Watch: How Barmecha Family Aims to Join 100’s Club
Living up to a long healthy age is a feat in itself. And if the age of the person is 100, we certainly want to know what the secret of their longevity is. HappyAging met one such family in Pune, that has seen centenarians in their lineages. Living healthy and beyond 90 is common to this family. The Jain family matriarch has the fortune of seeing the 4th generation now. And with God’s blessings, they might just see the 5th generation too, soon! HappyAging visited them to understand more about their lifestyle, which has helped each and every member of this family to attain a longer and healthier life.
Mr. Suresh Barmecha (75) and his wife, Chanchal Barmecha (69) are both active individuals with a doting family of children and grandchildren. The oldest member of their family is the 100-year-old mother of Mr. Suresh, who herself is quiet healthy and apart from an eyesight issue, has never visited any doctor for any health condition ever. With a great memory and sharp wits, the centenarian mother is able to observe their religious fasting routine and enjoy life to the fullest. Such is the spirit of all the members of Barmecha family. Recently the Barmechas had a ‘Sone-ki-sidhi’ (Golden Steps) ritual for their loving mother, which is a tradition followed when the senior members of the family get to observe the 3 generations.
There are more than 200 people in the whole clan. During every festival and family functions, the whole family comes together to have a gala time filled with fun, laughter and togetherness. and they all have a great time together.
Healthy and Active Lifestyle
Mr. and Mrs. Barmecha both reminisce their childhood as the one filled with a good healthy diet and lots of physical activity. They used to have cows and buffaloes at their homes. The children were brought up on pure milk, ghee and butter. Their families were involved in farming activities and the children were also expected to help with it.
Outside food or junk food was unheard of. Whatever the family wanted to eat, it was made at home, including sweets. Even now, the family has continued the tradition with their elder daughter-in-law taking the reins of kitchen in her hands. She ensures everyone in the family enjoys eating at home. Everything is prepared with love in their own kitchen and consumed at home.
In the times, where ease of job is causing more harm than good, adding to the sedentary lifestyles of people, the cases of obesity and high blood pressure at a young age are becoming quite prevalent. To add to it, junk food, adulterated food and compromised quality of daily consumes have increased these cases by manifolds.
With nuclear families and shrinking spaces, where we hardly have the time and the means to engage in physical activities, the Barmecha family likes to give their physical fitness the utmost priority. They have built their family home in this three-storeyed building with separate houses for each of the sons. To keep themselves active, Barmechas haven’t installed any elevators in the building, so they could take the stairs everytime they have to come together.
While Mr. Barmecha likes to walk to his office, Mrs. Barmecha too keeps herself active and engaged indomestic chores and her daily walks around the nearby temples
The Barmechas like to keep it simple and healthy by keeping an active and healthy lifestyle.
Diet and Fasts
As a strongly followed practice, the Barmechas always consume and encourage having homemade food only. Apart from that, they strongly believe in the norms of eating and fasting as laid by their faith in Jainism.
The family follows strict Jain vegetarian diet that excludes underground vegetables such as potato, garlic, onion, etc., to prevent injuring small insects and microorganisms; and also to prevent the entire plant getting uprooted and killed. Jainism believes in “Ahimsa Parmo Dharma” that strictly prohibits any kind of violence. Many Jains are observed to move towards veganism due to atrocities of the dairy industry on cattle.
They also follow specific patterns of cooking and eating that would scientifically impact the digestion of the food. All dinners in Barmecha family are to be consumed before sunset.
Jainism also highly stresses on the need to fast and detox. There is a holy event of Paryushan which is celebrated as one’s devotion to the religion and showcase their strength of tolerance and sheer willpower.
Mrs. Barmecha and her centenarian mother-in-law have been observing rigorous fasts, since last many years. They still follow the practice of “Ayambil-Tap”, in which they have to partake only boiled food for 10 days. They have to avoid the use of salt, spices, oil and ghee for cooking. They also follow other fasting rituals like ones which require you to drink only water and take no solid food for a week. It is observed to attain spiritual upliftment through overcoming taste and shedding any karmic bondage whatsoever.
Mr. Barmecha points out that all these fasts, common to the Jain community, not only showcases their will-power and discipline but also are very effective in flushing out the toxins from the body.
Being fit has enabled Mr. and Mrs. Barmecha to live their life according to their rules.
Mr. Barmecha, even at this age, manages his shop from morning to evening. He takes a walk of 5 km to his work daily, which has become a special routine to him. His family members say that he is very active and doesn’t ever shy at the thought of climbing and descending the stairs 5-6 times a day.
Mrs. Barmecha has traveled to every religious place, Jain as well as Hindu. There, she manages to walk more than 25 km in a day on foot. She has visited places like Girnar, Palitana and Shikharji. Some of these places have more than 5000 steps. She still climbs them effortlessly.
It is the passion of enjoying everything small and big in life that gets her going. In fact, the entire Barmecha family exudes passion be it culinary art by the elder daughter-in-law and her son or the passion to make it big at work by the sons and the younger daughter-in-law or the passion to keep the family together.
Happy Social Circle
Mrs. Barmecha likes to visit her friends every year and spend quality time with them. She takes a lot of trips with them and says that for a happy mind, it important to maintain your close social circle.
Mr. Barmecha happily points out that even today when she friends they giggle like little girls.
Mrs. Barmecha says her only wish is to keep their huge family together. They take pride in evolving their beliefs with the time yet maintaining the core values of living intact. They are a joint family with nuclear houses. Their sons and daughters-in-law maintain a busy working lifestyle, yet enjoy homely healthy food.
The family gives them a sense of completeness and strength to lead life further. They take pride in the unity of their family and wish to keep that together forever. They treasure the age-old practices and have ensured to pass it on the next generations. The Barmecha family teaches a good lesson of longevity that lies in happy homes that value their legacy and keep it alive.
This is how the family aims to join the 100s club like the senior-most member of their family. Laden with pearls of wisdom that we hope to incorporate in our daily lives, HappyAging left the Barmechas learning how simplicity can gift us with long healthy life and make aging a happy one.
HappyAging thanks Barmechas family for sharing their pearls of wisdom on joining the 100s club. Share in the comments what you think is the secret to a longer life.
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