Age is just a number

Toppick Media Editor Sep 13, 2019 1179 Views   0 Comments
Age is Just a Number: What a Full-of-Life Grandpa can Teach you about Fulfilling your Dreams

“Age is an issue over mind and matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”-Mark Twain. Most people have an expectation of what someone can do at a certain age. For example, most 65-year-olds are set to retire. However, my grandpa, Shashikant Dalwadi, is still working at the age of 67. He also engages in activities such as photography, swimming, snorkeling, and zip-lining. He inspires others to achieve their goals, regardless of their age.

His Backstory
My grandpa attended the New English School in Gujarat, India for his high school education. Throughout school, he was a member of the National Cadet Corps (NCC), a youth wing of the armed forces. To pursue higher education, he went to I.V. Patel College of Commerce in Gujarat. He was the team captain for kabaddi, an Indian team sport. Nana (Hindi word for Grandpa) was also a team member for rifle shooting and basketball. He was very athletic and involved in co-curricular activities. 

Shortly after his graduation, Nana joined my great grandfather’s business of brick manufacturing. His role was to supervise 150 workers and talk to clients to increase sales. Subsequently, my 39-year-old grandpa became President of the Nadiad Junior Chamber in 1992. In the same year he started a commercial construction business. Nana’s company built strip malls, rental conditioned storages, and gas stations. In 2007 Nana migrated to the US along with my grandma and settled in east coast. Evidently, Grandpa has always been in the construction business.

Below is the interview I took of Nana. I gained knowledge of his history and ambitions, and hopefully you will too!!

Can you describe what field you work in and what your job is?
I am currently working in an Engineering Construction Company as a Construction Inspector and Material Testing Technician. I monitor the quality control of road construction. I also test compaction for asphalt, soil, and testing concrete. 

What do you like most about your job? What do you look forward to every day at work?
I believe that every day we learn something from others. For me, learning never ends, and I love to gain knowledge from my colleagues and supervisor. After all, a candle doesn’t lose its flame by lighting another candle.

What are your plans for the future? Where do you see yourself in this job?
My future goal is to become the supervisor of my job. I am also looking for jobs in Maryland and New York. 

When do you plan to retire?
I plan on retiring at the age of 70. After I retire, I want to pursue wildlife photography in the African safari. Photography has always been a passion of mine, and the safari captures Africa’s untamed beauty.

Besides work, what other activities do you enjoy? What is your idea of fun?
I thoroughly enjoy swimming, going to the beach, hiking, traveling to foreign countries, cruises, and meditation. I love the natural world; it makes me feel inspired, motivated, and rejuvenated. Meditation also helps improve the heart, body, and mind.

Back in 2015, our family went on a cruise and you indulged in a lot of riveting activities. Can you list some of them? Which activities were your favorite?
I participated in snorkeling, swimming, zip-lining, ATV riding, and dancing in the cruise theater. The cruise was a vibrant experience for me, and I love to go on cruises around Pearl Harbor as often as I can. 

What do you think about the saying “age is just a number”? How do you think you demonstrate that quote?
To me, it means that age should never be an obstacle to your goals. It doesn’t define who you are, what you do, or the quality of your life. As I grow older, I want to perform my daily activities independently. My target is to never use a walking stick, so I work out and meditate every morning. 

What is your life mantra?
My life mantra is, “A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”- Colin Powell. That means that success only comes through hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence. It doesn’t appear in thin air, everything has to be worked for.

On the contrary, I also touched this subject in a 2015 pageant. I was asked this spontaneous question: Should sports and extreme activities have an age limit? While I was exploring the question, I immediately thought of Nana. I thought of his accomplishments and character. Therefore, my answer was: “Age doesn’t define your ability or maturity. For example, my grandpa, who is now a senior citizen, participated in zip-lining and snorkeling when I went on a cruise a few years back. He shows us that determination does not have an age limit.” Everybody loved my powerful answer, especially the judges. In fact, I went on to win the 2015 Miss Junior Pre-Teen title! I will never forget the prideful day and clever answer.

In hindsight, age has no boundaries. Whether it’s construction work or extreme sports, you can do anything you set your mind to! 

“Don’t aspire to make a living. Aspire to MAKE A DIFFERENCE.” by Denzel Washington

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