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70 is 70 and not the end of the world, says Mumbai columnist Shobhaa De

Mumbai columnist Shobhaa De’s latest book is Seventy and to Hell With It

mumbai Updated: Feb 03, 2018 23:10 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times
Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival,Andrea Bocelli,Shobhaa De
Shobhaa De at David Sasoon library on Saturday.(Aalok Soni/HT)

Columnist and novelist Shobhaa De is 70, and wants to learn to tango with a ponytailed stranger in Argentina. She wants to wade into moonlit waters in Goa with Andrea Bocelli singing for her; eat figs in Tuscany; have jasmines in her hair and watch apsaras dance in Konark.

“Age doesn’t inhibit me,” she said at a literature event on Day 1 of the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival on Saturday. “For me, 70 is not the new 50, 70 is 70 and not the end of the world. Men look at aging on the basis of performance, but for women it is more of an internal process,” she added.

Her latest book is Seventy and to Hell With It, and that’s the attitude De had during a discussion with friend and former colleague Salil Tripathi. The two talked about the various stages in De’s life, from her time as a journalist to her journey on social media.

“When I interviewed Morarji Desai, he refused to make eye contact with me, as if I did not exist. It seemed as though he was uncomfortable with a woman asking tough questions,” De said.

Her audience of fans, aged 20 to 70, nodded eagerly in agreement. “I admire how she is aging gracefully,” said Shailaja Shirdeshmukh, 50, from Borivli. “I wanted to hear her speak because I identify with her personality. This talk has helped me address the process of my own aging.”

Angana Mukherjee, 23, who moved to Mumbai from Kolkata six months ago, said she attended the event because she believes in being outspoken like De is.

“The people of our generation identify with her beliefs, despite the age difference. Her feisty and entertaining approach is what I came for,” Mukherjee said.

First Published: Feb 03, 2018 23:10 IST