SURAT: For these senior citizens, life begins at 60. They have started
living life king size after retirement. They have formed a mandal and
in a garden every day for party and to gossip. They ask, "Why should
young have all the fun?" They follow the principal of social dating
and never miss their date.
A group of women sing bhajan's loudly and offer prasad of chocolates
to every one around. Some elderly people make it a point to visit the
Swami Vivekananda Garden on Bhatar Road just to have the sweets.
Someone from a group of about 50 men and women bring snacks from home
and it is party every day. They share food, laugh and pray together
although they don't even know everyone in the group by name.
Shashikant Jariwala, 71, a retired businessman living in Sant Tukaram
Society, says, "We have our men's party twice or three times a month.
We arrange for drinks and enjoy." He adds, "I think government should
relax prohibition for us."
Bhupendra Prajapati, 76, another retired businessman of Jamnanagar,
says, "We enjoy our parties and share the expenses."
Retired policemen Kashinath Kalal, 79, and Maniram Pendale, 74, who
draw a monthly pension of nearly Rs 5,000, add, "For us, these three
hours are wonderful. We forget all our worries."
Kala Patel, 65, a former school teacher, who has been a regular
visitor to the garden since last 10 years, says, " This place is like
heaven for us as there is no one to disturb us here. We can sing our
bhajans and even party."
Savita Patel, 62, another retired school teacher, says, "We come here
daily as we can't pass time sitting home." When asked of problems at
home, most of them say they have no major problems.