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