People who blossom into their best when most have ripened and borne fruit. In a world that constantly reminds us of how we have to achieve benchmarks by a certain age, there remain people who began realising their dreams when convention said they're to now look at their offsprings achieve what they couldn't. But an iron will tends to bend everything to the way it wants, and here are people who bent their years to mean exactly what they wanted to.
1. Boman Irani - the man who proved that validation or lack thereof is no benchmark for talent and made his big break at 44.
Bollywood has a slight problem of versatility and it does not know what to do with someone as fine as this man. But where there's a will, a way arrives and Irani never quit trying. He made a mark with his performance in Munnabhai MBBS, Khosla Ka Ghosla, and let's not forget 3 Idiots. It was well into his forties that he began to be recognised for his finesse.
2. G.R. Gopinath took to aviation and set up his own company at an age when many just want to sit back and ponder about life.
The second of eight children, his father believed that schools were a way of regimentation, he was homeschooled. He joined a Kannada medium school later and was admitted straight to 5th grade. In 2003, he founded Air Deccan, a low-cost airline after serving in the Indian Army, which he quit as that life is not what he wanted. He also established an ecological sericulture farm.
3. Paul Siromoni was awarded a Ph.D at the age of 90 and completely obliterated the excuses we have for not following our dreams.
Here's a man who proved that age is never an excuse to not go back to school. After his retirement, he found that he had enough time to write his thesis. He enrolled himself for a Ph.D and was recently awarded one. He had to write six papers, attend several seminars, and give three long exams. Really now, what was our excuse again?
4. Neeru Gandhi, Monicka Chanana, and Pratibha Sabharwal, the grandmas who're touring the country shaming the wanderlust tattoo that's so sedentary on your wrist.
We are the millennials with a zest to see the world, waiting to dive in at the right moment and begin our quest to see the world. Here are three women living their dream to travel. Their trip from Delhi to Gujarat in a span of 25 days, then one before where they traveled from Delhi to Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu) in a span of 29 days are inspirational. They drove, cooked, and sang to rejuvenate the energy if anybody felt the trip was too much. Leave no (wo)man behind, after all.
5. Dr. Bhagwati Oza was awarded the National Award for Older Persons for Sports and Adventure at the ripe age of 79.
Where most of us want to settle down in a rocking chair by 79, Bhagwati Oza still adds a new hobby every three years. Hailing from a poor family that supported her throughout her medical career at a time when there were no women in her class, she still feels it's never too late to start learning a new skill. If this is not a zest for life, we wonder what is.
6. Mahesh Palta, Noida's 'water yogi' who believes that yoga is all you need to stay fit and learnt it at 60.
And holds himself as the best example for the same. When many his age are sitting back and looking out the window, he chose to pursue his passion for swimming. He learned the art at the age of 60, as his business rendered him too busy to take care of himself. Palta is capable of performing Surya Namaskar, Padmasana, Shirshasana, Shavasana, and Pawanmuktasana in water for an hour and can walk on his hands for up to 20 ft. All this from a man who earlier suffered from arthritis and diabetes.
7. Deepa Malik won a silver medal in the Paralympics in her 40s.
Operated for spinal tumour 17 years ago, Deepa Malik says the silver she won for the country and being the first Indian woman to do so was possible only because she dared to dream. She has undergone 31 surgeries that healed after 183 stitches between her waist and legs. Before shifting to athletics, this phenomenal woman has won many national and international medals for swimming.
8. Wondering where the 'ache din' are, Raj Kumar Vaishya decided to study economics and debate the same, 78 years after he completed his Bachelors in Law.
At the age of 97, he gave his entrance exam for Masters in Economics and in an examination spanning 3 hours, he took 23 answer sheets. Most of the students in the hall were the age of Raj Kumar's grandchildren and he refused assistance from those who tried to 'help' during the entrance. All this in the 97th year of his existence and why not!
9. Taru Mateti is the ultimate example to show how it's never too late develop an interest and follow it with a zest never known. She realised her loves running at 49 and followed the passion with gusto!
She fits into t-shirts that were owned by her daughter in ninth grade, runs marathons, and also shares a love for badminton. She now runs 50k ultra marathons, events that will leave most of panting for breath and swearing never to run again. Taru's trainers have a hard time stopping her from racing when she has injuries, such is her love for running. Here's another person proving that if you can dream it, you can be it.
10. After taking running up seriously only at 89, Fauja Singh runs marathons that would leave people half, no, a quarter of his age gasping for breath
If there's a man who loves running just for the high of it, it's Fauja Singh. After giving it up for a while, he began running again in the year 1995 and took it up seriously at the good old age of 89. He shot to fame when, at 93, he completed the 26.2-mile distance in 6 hours and 54 minutes. What a man!
11. Suhasini Mulay let stereotypes and judgments rot in hell when she decided she had found the love of her life at 60 and married him.
Mulay met the love of her life online. Not being the one to really care about what society says or feels about falling in life in the latter half of one's life, she tied the knot. Not only did she raise the benchmark of freedom but showed that love does arrive. Don't lose hope, you singles who're ready to mingle.
12. Piqued by mountaineering at 35 and mother of two, Premlata Agarwal has scaled the seven summits in seven continents, becoming the first Indian woman to do so.
Throwing every age-old convention of 'sabhya naari' down the drain, Premlata decided to make her own rules. She wanted her daughters to be into adventure sports and met Bechendri Pal. That's when she developed an interest herself and went on to complete climbing Everest in 2011. We all can see there's been no looking back ever since.
Some of these people we probably know and maybe even made a difference in the world, whereas many just did something they'd always wanted to do. Maybe that's how passion works. Maybe the strength arrives after you take the first step.