Zohra Sehgal – 100 years and going strong

zohraThe grand old lady of Indian Cinema, Zohra Sehgal — famous for her vivaciousness and enthusiasm — turned 100 on April 27. Sehgal currently resides in Delhi with her daughter, Kiran Sehgal, and the sprightly actor’s zest for life is still intact.

She started her career in 1935 as a leading dancer with the Uday Shankar Ballet Company and traveled the world over. In 1945, she joined Prithviraj Kapoor’s Prithvi Theatre group as an actor on a monthly salary of Rs 400. She worked with him for almost 14 years.

During this period, she married a fellow dancer, Kameshwar Sehgal. After having acted in several plays, she made her film debut in Indian People’s Theatre Association’s (IPTA) first film, Dharti Ke Lal (1946), which was directed by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas.

Her passion for the art won her a drama scholarship in Great Britain in 1962. In the late ’70s she was rediscovered by the makers of British TV shows and films. Following serials such as Jewel in the Crown, My Beautiful Launderette and Tandoori Nights, her sense of humour and candour became very popular. Movies such as Bhaji on the Beach and Merchant Ivory Productions’ The Courtesans of Bombay enhanced her popularity in the West.  She returned to India in the ’90s and continued her acting career with TV serials such as Amma and Family. She has also acted in big bollywood block busters including Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Dil Se, Tera Jaadu Chal Gaya and Saawariya.

We wish her many more years of active life.

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Never too late for anything…

s-NOLA-OCHS-PHOTO-largeMs. Nola Ochs at the age of 98 became the oldest person to receive a masters degree. Hailing from Kansas, USA, she earned a general studies degree with an emphasis in history, from Fort Hays University, graduating alongside her granddaughter, Alexandra Ochs, who was 21 years old at the time in 2010.

She also holds the record for being the oldest (at the age of 95) to get a Bachelors degree which she earned in 2007.

Tamae Watanabe(73) – Oldest person to conquer Mt. Everest

Tamae Watanabe

Oldest person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest

On 19th May 2012, Tamae Watanable, at the age of 73, conquered Mt. Everest and became the oldest person to reach the top of the highest peak in the world.  She bettered her own record set 10 years earlier.

Tamae Watanabe reached Everest’s 8,850-meter-high (29,035-foot-high) summit from the northern side of the mountain in Tibet on Saturday morning at about 7 AM after having started on the last leg at 8:30 PM the previous evening with four other team members.

We salute the indomitable spirit of this sprightly 73 year old.  To put things in perspective, only about 4000 people have ever successfully reached to top of Mt. Everest so far in the history of mankind.

Fauja Singh – Age is just a number

Marathon RunnerThe Hindu is carrying an article today (23rd of Sept. 2012) on one of our more famous seniors in the world today – Fauja Singh.   Born more than 100 years ago (1911, unverified), he has been competing in and more importantly completing marathons for many years now.

He was in the news most recently for carrying the Olympic torch, a fitting privilege for a fantastic athlete.  Earlier in 2011, he completed The Toronto Waterfront full marathon in 8 hrs and 11 minutes, becoming the first 100 year old to complete any marathon.  And to think he started training for his first marathon only in his mid 80’s!

The only reason he is not featured in the Guinness Book of World Records is because he does not have a birth certificate – something that was not regularly recorded at the turn of last century in India.

A hero among Sikhs and for all senior citizens, he has proved again and again that age is just another number!