Swag at Sixty

“Your heart is always right, even though it’s on the left.”

Over the last couple of years, I have come to realize how we underestimate just how alive and active senior citizens are. From joining choirs, to patchwork clubs, volunteering at nursing homes, rescuing animals, going to the gym, commuting on bicycles, they never fail to inspire me.

To highlight this, I decided to feature one of our latest students to join our Bollywood Seniors course, Umesh. (Interestingly, he is the first Indian to join this class.)

Sitting down together over ice-cream, I was deeply moved by his benevolent energy.

Umesh used to work in the IT industry for nearly 20 years. At a mature age, he decided to do a Bachelor in Property Investment. “I did the part-time course for four years and it was tough! But I enjoyed it thoroughly. I was a first bencher, always asking many questions. Many of the professors became my friends, and now I teach at university.”

Umesh is in the process of rediscovering himself. A long distance cyclist, one year ago, his knee had some wear and tear which disrupted his active lifestyle. It affected him both mentally and physically, along with some other aspects in life.

“I said to myself, I can’t fall into this rut. As humans we are basically in the pursuit of happiness. I realized that it is all about the small things – having a cup of coffee, walking on the grass, having a conversation! Basically I was looking for new interests and joys. And so I decided to wake up at 5.30am every day and go for a long walk – rain, hail or sunshine. 80% of the time it is very difficult to wake up. But once you do it, 100% of the time you feel great.”

And how did he find Studio J?
Still able to cycle short distances, he discovered the studio as he was riding down Swan Street. Wasting no time, he enrolled straight away.

“The dance class really uplifts my energy. It is unleashing my inner dancing baby. I always tell my friends, follow your heart. Your heart is always right, even though it’s on the left!”

Wise words from Umesh – what a legend! #SwagAtSixty

Interviewed by Joshinder Chaggar
17 January 2020