Mrs.Parvathi Thampi’s zest for life is infectious 22/11/2010

I met  Ms.Parvathi  Thampi  earlier this year in connection  with a story the magazine ‘Dignity Dialogue’   was doing on Spirit of Fun and Senior citizens.

Tall, slim and  trim in her mid eighties  Parvathi  Thampi’s  smile and joie de virve appear infectious and  she comes through as an extremely positive person with a great sense of humour  when you talk to her. She is the daughter of  the late K.P.S.Menon, I.C.S.  She studied in Lady Irwin College in Delhi ,later underwent a course in Chinese language in Ginling University in China and lived  in the U.S. for many years as her husband  was employed in the U.N. They shifted to  Madras in the late  seventies and ever since  have been living   in their sprawling bungalow  in Kilpauk  surrounded  by a lot of greenery with a statue of a deer in its midst .

Her day begins with doing  basic exercises learnt in Russia, she calls them slow aerobics and Shiatsu which she learnt in America, it is acupressure she adds.

Every summer she along  with her  three sisters and niece( “the youngest in the group”, she smiles) go to Nelliampatti, a hill station in Kerala .People see them in awe (probably its admiration) when they alight from the car at the cottage  with the help of their  “aids”to support them —a walker , handstick and all .One sister has osteoporosis another glaucoma, the third  hypertension, she laughs ( in the one hour I spent with her, she never for once spoke  about her complaints, I guess she had none usually associated with age  because of her positive attitude to life).

They have a senior citizens club  and meet in one of the member’s  homes –where  they play games, have a quiz, but nothing much to eat, but this is made up in the 50-50 club where the  first 50  is for entertainment, a budding musician performs and the second half  consists of dinner, which they enjoy to their heart’s content. The siblings  have  birthday bashes and  the high point is  when they receive gifts from their loved ones. 

She celebrated her 84th. Birthday(sathabishekam)   at Green Meadows, a resort in Chennai when all her sisters from different places  made it a point to attend.

She is a patron of the Music Academy and  looks forward to the music season  and  attends Madras Book club meetings  where new books are launched,  reads a lot, (she has just finished reading the book on Obama.)

She has written two children’s books herself, published by the leading publisher in the U.S.—Double Day. Her article featured  in an Anthology  published in the U.S. where  50 best articles were carried.  It  was  on  Birth of a baby, Moscow style.

n.meera raghavendra rao

3 thoughts on “Mrs.Parvathi Thampi’s zest for life is infectious 22/11/2010

  1. Professor V.Raghavan

    In Kerala, people celebrate Sadabishekam at the age of 84, counting 1000 (full) moons as 84 x 12 = 1008. However, according to Nirupama, the lunar cycle is slightly less than one month and hence you would have seen 1000 moons at the age of 80, when people here and elsewhere celebrate Sadabishekam.

  2. Prof.V.N.K.Kumar

    I do meet people who are in their early 80s and early 90s doing their early morning constitutional in the park nearby. Some of them are reserved and shy, some of them are grumpy and cynical about the current crop of politicians but one gentleman who is 90, keeps cracking jokes, says ‘Namaste’ to all people who pass him on the tiled footpath, remembering the names of almost everybody.

    The lesson we learn from observing such people is that ‘age’ is only a statistic, a number and one is as old as one feels !

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