to *cut down drastically one’s intake of food and drink.* I start my mornings with guava juice.
    My breakfast is one scrambled egg on toast.
    My lunch is usually patli kichri with dahi or a vegetable. I skip
    afternoon tea. In the evening, I take a peg of single malt whisky.
    Before I eat supper, I say to myself “Do not eat too much.” I also believe that a meal should have just one kind of vegetable or meat followed by *a pinch of chooran*. It is best to eat alone and in silence. Talking while eating does not do justice to the food and you swallow a lot of it.
    For me no more Punjabi or Mughlai food. I find South India idli, sambhar and grated coconut easier to digest and healthier.
    Never allow yourself to be constipated. *The stomach is a storehouse of all kinds of ailments. Our sedentary life tends to make us constipated. *Keep your bowels clean*
    Impose strict discipline on your daily routine of eating and exercise.
    Try to develop peace of mind. For this you must have a healthy bank account. Shortage of money can be very demoralising. It does not have to be in crores, but enough for your future needs and possibility of falling ill.
    Never lose your temper, it takes a heavy toll and jangles one’s nerves.
    Give generously. Remember you can’t take it with you. You may give to your children, servants or charity. You will feel better. There is joy in giving.
    Drive out envy of those who have done better than you in life.
    Do not conform to the tradition of old people spending time in prayer and long hours in places of worship. That amounts to conceding defeat. Instead take up a hobby like gardening, growing bonsai, helping children of your neighborhood with their homework.
    A practice which I have found very effective is to fix my gaze on the flame of candle, empty my mind of everything, but in my mind repeat *Waheguru, Waheguru, Waheguru Aum Shanti, Aum Shanti, Aum Shanti*. It does work. I am at peace with the world.
    We can’t all be Fauja Singh who at 100 run a marathon race but we can equal him in longevity and creativity. I wish all my readers long, healthy lives
    full of happiness.

    Khushwant Singh.

    :)It's sad that k Singh couldn't complete a Century. He left this world shortly after completing 99. This is probably the best ever advice to senior citizens, that I have read)

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