When it came to reliving their youth, age was no bar! On January 8 at 11 am, IPEX Bhavan in East Delhi was reverberating with songs of an era gone by. At one point on the stage was an elderly couple grooving to Pyar hua ikrar hua hai. Off it, were about 300 more full of an energy that belied their age.
What was the occasion, you may ask. It was an event to celebrate the new year. There was antakshari and there were performances on the stage. And then there was showcasing of photographs of old Bollywood movies. The atmosphere, the theme, the mood was just what it took to take one to a time when filmmakers made sure that poetry was not a far cry in their work; when romance was in the air and not in the shedding of clothes. When the anchor at the event asked those present how many had a picture of their life partners with them, most said they did.
And then there were activities to bring out the child in them. There’s no count of how often they were seen running like schoolchildren to win one game or the other. A sense of competition was very much alive! An award for the best-dressed couple and another for the best entertainment made things all the more exciting.
The event was organised by the Federation of IP Extension Cooperative Group Housing Societies in collaboration with Max Super Specialities Hospital, Patparganj. It was managed by the hospital’s team.
The programme commenced by welcoming the super senior citizens followed by a bhajan of Lord Ganesha and a popular Bollywood song – Jab koi baat bigar jaye. The celebration hit a high note when 81-year-old Ravindra Gupta, a resident of Saraswati Apartment (IP Extension), asked the anchor to change the tune being played to that of a song of his younger days — Ae meri zohra jabin, tujhe maloom nahi — from the movie Waqt. As he sang, everyone joined him.
Gupta told City Spidey, “I never miss a chance to sing my favourite songs. There are many old songs I can sing. I retired from SBI but I always I keep in mind that I only retired from my service, not from life. I still have life and want to live it with happiness. That’s why I always feel happy and at this age, I can still dance, sing and even run. It was a nice programme and I enjoyed myself. I thank both the federation and Max [the hospital] for giving us senior citizens such special moments.”
When Subhash and Chetna Varshney, the aforementioned elderly couple, took to the stage to enact the number from Shree 420, the stage at the hall turned into something of a movie theatre.
MM Khatri, secretary of the federation, said that the federation organises programmes for people of different age groups but this was the first of its kind event for senior citizens as the elderly participated in such large numbers. “When the team from the hospital approached us with the idea, we immediately accepted it. But I did not imagine that such a large number of senior citizens would participate. I thank Max Hospital for giving us such happy moments.”
Harish Dayal Trivedi, vice president of Max Hospital group, after giving new year wishes, said, “You [senior citizens] have more energy. I want your energy and your blessings. This was a citizen plus privilege programme that Max hospital has been running for the last three years.”
The audience applauds during the event