Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Evening is the new De

If 16 is sweet, 62 is svelte, at least when it comes to Shobhaa De. Here the glamorous author of “Shobhaa at Sixty” shares her perspective on aging with grace.

Even as she grows old she refuses to age. That's Shobhaa De for you — prolific author, one-time editor, long ago model but all-time icon. She turned 60 roundabout the same time India celebrated its 60th Independence Day, and that's when she came out with “Superstar India”, a saucily appropriate title to sum up the parallel she was drawing between her personal experiences and the trajectory of a young nation.

And now at 62, she has turned to more personal matters yet. In her recently published “Shobhaa at Sixty: Secrets of Getting it Right at Any Age” (Hay House India) she looks back at her own six decades and shares advice about enjoying one's time as a senior citizen. Advice is never welcome if it comes from someone who has done everything right the first time round. Luckily, or in the case of De, characteristically, the author is frank about her own mistakes and drawbacks, and in coming to terms with them, inspires others to feel as free with themselves. In this email interview, the Mumbai-based author answers questions on the concept of age and aging in her own sweet-62 style.

Do you think traditionally in Indian urban society (and probably villages too) people didn't feel such pressure to remain young as they do now? After all, life was in a pattern – studies, marriage, job, children, grandchildren. Within that, growing old was accepted, just as it was accepted that women never got to retire. Yet there was no superwoman tag to live up to.

What an interesting perspective! But you must remember, the mortality rate for women used to be very high those days. Most didn't survive beyond 50! Today, we eat better, live smart, are more fit — it's a worldwide phenomenon. The old pattern is no longer applicable. Women have broken through the mould. But yes, the totally ridiculous Superwoman tag has generated a new kind of neurosis and unfortunately, too many women are succumbing to the pressures of looking ‘hot' !

Full interview here Hindu

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