The other day, I was getting myself registered at a hospital OPD, when I heard an 80 plus veteran telling another veteran, “I thoroughly enjoyed the last one month and could speak to so many people.” These were the only lines I could pick and then I got busy waiting for the doctor.
To my surprise, I found the veteran sitting next to me in the medicine counter and out of sheer curiosity, I asked the gentleman, “Sir, if you don’t mind me asking, where had you gone for the vacation where you had such a good time?” He replied, “Oh! I was admitted in the hospital for one month for my hernia operation.”
I was taken aback by the answer as I had visualised a beautiful and exotic location where I could plan for a vacation. One thing led to another and we were deep in conversation and joined by the veteran’s better half, an elegant lady, about 83 years old, that would put a 55-year-old to shame. Smartly dressed up with an upright posture and a bounce to her walk, she strode with a purpose.
I asked them, since you had joined the service in 1957, what period of your life was the best, ie during service or after retirement? He replied with such a positive attitude that both the periods were equally amazing and memorable and we are proud to have led such a beautiful and satisfying life. They added that they have no regrets and find joy in their grandchildren.
On being asked ‘how do you pass your time’, prompt came the reply, “Time pass is not a problem as we go to the movies, club and socialise with the people of our age group. In fact, we are leading a tremendous part of our life.” Not to be outdone, the veteran sitting next to me of the same age as the other, chipped in by saying that he too led a very busy and hectic life and all thanks to his hobbies of playing hockey and horse riding till the age of 50, he has been able to maintain his health.
At that moment someone had dropped a pile of packets made of newspapers for keeping medicines and the veteran suddenly got up from his chair and picked up the packets before the younger lot could even visualise what had happened. He said that after 50 years of age, one keeps getting one ailment or another, which may be serious or minor depending on one’s lifestyle and one should not be taken aback by that and maintain a positive attitude in life.
In a nutshell, what I could pick up from these veterans was that one should have a positive attitude, be thankful for what God has given and always have a feeling of contentment and fulfilment for the life well-led.
The writer is a Panchkula-based freelance contributor