The term ‘girlie gang’ sounds funny for retirees, but this is how we tend to behave when we get together. Retired we are from college, but certainly not tired. After all, there is much more to life than an active work schedule. We may not be young enough to work but definitely not old to renounce a vivacious life.
Instead of interfering in the life of our children, we prefer to live life on our own terms. That doesn’t mean we don’t miss our children. In fact, most of us are grappling with the ‘empty nest syndrome’ as our children have taken flight in pursuit of their careers and made their own cosy nests. Of course, it is gratifying as parents to see children happily settled and doing well in life. Most certainly we miss them, their homecoming is a celebration, the whole house lights up with their presence, but we value our own space as well.
Not that we had any idea of privacy and independence when we were children. Growing up in middle-class families with two-three siblings, sharing a room and having a common toilet for the entire family, the concept of privacy was alien to us. But having had the taste of our own space, most of us are not ready to bargain for it. We love to visit our children but like to come back to our own nest.
The status of senior citizen doesn’t stop us from leading a life full of zest. Despite health issues, we try to keep ourselves physically and socially active, engage ourselves in meaningful activities and hobbies. We have our reunions, get-togethers and kitties to keep us happy and engaged. We dress up in style and make a conscious effort to look elegant. With telltale signs of ageing, we may not look young but definitely don’t feel old. At the monthly retirees’ meet, we laugh, giggle and take selfies. The atmosphere is electric when the ‘young oldies’ meet.
It has been more than a year since we had our monthly meet. Covid-19 has put a stop to it but we have a vibrant WhatsApp group to keep us connected and charged. From early morning messages to thought-provoking solemn posts, we have it all. There are witty one-liners, jokes to keep us amused and also audios and videos of old melodies to remind us of our youth. Last year during the lockdown, every day we had quizzes and puzzles in the group to keep us mentally busy. The enthusiasm was palpable in the group as we tickled our brain cells and hurried to come out with the answers. Thanks to social media, we stayed connected, not physically but emotionally bonded.
This is an exceptionally challenging time, but this too will end. To quote Victor Hugo, ‘Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.’ We will meet again with gay abandon — carefree and mask-free — to celebrate the dawn of a Covid-free world.
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