At 120 years, she has never undergone surgeries or suffered any major illnesses, still manages her daily chores, and plays with her great-great-grandchildren
There's a first time for everything, even if you're 120 years old.
Anushuya Owal, who is receiving treatment for fever at the Rajawadi Hospital, Ghatkopar (East), may well be the oldest citizen of Mumbai. Except for a mild fever, she seems miraculously healthy for her advanced years.
What is even more curious, is that this is her very first visit to a hospital.
Old is gold: Anushuya Owal, who may be the oldest citizen of Mumbai,
is recuperating at Rajawadi Hospital. She is flanked by her 80-year-old
daughter Vatsala (right) and 48-year-old granddaughter Kalpana.
Pic/ Sayed Sameer Abedi
Undergoing treatment in the fourth female medical ward since October 18, Owal screeches with fear every time she is approached by a staff member, shouting, "Mala ghari jaayaycha aahe, sui naka maaru (I want to go home, don't give me injection)".
She flinches at the sight of a needle, and looks the other way when her vein is pierced to insert an intravenous tube: in all her years, she has never required tubes or injections.
Meet the invincibles
Giving her company was her 80-year-old daughter Vatsala, and 48-year-old granddaughter Kalpana, all residents of Ghatkopar (East). They are all in robust health, and, like Owal, have never suffered any severe health problems.
Though her family could produce no scientific proof of her age, Kalpana claimed that her grandmother was born in 1891. "My mother (Vatsala) has heard granny's (Anushuya) stories from her childhood, and is sure that she is 120 years old."
Vatsala could not think of a single instance where her parents had to be sent to hospital, as they were always in the pink of health, using household remedies for common ailments, instead of popping pills.
Nivruti, Vatsala's husband succumbed to a road accident when he was 70.
Vatsala added, "We are a family of five generations. I am proud that even at this age, my mother is not dependent on anybody. She can smoothly manage her daily chores, without anyone's help. She can still play with her great-great grandchildren."
Kalpana added that neither Owal, nor Vatsala suffered any of the common age-related ailments, such as cataract, diabetes and heart problems.
What's the secret?
When asked how they managed to stay fighting fit and beat the debilitating effects of age, Vatsala explained, "Even today, my mother follows a strict diet. She does not eat any junk food. She drinks several glasses of water before bedtime and food after 9 pm is a strict no-no. She goes for walks in the locality, armed with a stick. Everyone recognises her in the park, fondly calling her Aaji. She hates sitting idle."
Kalpana added, "She even prevents her grandchildren and their children from eating oily food, sweets, ice creams or drinking colas."
Dr Rajini Jagtap of the Rajawadi hospital said, "We have conducted various tests on her. If they come back negative, we may discharge her tomorrow."
Another staff member in the ward said, "The granny is very cute and is always smiling. We feel extremely attached to her."