Seniors day out at dasya Merryatrics at porvorim on September 8, 2022…there were talks (Dayle Rodrigues of Coog introduced an easy excersise routine which everyone can do), games, dancing and more to help everyone have a happy time! (Inset) a housie game under way with lots of presents to win…more events are on the way, become a member of this group!

SINCE I started taking an interest in what’s happening to senior citizens post-covid lockdowns, I was quite happy to go back anew to these wonderful garden grounds of Dasya, where the late remarkable Sanskrit scholar and philanthropist Fr Antonio Rodrigues lived. There is an old retreat house of the Redemptorist priests as also a home for those seeking a tranquil retreat for a few days.
Before he passed away the good father deeded the Dasya property to the priests collective. This is to say I went looking for these Dasya grounds at Porvorim plateau anew, recently – it’s become a place alive with activities of the useful kind and common good! Apart from flea markets for the sale of agricultural produce from farms doing organic or natural farming, they also have these monthly lively seniors sessions which seniors and not so seniors may also join in for a happy day out – praying, dancing, exchanging notes with friends, lunching together.
Also learn a few things which may cheer you up like health tips from a visiting professionals. Listen to music and shake it, shake it for all you’re worth! I’ve always loved the band music of Catholic Goa and its discipline of dancing, which the seniors do with much grace and elegance…at Catholic marriages all I do is watch the dancing the most!
BUT to stay with Dasya activities I must tell you if you’re lonely you might want to go join some of the activities and become part of the Dasya Merryatrics family at Porvorim. Joseph, my newly made friend, tells me they have now started garden based classes to focus on the importance of the food we eat, doing one’s own kitchen garden and what eating well for good health means from A to Z. It’s worth learning about the various aspects relating to food growing in garden beds/balcony containers, seeding, transplanting saplings, managing pests and disease, watering and composting will be taught…
There will of course be sessions around cooking and eating too! All this is coming up and the practical gardening classes will be experiential too, children can join it or go to the special classes for them. Adults are also welcome to get their hands into some live mud to grow their favourite greens…classes are twice a month, first and third Saturday of every month from 4pm to 5.30pm. Hurry and register if you’re interested for the Oct 1 start-up, each session is priced at Rs200. You may contact on WhatsApp Tanushree@9971332320.
Hey, join the Merryatrics family to stop feeling lonely! Recently, while listening to the psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty from Mumbai at an IMA meet, I was startled to hear that “loneliness is a disease!” Considering how many of us prefer to be lonely than friendly! Why? Why and why again? He also commented how the elderly seek youth back in their life by wanting to be like young people and even wear jeans, “Lonely or depressed, err on the side of depression and treat it!”
Yes, loneliness is a disease and it has to be treated with both medically and socially. He spoke of behavioural and compulsive disorders, all this can be rooted in vascular degeneration, “More than 11,000 men commit suicide and depression in the elderly decide say they want to die they probably will die, they will themselves to it…loneliness is one of the reasons why we such a high rate of suicide in Goa …and someone’s helplessness or helplessness can make a difference to someone’s life!”
Needless to say I clung on to the words of Dr Harish Shetty with near devotion! It’s a long time since I have heard such a memorable analysis of how our elderly population suffer from organically and psychologically and who’s there’s to attend to them with any timely healthcare?
From what I see every time I’m in and out hospitals including the GMC I feel the healthcare or modern medical system stinks to high heaven, it is not healthcare but death-care to coin a word here! Funny or not funny I find that in mainstream medicine we have only specialists and super specialists of various body parts and organs….you go to them and they will ask you, “What is your problem?” You will say, “My neck is hurting badly…” A slew of blood tests, scans, etcetera will be done one by one and will go home with another prescription of antibiotics or other expensive drugs. Never mind that you’re already addicted to a dozen odd medical drugs which work or do not work and only the patient thinks they work!
HELLO, if you look at a patient with neck pain you must also see he is also having trouble with his eyesight, hearing, trouble drinking or eating…there’s infection in his mouth, his feet are in terrible shape and there’s fungal growth on the nails. Eventually, only the patient goes home with his only his neck pain redressed against many other mysterious contexts working against him for a better recovery. As if the other than the neck the rest of the attached body is not related and have a bearing in a total larger picture. See what I mean? Many critics of mainstream medicine say it is no longer a relevant science, it’s a reductionist way of looking at the human body by hundreds of specialists and super specialists.
Give me a good intelligent grounded general physician any day — who can examine me minimally and tell me the truth about my body in a few sentences and all his experience at his command tell me what I need to do if I want to live and live without pain some more!
ON that note it’s avjo, selamat datang, poitem verem, au revoir, arrivedecci and vachun yeta here for now.

—Mme Butterfly

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