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You are as old as you feel

Life for the elderly is not necessarily terrible, lonely or lost.

india Updated: Jul 22, 2006 04:59 IST

Life for the elderly is not necessarily terrible, lonely or lost. Septuagenarian couple Mr and Mrs Mongia are at Godhuli Home for Senior Citizens by choice.

They surrendered their Green Cards, sold their Panchsheel Enclave home "willingly opted" for a room at the Home.

All smiles about their life, the Mongias insist they’re far happier with "people our own age".

Initially when Mongia retired they shuttled between India and USA where their three daughters live. Their time here was also packed with activity.

Post 9/11 -- they were in the US when the twin towers were destroyed -- the couple decided to return. And that was that.

They had no doubts. "The only thing to figure out was what to bring with us ...we had stuff acquired over decades," Mrs Mongia said. Now, she runs a satsang each morning while he directs gardeners on their Home’s beautiful landscaping.

Each evening they play rummy with other residents. And, going by the nimble fingers and skill with which these 'senior citizens' shuffle cards, it would be easy to believe that one was sitting at a casino for teenagers.

So why an Old People's Home? Mrs Mongia answers -- "After a certain age, you get tired of managing a home. This way you have your independence and privacy and yet have a safety net around you".