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Beginning of a New Journey

Umesh is a freelance writer contributing his creative writings on varied subjects in various knowledge and educational sites in internet.


This article is about the experience that I have acquired and learned from my own life so it does not require any further validation, proof, or confirmation. This could look like a story but intention is not that. It is also not an autobiography sort of thing as the purpose of these expressions is entirely different that we would come to know as we progress ahead with this narration.

Being a person from a middle class family from a remote hill place in Northern part of India I was shy and introvert since my childhood and engaged myself in books, small creative works and of course some household responsibilities that were thrust upon me by the parents and I did them with great zeal and honour to prove that I was also contributing in the management of the house through my subtle humble efforts whatever I could do.

Another interesting thing worth to be mentioned at this juncture is that though I was developing mentally very nicely may be due to my reading habits and other real life engagements in the house but I was not having a good health since that time as I usually succumbed to allergies, running nose, sore throat, and many other such ailments which sequentially attacked me and made me weak and my parents were always trying to give me supplements of various kinds to make my body resistance better and better but unfortunately nothing helped and I religiously fell ill time to time only to be cured by a heavy dose of antibiotics for a period of 5-7 days which only increased my knowledge about the pharmaceutical products, generic drugs etc and other people were asking me the names of those medicines which were to be taken in certain in different conditions of the illness. I felt very pride and knowledgeable to tell them that if they do not get that particular medicine then they could go for the other one which had different name but the contents were same. The people around me were surprised by my knowhow as I was talking like a pharmacist but the fact was that this skill was the byproduct of my falling ill so frequently.

My educational life and career

Generally, it is seen that the children who are living in isolation get more time for reading and studies and do good in their educational pursuit and I was also among those luckier ones who scored well in the school exams and was able to secure good marks in my higher secondary class which paved way for me to get admission in UG Science stream course and that acquisition eventually pushed me to go for my PG degree in Physics which was considered at that time akin to the Python or Ruby or PHP or Javascript streams or things like that in today's IT and communication arena. I am talking of the events of my life about 48 years back when though a post-graduate with Physics was considered with awe and inspiration for others but there were limited positions as far as the job hunting was considered and the irony was that I could not join any low or menial job as we were not introduced to the concept of dignity of work at that point of time. So, the only choice was to accept a teaching job in a school or college or university if at all such opportunity came our way. Anyway, I was successful in getting a Physics teacher job in a school in a temporary capacity of course and started my career from there. Teaching in a school was a busy schedule and then we had to design exam papers, check the copybooks of the students, award them marks and associated activities and I did not know how a few years of our my youth primetime went in that academic exchange of knowledge with the disciples. I don’t say that I didn’t like that job. I definitely liked that and I was considered one of the sincere and dedicated teachers in the school. The principal always told me that when the permanent posts would be advertised then I would definitely stand a chance to be selected and become a permanent teacher.

As I was trying for other better jobs and was in a relentless search mode to shift to greener pastures, I got one opportunity to apply for the executive position in a big public undertaking of Govt of India and was very lucky that my educational credentials made me eligible to qualify for the interview and I was interviewed and with another push of the good luck I was selected and asked to join in the company in its one of the offices in the state of Assam in the eastern part of India.

So, my career in that organisation started and flourished with time as I got my raises and accolades time to time and I reached a good position by the time I reached the age of 60 when the employees are supposed to be retired or superannuated from the service.

During the above period, I suffered from my bouts of allergies and especially during springs and autumn the dust from the flora always hurt me in one way or other. I had also developed some back pain and shoulder stiffness and many such disorders which generally start entering in our lives when we cross the mark of fifty in our age. My weight was also on the higher side and I never tried to lessen it being afraid of getting weak by that loss and succumb to virus or bacterial infections in the body. Such was the perception in my mind that I did not do anything that helped me in losing my stored energy.

Subsequently, I had problems in my bladder and it got operated for that and it reappeared after 5 years and I again got operated and things like that became a part of my life. I was going along with them in my own ways.

The turning point

After my superannuation, I settled in a town near Mumbai in India and was keeping myself engaged with my reading and writing passions and here I met some senior citizens of my age who asked me as to how much I walked in a day and how much exercise I was doing. I glimpsed towards them with amazement and asked them was that necessary because I never did that and I only walked when it was required to bring something from the nearby shop or some work in the bank or Post office. They thought I was joking and took it lightly but when we talked more about it they found that I was a unique creature who lived in the house most of the times or sat in his office chair rest of the times during one's active service and had no exposure to the walking or gym or any such exercises which people undertake in form of Yoga or meditation or any other form. These seniors were not believing that a person can physically survive without doing these things up to a respectable age of 60 years and invited me to join their group in the morning and asked me to come to the nearby park where they were volunteering for the uplifting of the getup of the surroundings and flower beds etc there. In fact they were doing <a href=“https://discover.hubpages.com/politics/Commendable-volunteering-spirit“> commendable community work</a> there. I told them that it would get me allergies of all kind if I immersed myself in such activities and may fall ill. A burst of big laughter followed my statement and they took it in a lighter way. I was perplexed - can I go there and join these fellows doing all sort of acrobatics of useless nature and waste my time. I could instead write an article at that time!

