The 60s club: getting bigger but younger!

All belong to the vibrant 60s club which also has Jayalalithaa, Hillary Clinton, Hema Malini, Tom Alter, to name a few, as members.

For most people who have crossed the sixtieth milestone in the journey of life, there's a tendency to consider themselves as 'over the hill', a 'has-been', or an 'old fogey'.

But for the irrepressible and exuberant De, that's certainly not the case - life only begins at sixty! Declaring sixty the new forty, she comes up with a potent elixir to rejuvenate life, and provides practical tips on how to cope with the physical and emotional downslides commonly experienced by the post-sixty generation.

In her new book "Shobhaa at Sixty: Secrets of Getting It Right", De lays great emphasis on family values and ties, and underlines the importance of a spiritual quest - all of which make each passing decade more meaningful and enriching.
"Something good is happening to all those of us who have hit 60! 'Sexy Sam' (Amitabh Bachchan) has won the National Award for 'Paa', and my darling school friend Shabana Azmi is 60! It's official, folks – it's definitely super cool to be 60 - geddit???" she wrote on her blog.

Shabana Azmi, who turned 60 last month, says she embraces her age with profound satisfaction and happiness and advises her Bollywood colleagues to do the same.
"I am very proud to have arrived at this place. Do I feel 60? I don't know. Because I don't know how other 60-year -olds feel. I am just happy," she says.
"I embrace the 60 years of my life with profound satisfaction and happiness. There have been ups and downs but I have no regrets. One needs to embrace the bad along with the good and take it as it comes."
In her new book, De jauntily declares, "60 is the new 40."

In a recent television interview, the writer, whose 16 books start with the alphabet 'S', argues that some people are beyond age.
"I'm not saying I'm one of them. But it is the case with a lot of men. Look at M F Husain at 95. Glamorous. So is Dev Anand. I won't say Khushwant Singh is glamorous but he is provocative, someone who still counts. Age doesn't seem to be an issue for men.

But when it comes to women, society is particularly ageist. Some amount of narcissism helps. But I'm also thinking of women who are extraordinary, women who are not traditionally associated with the glamour business. I find them very inspiring in their 60s—Sonia Gandhi, Jayalalithaa, Hillary Clinton, Shabana Azmi. Suddenly 60 has become very cool," she says.

According to De, the mantra for the fit-and-fine image is discipline.
"That's the only mantra I can think of. You have got to give your best shot and not think about age. The minute you start obsessing over age, it's all over for you. And for women it's hard not to be reminded of their age. I am starting to feel like a medical miracle when people walk up to me and say, 'Oh my God, how have you done it?' I say I soak myself in vinegar every night. Men would never be asked such a question," she says.

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