Take it easy, slow down. Who has not heard this piece of advice offered to elderly persons? But this senior citizen would like to take it with a pinch of salt. Age is just a number and it sits lightly on him. At 91 he is fit as a fiddle. And he loves to lead such an active life that even a youngster would envy him.

Senior advocate Ghulam Yazdani has decided to change the way he ages rather than allowing age to change him. On Sunday, it was another day for him to feel younger inside as friends and well wishers made it a special occasion as they decided to celebrate his 91st birthday.

What is the secret of his good health? Physical activity, pat comes the reply. It is lesser activity that causes the body to grow old and not physical decline, explains Yazdani who is associated with a host of socio-cultural organisations. He has always led a healthy and active life.

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Come hail or thunderstorm one can find him walking briskly in the Public Garden at the crack of dawn. A strenuous workout later, he goes to the nearby Himayat swimming pool at Fateh Maidan to dive and splash around. “I believe in adding life to years and not the other way round”, he says proudly showing off the medals he has won at the swimming competitions.

For the last three years he has bagged the first prize in backstroke and freestyle swimming championships organised by the Sports Authority of Telangana State (SATS). In fact, there is none to take on Yazdani in the 90 plus age group category.

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Among the aerobic exercises swimming is considered best, particularly for the elderly, as it results in coordinated movement of both upper and lower extremities. Yazdani has been swimming from age 10. But he has made it a regular habit for the last two decades at Nizam Club and Fateh Maidan.

As chairman of Public Garden Walkers’ Association, he has also been walking regularly and organising health lectures on the first Sunday of every month since 1995. This senior citizen is also a ready wit. His book, ‘Hyderabad – Down the Memory Lane’, makes an interesting read. A multifaceted personality, Yazdani is a good shot too and also goes fishing off and on.

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If you are a nonagenarian do you celebrate or keep quiet? Yazdani had no choice in the matter — Jai Prakash Singh of Sujatha group of educational institutions hosted an event which was attended by people from different walks of life. Prof. Anand Raj Verma, Saleem Basha and others recounted the secret of Yazdani’s never-say-die-spirit. Well known mimicry artiste Dault Ram, regaled everyone with his wisecracks. Yazdani continues to touch lives around him. For him, age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. #KhabarLive