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August great! to reach a hundred years

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August 3, 2010 Dear Achhachan, When a batsman scores a hundred in a cricket match, we praise him to the skies; but when a man scores a century in the game of life, we simply don’t have words to express our admiration. Yes, Achhachan, you’re simply great! To reach a hundred years of age is not only a physical achievement, but a mental and psychological achievement as well. I want you to know, Achhachan, that I have long admired the discipline you bring to your life—the way you always get yourself to do the things you think you should do, and avoid the things you shouldn’t. I remember the occasion when Aunt Vidya brought those delicious samosas we all started raving about, but how you adamantly refused to take a single bite because you felt it would be too rich for your system! And everyone knows you still wake up at five every morning to do a full hour’s meditation. Though I gain knowledge in school, I gain wisdom by watching people like you.

From you I’ve learnt that the good life is a simple, honest and well-ordered one. And I know another secret of your longevity—your cheerfulness, sense of humour and your ability to look at the funny side of things even in the most grim situations. I remember when you fractured your arm. For some time you lay very still on the floor.

We ran hoping nothing very untoward had happened; but you opened your eyes, smiled through your pain, and remarked, ‘ Don’t worry—I was just playing possum!’ Achhachan, may you live to be 150! We all want to see your name in the Guinness Book of World Records! Yours most affectionately, Chhotu

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