Dubai: January 22 is Celebration of Life Day. It honours the children and grandchildren who bring joy to our lives and stresses the importance of keeping the child in us alive.
For 87-year-old Indian national Gayatridevi Gupta, it is a happy coincidence as she is on her third visit to Dubai to celebrate the birth of her great grandchild.
The last time she came to Dubai was for the birth of her grand-daughter.
“When I came three decades ago, I never imagined I would return to the city for my great grand-daughter’s birth. I am so happy that I was able to travel safely to Dubai for this very special family occasion,” she said.
Her daughter Sangeetha Iyer, who has been a resident of Dubai for 37 years, said the family has been enjoying a joyous reunion. A banker by profession, Iyer recalled her mother’s visit the last time around. “She visited us when my daughter Anjali was born. There were so many beautiful memories created. My mother was completely in charge of taking care of my daughter Anjali’s daily massage and bath. She would coordinate all the efforts with the daily masseur,” she said.
Iyer recalled her mother cooking special dishes so she could regain her physical strength post-partum. She added that back then her mother was more physically active. “After all, she was 30 years younger. Having said that, this time around as well, we have been having our special moments together.”
Anjali Bhutra, 31, said she is so grateful for her grandmother’s visit. “We are four generations sitting right here in Dubai and it feels so special.” ” she added.
Bhutra, who was born and raised in the UAE, said she feels privileged that her grandmother flew down to the UAE for the birth of her daughter Naina. “I am so glad my grand-mother agreed to visit us in the first place. At 87, she managed her travel so well and in a safe manner. I barely go to India. And so what we are witnessing here as a family is very special indeed.
“For me personally I have been bonding with my grand-mother.. I am so grateful for this moment,” said Bhutra who works as a brand and marketing lead for an e-commerce start up.
“My mother always used to talk about how my granny took care of me. And now she is enjoying my daughter right here in Dubai. My grandmother may not be as physically active as she was when I was born. But there is no denying her face lights up when she sees Naina. She wears a big smile when she meets Naina. It’s very heart-warming.”
‘UAE is home’
Bhutra added: “The UAE is home for us. The life I know has been here in UAE.”
Iyer, a Golden Visa holder, said she is applying for her mother’s Golden Visa as well. “She loves staying here. Every morning she takes a walk in our garden area. Sometimes, we take her for a walk outside the villa too. She is happy being with us. Plus with Naina’ s birth, my mother feels like staying on here and being close to her. Everyday she looks forward to talking to Anjali, my daughter and hearing stories about Naina’s milestones.”
She added: “Dubai is a very central place to live. My sister lives in the UK and she often flies down to be with me. In fact she has been spending a few weeks with us to see my mother.”
Iyer said, should the family be successful in procuring a Golden Visa for Gupta, there will be yet another special family moment to celebrate.
Life Celebration Day: The importance of liberating the child in us
There is nothing more important than keeping the child in us alive as we age.
According to Dr Azad Moopen, Chairman and Managaing Director of Aster DM Healthcare Group, as people become older, it is natural that they lose their child-like qualities. “It is important for life to be balanced, to have fun, maturity and control. Qualities in children like imagination which help them to make an aeroplane out of a piece of paper or curiosity which makes them ask questions always help to learn. These are unfortunately lost as we age.”
I believe I am more of a parent-contaminated adult, and would like to have more of the playful child in me for being imaginative and inquisitive, while creating more fun and excitement around me.
Psychologists say that there are three parts to a person’s personality once they attain maturity — being a child, adult and parent.
Dr Moopen said, "While the adult is a positive, reasonable and a loving person, the parent is controlling and critical. The third personality type is the curious, inquisitive, fun-loving and risk-taking child. The right combination of a balanced personality is said to be 60 per cent adult, 20 per cent parent and 20 per cent child.
“While both parent and child behaviours are required in a persona, an overdose of either will have a deleterious effect not only on the person but also on those around them.
He said, "I believe I am more of a parent-contaminated adult, and would like to have more of the playful child in me for being imaginative and inquisitive, while creating more fun and excitement around me.”