Harish Jharia

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10 November 2011

Senior Citizens: Age Is a Crucial Factor That Affects Human Life The Most

11.11.11; Ashburn, Virginia, USA

© Harish Jharia  

Today is 11.11.11, a magic figure that will repeat again only in the year 2111 that is exactly after 100 years from now. 100 year period is quite a huge era that covers nearly 4 to 5 generations and a life span that very few human beings survive.  There might be many people surviving 100 years of age in the world, nevertheless, I have not seen or heard about any such centurion or super-centurion in my life.

As far as I know, very few people can survive beyond the age of 90 in India, as this is an age far more than the average longevity. The life expectancy or the average longevity of Indians, as evolved out of the statistics collected in the year 2000 census was about 60 to 61 years.  However, this is a statistical figure and is not applicable directly and individually to us and to the people around us.  

We all know that life expectancy in rural India is quite low because the people out there have to live harder lives under rampant poverty, starvation and have hardly any medical facilities in their villages. Whereas, the average longevity of the people in urban India is better because they are well off, as far as nutrition for their health and medical facilities for protecting their lives is concerned. 

Whatever might be the average life expectancy, the fact of life remains that death is inevitable and so are the stages of our lives that is childhood, youth and old age.  

Age plays peculiar role in our lives and is looked at by us with different angles of view in different stages of our lives.  When we were small children we wanted to become big like our parents. Boys wanted to shave their beards whereas the girls always longed to grow up and wear makeup and contemporary outfits.  We used to feel offended when we were treated as babies and addressed as kids. We used to claim that we were big and not babies anymore.  

Nevertheless, the desire for growing bigger diminishes successively, on reaching our thirties when we miss the freedom and carefree lives of our childhood. We also miss the love, care and compassion of our parents as we grow older and older. We develop instinctive hesitation in declaring our real age and the growing age prompts us to light one single candle on our birthday cakes, thereafter. 

The cycling and recycling of the visualization of our age keeps changing until we grow real old. Our status changed from offspring to siblings. Then we graduated from being siblings to parents. The final status we have acquired now is of grandparents after having superannuated of our day-to-day liabilities. 

After crossing the age of 60 the same feeling of our childhood reappears when we do not want to be called as small. We would like to declare ourselves as a bit much older than our real age. Eventually, the cycle of visualization of our age completes and we are recognized as senior citizens


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