friends my age are popping off one by one. last week he was udayan, a former national volleyball captain, and a week still before, thomas, a college mate and former colleague at workplace. udayan was four years younger to me and still an athlete at 54, when suddenly his heart stopped beating.
shamsuddeen, joy, jaiji, sashi, akkusootto... when i look at the list, i see it had actually begun when i was still a little kid. mohanraj was my classmate in upper primary school way back in 1960's when he died after being away from school for two days.
it had been happening all along--only, the frequency of it happening has gone up nowadays.
i am 58. i did a story for my paper the other day about a new ageing survey done by the CDS here. according to the survey and census projections, Kerala will have as many people above the age of 60 as children below the age of 14 by the year 2024. Kerala's life expectancy is high and birthrate low and so the elderly are catching up with the children.
yet, some of them who are yet to fall under the 'elderly' category are popping off, even those with very clean habits. bad habits are not that much of a factor unless one is too reckless. i had a relative who lived on to be 96 with nearly seven decades of hard drinking and smoking to his credit. he was healthy to the last day. he would have gone on to complete a century, had it not been for alzheimer's,