FEBRUARY  2002




FEBRUARY 2002 Contents


 Ageing - breaking mind barriers!

 'My Secret of Longevity' 
 BC Sanyal
 HD Shourie
 Khushwant Singh
 Raunaq Singh
 MS Oberoi

 Ageing & Performing Artists


 New Age Women Writers

 Performing Arts

 The Kuchipudi Reddy Family


 South Asians in News 2001 
 International Recognition and
 National Awards

Magsaysay Awards

Newsmakers & breakers in

Golf, Tennis, Hockey, Squash


 Know Your Leaders
 Arun Jaitley
 Amar Singh
 Abhishek Singhvi
 Omar Abdullah
 Sitaram Yechuri



 Mango - the King of Fruits


 Abdul Sattar Edhi


 Sunita Sharma - India's First  
 Lady Guru of Cricket


 'Knock at Every Alien Door'
 - Serialization of an
 unpublished novel by
 Joseph Harris - Chapter 2


 Vasundhara Das - the bride of
 'Monsoon Wedding' 

 Fashion & Jewellery

 Poonam Soni- new look to gold


 Editor's Note



the craft shop

the print gallery


Silk Road on Wheels

The Road to Freedom

Enduring Spirit

Parsis-Zoroastrians of

The Moonlight Garden

Contemporary Art in Bangladesh



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Sonali Sudarshan Sokhal

Old age is an inevitable reality, but the pace at which this unavoidable process occurs varies. A number of old people go through life energetically, exhibiting as much vigour and pep in their seventies and eighties as they did in their thirties. What is it that makes some people more active and more alive than others? How is it that some retain their youthfulness despite advancing age, while others moan and groan with physical fatigue? Eminent septuagenarians and octogenarians reveal their secret of vigour and pep.



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B.C. SANYAL - renowned sculptor and artist, with his wife.

Age 100 

" Age is a mental attitude.... My motto has been to eat, drink, and be merry. But I think the secret of my long innings is that I have done everything in moderation."

This great sculptor and artist became a centurion last year. Yet he is extremely agile and his eyes reflect an alert and active personality. He says, " As a child, I remember, I had suffered chronic bronchitis, malaria and dysentery, that would have been sufficient to finish me. Yet I seem to have survived it all and more. I didn't take any special care of my health as such but I used to do a bit of exercise and yoga. But nothing on a continuous basis."

With a smile he says, " My motto has been to eat, drink, and be merry. But I think the secret of my long innings is that I have done everything in moderation. I don’t recall even a single occasion when I have gone overboard with eating or drinking or for that matter anything. Age is a mental attitude. If you have this kind of thinking then you'll be healthy all the time. I have always felt that the mind and body are not separate from each other."

Sanyal says that even more important is to be totally immersed in your work. " My love for painting and sculpture is still vital to me. It keeps me absorbed, gives me pleasure, fulfillment and even frustrates me at times. But you must have a deep interest in whatever you do, specially in the creative field. All this is part of your personality ultimately."

Even at this age, Sanyal's daily routine would put a much younger person to shame. He smiles and says, " My wife is very careful about my getting adequate nutrition but I have no particular choice. I used to like non-vegetarian food but now I have cut it down. I have mainly vegetarian food and juices. My daily routine is spent in my various activities, though I do take rest in the afternoons. But I like to be a bit active all the time. I set myself chores and try and finish them in time. That keeps me going. " He feels it is the pleasure of living life to the fullest that has been his secret of a long and healthy life.



H. D. Shourie

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H.D. SHOURIE - Consumer activist, retired ICS officer and father of journalist/politician Arun Shourie

Age 91

The secret of his longevity he says is his "habit of looking at the lighter side of things...laughter is still the best medicine .. and ... challenges of the rights of the common public keep me active and fit and on my toes."

He may be well into his 91st. year, yet H.D.Shourie, one of India’s leading consumer activist and father of journalist and minister Arun Shourie is battle-fit when it comes to fighting for people rights through Common Cause - the organisation he started 22 years ago.

Over the past two decades, Shourie's organisation, Common Cause, has filed over 75 writ petitions and has got many significant decisions favouring the common man.

Thanks to him all political parties have now to file annual income tax returns. He has forced the government to set up consumer courts in the country and amend pension rules and his fight for the Right of Information Bill and transparency in governance continues.

" I am absolutely busy all day, looking after the problems of the people. I go to courts, answer letters, meet people with grievances. So the motivation keeps the body active."

Dismissing exercise for the sake of exercising, he adds, " I do stretch my muscles in the mornings. I also go for a walk in the evenings. But apart from that I do nothing. My diet has always been moderate, as I have only vegetarian food. I eat fruits regularly."

But the secret of his longevity he says is his habit of looking at the lighter side of things. To the utter amazement of thousands of his admirers the septuagenarian brought out a book of jokes last year The Funniest Jokes in the World published by Penguin Books was Shourie’s way of telling his admirers that laughter is still the best medicine.

" It's is an excellent therapy for a healthy life. Vital body organs like the heart and lungs are rejuvenated if you make a habit of laughing," says Shourie.

At 91, the grand old man can be the envy of many half his age because of his fitness and mental alertness. On a serious note Shourie says, " I personally think if a person tries to spend his life proving useful to others, his quality of life will automatically improve. If you spend all your time worrying about yourself, it will tell on your health. The challenges of the rights of the common public keep me active and fit and on my toes."



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