Be­ing Happy is the Se­cret to a Long Life, Says Pyari, the Labasa Cen­te­nar­ian

She re­calls hav­ing 120 grand­chil­dren, great-grand­chil­dren and great-great­grand­chil­dren in to­tal

Fiji Sun - - NATION - SHRATIKA NAIDU Edited by Caroline Ratu­cadra Feed­back: shratikan@fi­jisun.com.fj

Be­ing happy is the se­cret to a long life, says a Labasa cen­te­nar­ian. Ram Pyari of Waiqele proudly cel­e­brated 100 years yes­ter­day, blessed with good health and hap­pi­ness.

It was her birth­day yes­ter­day, but be­cause of the cur­rent COVID-19 travel re­stric­tions her chil­dren over­seas could not be with her.

But this did not dampen her spirit, as she shared her won­der­ful mem­o­ries while en­joy­ing a hearty meal of dhal and roti with a cup of sweet black tea. The mother of seven chil­dren, re­calls hav­ing 120 grand­chil­dren, great-grand­chil­dren and great-great-grand­chil­dren in to­tal.

Brought up in Labasa Town, the el­dest of the sib­lings, she never dreamt of work­ing on a sug­ar­cane farm.

But at the age of 15, she got mar­ried to the Thakur fam­ily, and moved to Waiqele where they be­gan farming.

“Apart from work­ing on the rice and sug­ar­cane farms, my job was also to bath, feed and babysit all the chil­dren in the ex­tended fam­ily,” Ms Pyari said. Hence, she is fondly known as

Mai by all the chil­dren.

She lost her hus­band, Bi­nes­sar Singh, at the age of 56. She also stopped work­ing on the farm soon af­ter.

With her frail-look­ing body, at 100, Ms Pyari said she now felt weak at times and is sup­ported by a wheel­chair.

Snack­ing on a piece of choco­late, she said: “Dur­ing my young days I worked very hard to meet the ex­pec­ta­tion of my fam­ily. It wasn’t easy be­cause I used to get tired work­ing in the hot sun and then babysit­ting around the house.”

With a great sense of hu­mour, she added: “If we give this same work­load to women nowa­days, I guar­an­tee you they will cry out loud.”

For the cen­te­nar­ian, she is blessed with love and af­fec­tion from her chil­dren.

“I am well looked af­ter by my chil­dren and that is my great bless­ing,” she said.

“I stay very far from town, but my vil­lage life is very sim­ple and beau­ti­ful. I am thank­ful to God for the gift of fam­ily.”

I stay very far from town, but my vil­lage life is very sim­ple and beau­ti­ful. I am thank­ful to God for the gift of fam­ily.

Ram Pyari Labasa cen­te­nar­ian

Photo: Shratika Naidu

100-year-old Ram Pyari at her home in Waiqele, Labasa on Au­gust 5, 2020.

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