Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Salt n Pepper Generation

For a long time fifty meant edging towards peaceful retirement, turning to Holy scriptures and planning endless pilgrimages. But today 50 marks a beginning. It’s time to catch up with life, no more worrying about kids, no more work pressures… and the salt and pepper generation are totally living it up. So what if they couldn’t travel or scuba dive or learn to cha cha in their youth they are signing up for them now. The 50 plus are ready and raring to go and their age, oh they have made peace with it.

At my dance studio a couple past their fifty enrolled for salsa. They were extremely graceful and energetic on the floor and if I may add very funny as well. A lot of dance schools and gyms have special programs and course plans charted out for the 50 plus generation.

“It’s my time and there is so much I want to do. I am not restless or insecure. I have no worries about competition and I don’t have to worry about getting somewhere in my career all the time.” My 55 year old aunt told me and boy was I jealous or what.

My yoga instructor herself is woman on the other side of fifty who runs Yogarakshana, a yoga school. She started the school only a decade back and works there from 8.00 in the morning to 6.00 in the evening teaching Yoga and Vedas to both young and the old alike. Her Yoga also takes her across geographies and she does get tired when she has foreign student visiting her for a crash course, and it’s only then that she allows herself a days rest.

Travel portals are also working over time and no they are not booking tickets to Varnasi or Kasi or Rameshwaram. The fifty plus are signing up for nature treks, adventure trails and jungle resorts in both local and international destinations.

This generation had to also grapple with technology, having to learn to use the internet and the mobile only in their forties. Today they are adept with web services like email, online ticket booking, blogging, uploading photographs, or checking out travel portals. They have no intentions of being left behind.

There are lots of interesting people still popular in the media who show no signs of tiring despite being way past fifty - Shobha De, Amitabh Bachcchan and heck the grand old Zohara Sehgal.

Here is a generation that is waiting to be explored, pampered and indulged. The Silver scalps know that happiness is not the monopoly of youth. Despite having to deal with the inevitable signs of aging and the changes it brings with it they are probably living their most creative, productive and dazzling era of their lives. They are on a high and living each day with wisdom, zest and that thing called fun. Mark Twain rightly said "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."

Image Source: Cartoon Stock


xeonX said...

Very interesting thoughts.. Actually I totally agree..My neighbor here in Mumbai is a man well past his 60.His daughters live abroad.. and he's constantly in touch with them through email and is always really keen to learn newer things! But the one person who inspires me most is my late grandfather..who did his Phd in jainism at the age of 81. The people at Madras university who were given the task of conducting viva were much younger and found themselves in a different situation! Great post dhivs..

Kapil said...

Dhivya this article is going to be some more inputs for a little research I am doing on product positioning among the "salt n pepper" generation.

Dhivya said...

@ Hey Kapil

I am glad my blog is being put to good use.. after the post I met an old lady in her seventies who loves video games and plays Mario on the comp all the time.. also I played scrabble with a 58 year old man.. on scrabbulous.com.. for a second i thought it was geriatric scrabble :)

Na.Su.Krishnan said...

Along with this..Some of them take up a teaching career to supplement their income. We have a professor who teaches twice a week and earns enough to enjoy the remaining days. His age, as per unconfirmed sources is 74!