Michael D’souza,a Senior citizen from Mangalore, is not out at 103 on 16 October, 2017.
Mr.Michael D’souza, born on 16/10/1914, at Ooty in Tamil Nadu, is one among 13 siblings. But now he and his only brother, who is 73, are alive. His mother died at the age of 108 years, he says. At the age of 18 years he secured driving license and joined the British army. He served there for 10 years. After coming out he joined PWD and worked for 37 years.
He lives on his paltry pension and now also works as a part time driver for women, children and old folks, of course, younger than him. He gets up at 4.30 am daily; a habit developed during army days, tends to his garden, takes the dog for a walk and cooks his own breakfast. He lost his wife 4 years ago and having no issues, now lives alone in his small house at Hat Hill road. He is friendly to his neighbors, helping everyone "When I look back, I feel God has been kind to me taking care of my basic necessities and providing me a roof over my head." The secret of his long life is, “I never take an elevator when in multi-storeyed buildings." Happiness seems to be the key to his longevity. "I do not feel sad even for a minute, having to earn my livelihood, or that I do not a have family to look after me in my old age. I live happily every moment of my life." He is free from diabetics and high blood pressure and is safely marching along in the 105th year of his life.
Being the senior most cardholder from MASCA, I had the privilege to meet him and wish him on his 104th birthday. He resides with his dog and a cat in his small, old house on Hat Hill, off M.G. Road, Mangalore. Following is the gist of my talk with him:
Q: What is the secret of your longevity?
A:It may be the genes, because my mother also lived for 108 years. It may not be true also, as my other siblings, 11 of them, do not live to see this day. My only living brother is 73 years young now.
Q: Beside the genes, do you credit your long life to your living style, activities or habits?
A:I never take an elevator/ lift when I enter any multistoried buildings. I get up at 4.30 am daily, a habit developed during army days, tend to my garden and take my dog for a walk. I cook my own food - breakfast / lunch and dinner.
Q: I find lot of holy pictures in your house and fresh flowers on the altar.
A: I am a pious person, firmly believing in God. He has been very kind to me, taking care of my basic necessities and providing a roof over my head. I am always happy. I never feel sad even for a minute thinking about my wife whom I lost four years ago. I live on my meagre pension from PWD where I served for 37 years. Before that, I served in the British army for 10 years. I do not have children. I have to supplement my income as a driver, driving children to school and dropping mothers to office and elderly people, of course younger to me, to various destinations. All my neighbors are friendly and helpful to me.
“Trust in God, do good, do not worry, be happy, always,” is his advice to all.