He will never retire ....

With a wooden stick in his hand, he was waiting for city bus. I asked him why had he come so far. He replied : "If I come the press will publish as news, if I send the news with someone else, these people don't publish and then they ask for money for publication". I thought that the news must have been relating to his own personal life. He affirmed that it was not relating to his personal life, but relating to someone else getting recognized as great freedom fighter. I wondered why this person is taking so much pain for someone else. He was finding it difficult to walk, but with a bold, firm hand, he kept standing. One bus came and went bye, another came and went bye. The third one stopped, but it was packed. The person climbed the bus and kept standing. The bus conductor recognized him and arranged a space for him and he sat down there. He draw out a coin of Rs 10 from his pocket and offered to the conductor. I bet, you will not find a younger and more energetic person at this age. I bet you will not find a more curious, enthusiastic and learning oriented person at this age. I bet you will not find a more active person at his age. He is Ram Vyas.
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As the bus progressed, he started talking to me and shared his documents, showed the certificates that he had received from Governments and appreciation letters that he had received from various professional bodies.

Some passengers got down from the bus at a stop and the bus driver started waiting for new passengers. As it happens, the bus driver kept waiting but no new passenger turned up. Mr. Vyas started shouting at the driver. He was getting impatient. He was not worried about his delay. He was worried about delay of some fellow passengers, who were going to catch a train. He told the driver to start the bus urgently as some passengers were to pick their train and were getting late. The driver had to start.

As I talked to Mr. Vyas, I came to know a number of things which I didn't know earlier about freedom struggle. He is the president of the Freedom Fighters Association of which a few members only are alive now. He operates a computer and has a mobile phone also. I suggested him to take rest, but he didn't like the idea. He asserts that he is hale and healthy and can learn any new thing. He wants to remain active and wishes to engage in something useful for the society. He took down my address and told me that he would come to my home whenever he would come to my city. He shared his memories of old people from my cities (all of whom had died long back). Why am I writing all these is because of his age. He is 115 years of age. At this age, he prepares his food himself, goes for a walk daily and actively participates in social activities. He organizes Khadi Exhibitions and coordinates activities relating to those activities. At this age he is thinking about doing something for others.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 10th February 2014.
Dr. Trilok Kumar Jain
Dr. Trilok Kumar Jain is a contributing writer at Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine.