The Other Side of 40

It’s commonplace to talk about the “wrong side of 40”. Sometimes in jest, but often the jest only a thin masquerade for our fear of ageing. A 75-year-old shooter, a 113-year-old marathon runner, a 94-year-old father, a 60-year-old sex worker would vigorously disagree
The slideshow below can be best enjoyed by clicking on the fullscreen-mode button (bottom right corner) of the slideshow player.

Prakasho Tomar

75-year-old rifle shooter

Nicknamed ‘Amma Shooter’ and ‘Bandook Wali Dadi’, Prakasho, from Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh, picked up the rifle after accompanying her granddaughter to a shooting range one day. But age wasn’t her only hurdle—she faced constant criticism from  her husband, who would sarcastically tell her to exchange jobs with their son, an armyman posted in Kargil. Ignoring his jibes, she practised secretly, using a water jug as target. She is now a nine-time state-level champion, and wants to compete internationally

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Dharampal Gudha

113-year-old marathon runner

He’s unstoppable. Dharampal lives in a small town called Mawana in Uttar Pradesh, and is certainly the most agile among his acquaintances. Dharampal still runs professionally, and will be participating in a 42 km marathon in Allahabad this month. He also plans to soon compete against Fauja Singh, a 100-year-old marathon runner in Toronto

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Mian Jabbar

68-year-old student

Mian Jabbar doesn’t lose hope. A vegetable seller in Bindki, Fatehpur,  he is probably the oldest school student in India, with 44 attempts at clearing his matriculation examination. He studies late into the night with the light of earthen lamps, as he gets no time during the day and electricity is scarce in his village.  His favourite subject is Hindi

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Rakhi

60-year-old sex worker

Born at a brothel in Meerut, Rakhi has spent her entire life there, not knowing the outside world. This small brothel room is what Rakhi calls her world and is probably where she’ll meet her end. On being questioned about her clients, she says, “There are still a lot of crazy men out there”

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Ramajit Raghav

94-year-old father

A year ago, Ramajit celebrated the birth of his son Karamjit, hailing him as ‘God’s gift’ to him at this ripe old age. A resident of Kharkhoda village in Haryana, the 94-year-old is raging with libido and claims to have sex all night long with his 50-year-old wife Shakuntala. The couple now plan to have a second child