Friday, August 17, 2012

Biking around at 77!

My dear old boy Arnab Chakraborty sent me this link, surmising - quite rightly - that I'd be interested.

I take my hat off to this sprightly old/young man, going strong at 77 still. Brought back to mind the Canadian surgeon I heard about once, just about the same age, who earned millions over eleven months a year, and went off holidaying in January without fail to work/enjoy himself as a ski-instructor (and skiing is one of the most physically challenging sports, too...)

Do the white (and maybe also black-) men just have something in them that we don't? I already feel so old sometimes, though I still exercise, and many people assure me I don't look my age. Suppose I survive up to 77, would I have the strength, pluck and enthusiasm to carry on like Simon Gandolfi? I sincerely hope so. No point living too long otherwise.


Rashmi Datta said...

Dear Sir,

The article is indeed awe-inspiring and three cheers to Simon Gandolfi. More strength to his limbs! That is indeed living. Doing what one loves even at 77 without a care about what ‘others’ think. He has proved once again that mental limitations are far more binding than physical limitations.

As for you Sir, ‘old’ would be the last term I would use to describe you. I insist that I have not seen a more spirited and energetic person. I pray to God that you live a long and healthy life. We all need you. I for one cannot imagine you without your characteristic energy, enthusiasm and jovial nature even at 77!

Warm regards

Shilpi said...

Hi Suvro da,

It's strange that you put up this little piece along with the article link the day you did. I'd been wondering about life, living life and the years adding on and what's there to come and so on and so forth, and of lifetimes as well. Your last sentence summarizes my feelings. Now, of course I'll hurry on to add (and sort of second Rashmi) that I've not seen a man of your temper and spirit among other things, and especially given the odds that you've had to face. I don't think white men and black men have something else though. I've seen men at 70 looking rather not particularly old and I've seen 30 year olds looking so old and sort of existing that one cannot even guess their age. But I do believe that maybe the social space matters. People in India are almost supposed to be old and 'slobby', and I think there are simply better opportunities in some clear ways in western developed nations such that people can nurture different hobbies and interests and feel young and look the same, like swimming and physical activities and trekking and hiking and traveling places and all for those who love and like the same. Personally of course old age simply scares the bejesus out of me and even the Bible three score and ten feels terribly too old and ghastly. It's probably one of the few things that have stayed through all my years. Now I'll stay for as long I need to be around but can't imagine living till 77 and can't even imagine being around till my mid 60s...and women age much faster. It's a given. But yes, I do, do, do hope and pray that you live for some years and stay well, and I certainly hope that there are some good ones still to be that come with joyful and lovely and fulfilling experiences. I had to grin while reading the article and the title for this post made me feel wistful: I was so sure I'd learn how to ride a bike or take a ride on a bike in this lifetime!