Etiquette and manners demand that the request from the fellow beings is not to be ignored in totality and I thought I would go there for 1-2 days and then make some excuse and come back to my den. Moreover, I was not a gregarious person of that extent to talk and chat for hours with people in the park or surrounding areas and then come back to the house relaxed and entertained.

The next day, when I reached there in the morning, my family members were also awe stuck with this development, the seniors welcomed me as if I was a very important guest. Later I came to know that they did it to everyone who ever came to their group as they were all gregarious and wanted the good company to survive through their retired age. They did many things there and one person told me to inhale long breath and then exhale. Some of them walked in around the park for 1-2 hours making a walk of 6 to 8 km and they told me that it was their usual routine. In enthusiasm, I also started to walk but I felt tired only after 3-4 rounds though one round was hardly 250 meters. Probably for me it was too much.

When I came back to the house I fell exerted and was searching for some excuse to stop all this adventure and sit comfortably in the house. The seniors had added me to their WhatsApp group also and when I just saw there I found photos of that morning where our pics were shown and it was mentioned that such and such (me) joined them in the park and they all are delighted. Now I was in a dilemma. They are giving me so much respect and honour and I am trying to ignore or cut off them from my life. What to do? I decided to go there for a couple of days and I observed that there was no allergy or anything like that though the dust and pollen grains were abounding there. My appetite also increased and my belching and acidity were suppressed dramatically. I was thinking about whether it was due to the changed lifestyle or was a coincidence. Being highly educated, my mind was telling it was a coincidence and in a few days, I will definitely be getting ill in that environment.

The awakening

Earlier, In my life, I never did exercise and never walked from that point of view as I took health as a matter of surviving by itself. But now today after a few days of going to the park and getting some change in my lifestyle I was compelled to think that probably I had wasted 60 years of my life in ignoring some basic things which are essential ingredients for keeping robust and good health. Exercises and other activities which help us in burning the unnecessary fat in the body are very essential and one has to do that in any form depending upon one's choice. One can go to the gym, go for long hiking and trekking trips, undertake long spells of Yoga or anything like that but these are necessary to control our body not only in getting rid of that extra weight but making us more resistive to the outside attacks. Immune systems are to be strengthened and the only way to do that is to change one's lifestyle. When I started to realise all these things and wanted to adopt this new lifestyle then all this was a sort of awakening for me. Awakening from the dark of my own creation. I was now too thrilled to look at life in a different way where exercises, walks, and other physical activities were supposed to be an integral part of our lives. Since then I am continuing this new lifestyle and I do not miss those people who are instrumental for taking me out from the dark tunnel of my own thinking where there was no time and schedule for caring for one's health. There is no point in repenting for the past deeds and whatever remaining life is available in hand let us spend it in a better way.

Beginning of a new journey

There was a big change in my life and I started to visit the park more regularly and was contemplating to go for a walk even in the evening and when I shared this with my companions then they were so much happy about it and were sharing their own experiences with me in a very enchanting way. I even started to join them in the volunteering work consisting of planting trees, watering the saplings, cleaning the park, and many other physical jobs. The physical dullness and lethargy which was a part of my life since my childhood and I considered it a great lifestyle slowly started to diminish in great proportion and I, a housebound creature, started to advise others who were like me to come out of their houses and have a great time and action in the open air. I was too excited to share my awakening with others. It is better late than never. For me, it was the beginning of a new journey.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Umesh Chandra Bhatt


Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 01, 2021:

Flourish, thanks for your nice observation. Appreciate much.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 01, 2021:

Deshsewak, thaks a lot.

FlourishAnyway from USA on February 01, 2021:

It sounds like not only will you be getting exercise but also you'll be gaining some new friends!

Deshsewak Kuldeep Bhagat from A TO Z Exim Shopping Mart on February 01, 2021:


Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 01, 2021:

Ruby Jean, thanks a lot for your visit. Appreciate.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on February 01, 2021:

I enjoyed reading about your journey into fitness. I also exercise daily and feel that is what keeps me feeling well. Good luck, stay well and happy.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 01, 2021:

Dora, thanks a lot for your beautiful comment and thanks for blessings. Appreciate much.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 01, 2021:

Thanks a lot, Chitrangada, for your apt comments.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on February 01, 2021:

Nice and inspiring.

It's good of you to share your life's experiences here. Many will get inspired.

Living a healthy lifestyle is important, right from the beginning. Hats off to your friends, who encouraged you. Better late than never. And, in the process, you are also contributing to the society, which is appreciable.

Thank you for sharing.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on February 01, 2021:

Umesh, it is a privilege to live to the retirement age. We have opportunities to engage in new activities, with new people, in new surroundings for the first time. It is indeed a new journey, and if we welcome the new challenges, we can enjoy it. Blessings going forward.

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