Adding years to life

We, human beings, like all other living forms on the planet, are endowed with a limited life span. Of all the sayings about life and death, attributed to various luminaries of a distant past as well as views on these landmark events to be found in texts with unknown authors spanning several centuries, the statement that death of all living beings is a certainty has its stamp of certainty. The rest of the views to be traced to the cornucopia of sayings which can be accessed with some effort and undiluted curiosity throw light on the meaning of life that may spur the wish to add years to one’s innings following birth until the day the inevitable happens.  While death of those who don’t matter in one’s life makes news in the media, death of loved ones, including near and dear ones causes sadness. It is commonly said that feeling of sadness fades over time. Expressing condolence amounts to only reminder of the sad event.

Prostrating before elderly persons in reverence is an exclusive custom that is part of the culture in the land that has survived to this day. The blessing, bestowed lovingly by the elderly, has its sentimental prayers for years full of life ahead for the younger party. Death before reaching advanced age, due to whatever factors, is blamed on fate.

Although the rules of the game of living a full life, free from one or the other afflictions, aches and pains, stress-causing situations and other anticipated life-threatening activities in daily life are common knowledge on the part of literati, the care and caution of following these rules  is more an exception than the rule. Two frequently published facts relating to life and death among the land’s populace stare at each other. One is that life expectancy of the country’s people is steadily rising year-on-year. The other is that the deaths due to some diseases namely, cancer, tuberculosis, cardiac diseases and even road mishaps are also on the rise.

The guidelines to be rigidly followed for leading a healthy life and reach the status of a senior citizen sound simple, yet disregarded by majority in the population. The most difficult-to-follow guideline seems to be adherence to the principle, Eat to live, don’t live to eat, avoiding sedentary life, both physically and mentally.

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