I spent a couple of days at ‘Nana Nani’, a senior retirement community at Coimbatore, where my sister has moved in.
We have a lot of relatives and friends living in such gated communities at Coimbatore. Though I’m familiar with these places, it was for the first time we stayed there.
When you choose to live here (entry age 50), all your needs are taken care of, from house cleaning to food to security to medical. All at a price, which is reasonable. (A whole day’s meal from morning coffee, breakfast, lunch, tea/snack, dinner at less than Rs.300).
I found the profile of the people here similar. Children living abroad and the parents opting to stay here, as a family.
Primarily the wife is relieved of all her kitchen and domestic responsibilities and they find time for themselves, to do what they want to.
The surrounding area is so well maintained, with manicured garden, indoor games, library, gym and in some places a swimming pool too.
Periodic visits by a doctor to the in house clinic and a well-run temple adds to the charm.
The elders are a lot cheerful with their new friends and extremely cordial to visitors. I find even if one of the spouses passes away, the support mechanism available for the person abruptly left alone is readily available.
This concept is becoming popular with friends of ours starting a similar home at Kumbakonam.
A great business cum social model. We can think of promoting it for the lower middle class (the pricing presently may be high for the lower middle class) and other religious communities (the present ones as I know are strictly vegetarian.)
I recall my spiritual guide, Vethathiri Maharishi, telling us 3 decades ago that the solution to world peace is to start living in communities with a common kitchen. Visionary that he was.
I’m thinking that this is how we should make our neighbourhood interesting, as it would also make one adapt as a family with the neighbours too.