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  • Original Book Title: THE ART OF AGEING
  • Availability : Available
  • ISBN : 9788184984637
  • Edition : 1
  • Weight : 0.00 gms
  • Pages : 128
  • Language : ENGLISH
  • Category : MIND BODY & SPIRIT
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“No young man believes he shall ever die,” observed William Hazlitt. Yet ageing remains a natural part of life, and it is precisely the impermanence of life that renders it so precious. Knowing that it is brief requires us to appreciate each moment of beauty and waste no opportunity for learning and love. The Art of Ageing has been written to help us achieve these ends. Some people may experience bad health, unhappiness and grief, but for many their later years can be amongst the happiest they have known years that provide unequalled opportunities for creative growth enriched by mature relationship with children, grandchildren, spouse or partner and beloved friends. Tha shallowness of inexperience can be replaced by a depth of understanding and complexity of being; and restless speed with the serenity of untroubled leisure. Now there is time for experiment and creativity, time for exploring our different potentials, time to live in accordance with our dreams, time to be ourselves. The Art of Ageing gives advice on how to make the most of ageing, how we can celebrate its positive gifts and i8ncludes the stories of a variety of people who have enjoyed creative and productive lives well into their eighties and nineties.
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  • Rating StarNEWSPAPER REVIEW

    EMBRACING AGE, EMBRACING LIFE… How many times have we heard the adage that ‘Age is just a number?’; and how many times have we scoffed at it, or atleast, raised a sarcastic eyebrow, before remembering to pull it down quickly lest it add one more sliht wrinkle to the face!? We begin inching towards death from the moment we are born; and yet, there mustn’t be a greater collective worry plaguing the human race than the fear of ageing leading to death. What is it about ageing that crumbles the strongest people? That makes people succumb to weird techniques to keep the patina of youth intact? That makes people cringe in distaste when asked their age, to the extent of lying about it? Author John Lane (himself an octogenarian, who makes no effort to hide the fact) raises such and more questions about ‘ageing’ in his wonderfully-researched book called ‘The Art of Ageing’. Lane has based his book on the premise of old age being increasingly seen as a liability, in a society that is being increasingly patronising of youth. Nothing wrong with exploring the potential of youth, says Lane; but if given a chance, the experience of the old can only elevate the potential of the young. In the earlier times, the elders of a clan were looked upon with reverence for the sheer wealth of knowledge and experience that they proffered to the newer generations. However, with the advent of industrialisation, society started asking for faster and more active (read: young) individuals to build the worldly order. Thus, suddenly, the old were seen as unwanted and disposable for the reason that they had ‘outlived their purpose and use to the society’. Obviously, the older people started feeling outcast; and a bid to be kept included in the social structure, began shunning the natural processes of life. To quote Lane, “Society devalues the elderly and the lessons that can be learned from maturity, wisdom, pain and loss – even from slowness. Ageing has become the major fear of our generation. Immense sums are being spent to delay its approach. Yet old age continues to advance in a steady progression.” In his book, ‘The Art Of Ageing’, Lane sheds light on how one can accept this progression of life in a graceful manner, instead of shunning or getting depressed due to it. He talks about how one can make fruitful use of the advanced years, instead of thinking that since youth has taken one’s leave, it is time to say goodbye to every pleasure of life. While old age brings along physical frailty and loss of a few faculties; it is actually a time when one indeed starts living! This is because one’s youth is spent in striving for the family and conforming to societal norms. However, old age gives one the freedom to live for oneself without needing to toe the societal norms at every juncture. Lane says “These late years have given me the freedom to be myself, to ignore the confirmation of external approval, to reject today’s materialism, its adolescent obsession with fast and excessive living. I like to believe that I have even freed myself from the bondage of conventional behaviour. This is our life, our time, and, within the limits of our responsibilities to others and the environment, it should be enjoyed for its own sake, without constraint from the twin poisons of remorse and guilt.” In this vein, Lane exhorts readers to pursue one’s long-buried dreams and passions in old age. Play the cello; take up an art class; learn a new language... One can do it sans the compulsion to prove a point to anyone and for the sheer joy of it! Lane’s book becomes interesting for the enmeshment of sociological, historical, economic and popular perspectives he has lent to elucidate the concept of ageing. He talks about the history of ageing, the longevity revolution, the population explosion and such other factors. He gives a plethora of examples of septuagenarians, octogenarians and even nonagenarians who spawned some of their best creations in their ‘so-called unproductive ages’. These examples give a realistic edge to believing what the author is proposing. Lane further accentuates the book by giving practical advice for helping cope with old age better. He even ekes out factors like stress, guilt, retirement blues etc that alleviate the burden of ageing and gives sensible advice about how to deal with these. Refreshingly so, Lane does not avoid the topic of death, but rather opens a mature, eye-opening dialogue about how to accept this inevitability gracefully. In fact, he goes onto discuss the possibility of life after death, in that consistently balanced approach of his. Interspersed with drawings, verses and quotations about old age; the book becomes even more interesting due to the liberal sprinkling of examples of celebrity and normal people. Especially, the concluding chapter of the book that has interviews of old people who lived/are living life to the fullest irrespective of their age, makes for a riveting read. The beauty of this book is that it appeals not just readers in the age-bracket of the subject in question; but also, younger readers who can learn many a valuable lesson about how to deal with ageing in a better way. To quote David Hockney, “The cause of death is birth, and on your way there, you might want to enjoy things”; and ‘The Art Of Ageing’ teaches us just that! -RESHMA S KULKARNI ...Read more

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