Anil Uncle: What Dussehra Taught Me About Living a Better Life

My fondest memories of growing up in Delhi involve food, family, friends, and festivals. And festivals inevitably brought the other three together.

Shaking the Raavan within

Friends, as you edge toward the next stage of your life but feel you can’t shake your 10-headed Raavan, here are a few suggestions that helped me.

  • Make a list

If you’re afraid you’ll have nothing to do in retirement, list all of the things you’ve wanted to do but never had the time due to work or other commitments. Sunita and I would talk about having a games night with friends but were never able to align schedules. Here at Priya, we love our weekly antakshari sessions and chess games. We join our new friends and neighbors for BBQs and picnics, for yoga or an art class. There’s always something new to do or learn.

  • Take a walk

Explore your neighborhood. Talk to someone you’ve never spoken to before. Ask them about their lives. I’ve met amazing people not just here at Priya Living but everywhere I go. A farmers market is an incredible place to chat about local produce and recipes with the people who grow your food! At Priya, we have quite a diverse community in terms of cultural and professional backgrounds, so there’s always something to learn. And our communal garden and gatherings have made it easy for us to connect with our neighbors.

  • Schedule a visit

Try to arrange in-person visits or video chats and phone calls with loved ones. We have weekly calls and Whatsapp video chats with our children and friends. These were especially crucial at the height of the pandemic. Now that things have opened back up, our children visit once a month.

  • Resist lethargy

We’re living life in technicolor, as we say at Priya Living. We get together with friends for Bollywood Night, go on weekly excursions, and take advantage of being part of a community.

  • Make it your home

If you move to a new community, bring something along that makes it feel like home. For me, it was Sunita and our book collection! If you asked Sunita, I know she’d say, Billi, our cat. Whatever you need to make the space your own, bring it along!

Finally, make a plan … but leave room for pleasant surprises.

Happy Dussehra!

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