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  • Writer's pictureL.J. Singh

Life after Retirement

Life after Retirement

Life after retirement is central to the last years of one's life. After my quarter of a century of sea service in the Indian Merchant Navy, I had to take pre-retirement from my service due to my domestic needs/exigencies as it was keeping me away for long periods from my own family. But when I returned to my city of birth and youth, Amritsar, I found that I had to relearn a lot about adjusting myself to the social circuit mingling which I had missed all these years due to long periods I had to remain separated from my family. Even within my own family, I realised that I cannot stick strictly to the regulated lifestyle I had led during my long sea service, like the breakfast, lunch and dinner meals at a set time. In some jobs, I took for keeping myself occupied, I found that I am quite unfit to adjust and deal with the easy-going attitude of the people since I was trained for a very different and disciplined approach. In one such experience with a well-known firm of loss assessors for general insurance companies, I found myself incapable of doing justice to my job because of my strict adherence to principles, which couldn't be easily changed at my age. So I dropped the idea of taking up any earning job and adjusted my expenses to live on my small savings. Now being nearer to my late 80s than my mid-eighties, and with my, now late wife, a few years younger I had found a bond of dependence on each other. But only one daily discord we ever had was on my colour choice of dressing. Long used to wearing whites in summer and Navy blues in winter, I could not adapt to the civvies' colour combinations of this shirt with that trousers and with that head hear, the turban colour, and so on. Sometimes my retort to her that you yourself have stopped using any makeup, but want me to look fashionable, amused her a lot. So we reconciled to the fact that both us are as attractive to each other as when in our long courtship and after marriage. But after years of sea service challenges and an exuberant/adventurous lifestyle, I had found a nice niche at home and have been enjoying simplicity, though I keep the same regimen of fitness with very regular and long walks. On these morning and evening walks, I meet people of different backgrounds.

In one of these morning walks one much younger regular morning walker, when came to know about my ripe old age, could not refrain from asking me the secret of my so-long life and fitness. My spontaneous reply that the secret of my health can be credited to my regular long walks, but for my long life, it could be even due to the fact that my wife never observed Karva Chauth fast from sunrise to moonrise for my long life. That morning-walker was convinced or not with my explanation, but he was amused quite surely.

When I remember my younger days, I feel walking had become a sort of addiction for me. Earlier, when in service, it was to keep myself active, as I had reached at the top of my career at a comparatively younger age. My daily routine of walking for about 10 KM on my nearly 300M long ships was religiously followed, barring stormy days, and also about one hour in the onboard swimming pool kept me fit like a fiddle. But now in my late-eighties, the fad of keeping myself active was more an obligation, that was to be ever-ready to help my, bed-ridden, late wife, who saw her last living years with many movement restrictions and medical props like a walker, and dependence on medications.

Written By-

Lal Singh, Retired Chief Engineer (IMS)

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1 Comment

Inderpal Kaur
Inderpal Kaur
Oct 14, 2022

Great very interesting with so many sweet memories

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