Book Reviews

Reviews of Celebrating Active Ageing

What readers say:

“Ageing is a mystery that creeps up on us, ever so slowly and relentlessly!  It happens right in front of our eyes and yet is imperceptible unless we choose to consciously dwell on it! Different stages of life have been analysed, written and spoken about at length but little discourse has turned its attention on ageing as a process that can be understood, tamed and even relished! Hari Baskaran’s book Celebrating Active Ageing is one of the few that fills the gap. And that is important because, when we are young or even middle aged, caught up on the whirligig of life, we tend to disregard what we should and shouldn’t do, well before we arrive at the station called “later years”, so that we can enjoy that phase in good health and well being.

With the precision of an engineer and pragmatism of a manager Hari takes us on a comprehensive excursion into the various dimensions of what really constitutes a person namely his physical, intra-personal, familial, social and spiritual selves. And from this exploration flows a framework of thinking that each of us can use to craft an approach that is suitable to our own individual resources and requirements. Rather than be preachy and prescriptive, the book acts as a gentle guide that helps us introspect and leverage the experiences and wisdom of others to work out our own program for overcoming our apprehensions and anxieties and pursuing a comfortable and satisfying later life.

The many personal experiences of Hari himself, the stories of the exemplary personalities he has come across and learnt from and the scholarly references to research work in the field provides a wealth of information and knowledge that motivates and inspires. We begin to feel empowered and enthused that we can take charge and develop a wholesome life style comprising physical exercise, balanced nutrition, familial bonding, community participation and spiritual engagement that leads to a sense of physical and emotional wellness and spiritual fulfilment.    

Written in simple language and a smooth flowing style, this book is a worthwhile read at any age, earlier the better, because nature takes its ineluctable course however much we wish it were otherwise! We are encouraged to build a comfortable relation with the concept of ageing and prepare in a scientific and systematic way to deal with its effects. I for one was left with the sense that the way to celebrate our golden years and pave way for the ultimate unification is to consciously build a healthy body, active mind, compassionate spirit and a detached soul. And Hari assures us that each one of us, whatever our circumstances, has it within us to achieve this, if we really set ourselves to it!”

                                                                                  —— Sury Rao, Management Professional, formerly with, Planning Commission and National Council of Applied Economic Research.

“It is refreshingly engaging even though it deals with a subject that the faint-hearted dread. Ageing conjures up visions of frail, sick, staggering bodies and crushed spirits. But not for one who reads this book. It is an invigorating call to participate in ageing life with zest and enthusiasm. A great work that will give a new lease of life to many an ageing reader.”

                                                                                  —— V.P. Govindas, 92 years

“Ageing is unavoidable but with simple lifestyle changes, right eating and a positive approach to life, the quality of life can change tremendously. I found Hari’s book very interesting. It has lots of anecdotes and plenty of inspiring stories backed with science, making it very interesting to read. The book will transform lives.”

                                    —— Shiny Surendran, Sports and preventive health                                                   Nutritionist, Chennai

Hari nudges the reader to embrace adventure as a way of life.  Like charity, he says, elderly health care begins with the self. His book got me into a reflective mood. These suggestions are a few that resonated with me.

Strive to be at one’s best; be self-reliant and age with grace. Harness the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual faculties, to work in harmony in one’s life. Ease the pressures of passivity, by finding an expert coach. Make a habit of staying fit for life by belonging to a community of likeminded people. 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Hari’s book.

                                     —– R. Shekar, Executive Coach and Business Mentor

Basically, I look at life from the template of Test Match Cricket, where there is a second innings.

The approach to life in the second innings ought to be different from the first, even as one takes a fresh guard. Much as the pitch has seen wear & tear; human beings also experience the same. In today’s era of tech drive; longevity enhancement and small families; senior citizens need to move away from the familiar family scene script of their parents era. They need to look at their lives as being active and independent of their children. I am glad your book emphasises this principle.

                        —— N. Ravishankar, IAS, Chairman, Chairman of Dehradun              Institute of Technology and former Chief Secretary of Uttarakhand.

It is quite absorbing and makes motivational reading for everyone having crossed years of active professional career. Persons like me would derive immense benefit by its reading. 

I am glad to compliment you for this wonderful piece of motivational literary work.                                     

                                                                 ——- R.S. Sharma, Former CMD, ONGC

Your book on Celebrating Active Ageing is thoughtful and timely and will help many senior citizens. You have taken the themes with full of live examples which easily connects readers apart from taking some lessons from others. Your book will be useful to everyone, especially the senior citizens. One can draw a lot of inspiration from your book.

                                                                   ——— G. Kameswara Rao, IAS, Retd.