Celebrating birthdays is not just an ordinary event and most specifically if it happens to be the 60th. It is regarded as an important milestone generally shared with close family and friends. Celebrating 60th birthday also means celebrating the victory of your achievements acquired over the years.

Rekha Bayanker a resident of Sainikpuri area in Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh celebrated her 60th on January 07, 2011 with great fervour in the company of her lady friends at the 36 BBQ on Penderghast Road, Secunderabad. I befriended Rekha about a year ago during a social interaction and since then, my life is enriched with her friendship in more ways than one. She has introduced me to people for promoting my travel business from time to time and still continues to do so. When I got an invitation to join her on this auspicious occasion, I jumped to my feet and accepted the invitation instantly.

Twenty-five ladies out of twenty-seven invitee’s turned up for the party and it was a pleasure to meet them. Rekha interacted personally with every guest present and ensured to take a picture along with each one. Draped in a lovely pink sari, she looked gorgeous and radiant as ever. What was even more captivating was the smile she wore through out the party. She greeted every guest with a smile, hugged her, offered her a chair to sit down and ordered a welcome drink and then turned to the next guest as each one was arriving separately. Each and every guest present at the party looked absolutely charming to complement the occasion. The subtle décor of the glass room provided for private parties added to the glamour of the luncheon party.

By the time all the guests had arrived, it was nearly lunch time and everyone was hungry and ready to gorge the delicious gastronomy. The starter was BBQ which was nice and juicy besides being tasty. The main course was buffet that included Chinese and Indian cuisine. By the time we had the BBQ, we were full and had no space to stomach the main course but  we had to do justice to the food, so we forced ourselves to eat as much as we can. This was not all, there were deserts ranging from fruit salad, mousse, ice cream, gulab jamun and pastries to devour.

The main feature of the party was the Cake. The birthday bash couldn’t be concluded without cutting the cake and therefore, this tradition also was executed. Although Rekha had ordered a lovely total chocolate cake from Vac’s Bakery in Trimulgherry, Secunderabad, the Hotel also offered a complimentary cake. So, the birthday girl landed up cutting two cakes on her 60th but unfortunately made only one wish. Considering Rekha’s beautiful sari and the stunning looks, all the guests present decided to skip the age old custom of smudging cake on her face but one among the guests could not resist completing the ritual and did the needful by smudging a little cake on her face. So finally Rekha had to have a partial facial treatment done and with this the ceremony came to an end.  Some guest left immediately after the cake cutting ceremony but most of them stayed back to chit chat and dispersed around 3.00 pm. The birthday luncheon was a great success and the birthday girl was thrilled to bits.

When women celebrate their 60th, they are normally surrounded by their close family members, children and grandchildren telling them tales of the yesteryears to relive the magical moments gone by. In Rekha’s case, she has yet not reached that stage of pondering over the bygone because she is still very actively involved in numerous social, charitable and leisure pursuits and continues to live life with a very busy schedule. I wish and pray that she continues this enthusiasm for another 40 years to come.

Rekha is a philanthropist and believes very strongly about helping the less fortunate. She generates revenue through her hobbies that she has nurtured for years and donates the proceeds to Leaper’s home. Another service very close to her heart is serving the senior citizen.

Her passion of helping the senior citizens started years ago at home when circumstances led her to be by her mother’s side to assist her in her arthritic condition. After Rekha’s mother passed away, she took care of her father and maternal grandmother who were both old until death encompassed them one by one. This loss left a great vacuum in Rekha’s life and she had to seek counselling to overcome the grief.

During the counselling period, she was recommended to develop some hobby as a therapy and keep herself occupied. Rekha has an inborn organising skill and is very artistic and therefore it was not difficult for her to acquire the relevant skills. She took training in various forms of art and turned into a connoisseur. As soon as she recovered from her angst, the first thing she did was to join the Armed Forces Cooperative Housing Society as a committee member and offered her services to improve the quality of life for the senior citizens of sainikpuri thus accomplishing the cause so close to her heart.

Rekha has been the founder secretary of the Ikebana International, Hyderabad chapter for 2 years (1998 – 1999) during which period she shared some valuable tips with the members. As it is difficult to find driftwood in Hyderabad, she developed her own technique that can make any piece of dead wood to resemble driftwood to be effectively incorporated in free style Ikebana arrangements. She also grows Bonsai trees and does the Bonsai garden arrangements. Besides being involved in the aforesaid activities, Rekha has been the secretary of Ladies Club in Sainikpuri, Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh for ten years.

Nothing comes so easily with old age except for wrinkles but in case of some, every thing is well balanced and they grow old without showing any sign.  As Abraham Lincoln said, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years that matters’ and Rekha undoubtedly has abundant of life in her years and that make her a ‘Magnifico Sixty’.

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8 responses »

  1. deepika says:

    Thank you Mira for introducing such a lovely and inspirational personality to us.

  2. gc1963 says:

    An active life does not feel age so easily. It is when we give in to lethargy and inertia that our mind starts brooding over age. Nice inspiring artilce.

  3. Sonal Shree says:

    I am sure your friend will be so happy to see this piece of writing about her. Who says 60 years is old? Nowadays even people in this age bracket are giving tough competition to youngsters in areas as fitness, stamina and creative pursuits.
    Well written, Mira.

  4. Mira Pawar says:

    Vimala I agree with you one hundred percent….Age is in the mind….You are as old as you feel. I am 61 years old but still full of enthusiasm and life. I look after my home and still follow my hobbies and attend every wedding of near and dear one. By the grace of God Almighty I am still able to do all that i did when i was thirty and to tell you the truth, I still feel thirty…..

  5. vimala ramu says:

    It is very difficult to say when you are ‘old’. For people who lead an active life or for those who are young in spirit, oldage may come only physically but not mentally.

  6. Shernaz says:

    It is so lovely to know people who celebrate their 60th birthday with so much joy and youthfulness. For many, turning sixty means having lived a long life and nothing to cry about when they die. When my mother died at 62 years of age, a neighbour consoled me with “Oh, she was 60+. Then it’s okay. You should be happy she lived till that age. When anyone in our community dies after 60, we rejoice that they lived to such a ripe age.” It’s all about perspective I guess.

  7. It is nice to know that one can grow young at sixty. But that is not always the case. For many, (both men and women) who are not so lucky, life almost ends when they turn 60. The collapse of the Joint family system in India has ensured that the senior citizens have to face the prospect of “resettling” in life when they attain 60 years of age. Personally, I am against the spread of old age homes as it a visible reminder of the cynical times that we are living. Even though old age homes help and assist many of the elderly and the infirm, they also drive home the point that the families have bartered their responsibilities for a more comfortable life for themselves, forgetting the fact that they themselves would be old one day.

  8. beyniaz says:

    Happy to read this Mira. Was there for her 50th and 60th birthdays and am sure every decade will only make Rekha younger at heart.

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