Light Up Candles for a 243rd Anniversary and Three Nonagenarians!

















The July birthdays and the C65 Board joined kaka and mama in cutting the birthday cake.

By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: You have to be creative to keep the minds of seniors active and involved, and entice them enough to bring them out of their comfort zones and out into the midst of commotion. For the past six-years, Paru McGuire, the President of Club 65, has kept the monthly meetings going and make them entertaining for the seniors as well as their younger chaperones.

A sister organization of the Indian Muslim Association of Greater Houston, Club 65 usually holds monthly meetings for seniors at Bayland Community Center on Bissonnet near Hillcroft and sometimes parlays into outings like picnics or a visit to a park. Now McGuire has help – it can be a demanding job rounding people up – from not just one but two Vice Presidents, Rahat Sultana and Meera Kapur.

And with the 4th of July just behind them, what could be better than to celebrate the nation’s 243rd birthday? Well, celebrating the July birthdays of three nonagenarians (90 year-olds for those not familiar with the term) and add everyone else (age unrestricted) to help light the candles!

Almost 40 members and chaperones turned up for the event at Bayland on Saturday, July 6 and listened as Farida Bandali, the C65 Treasurer gave a brief but interesting description of how the 4th of July came to be celebrated and where the custom of lighting fireworks started.

Never a shrinking violet, the 90-year-old Taiyeb Shipchander (fondly known as kaka or uncle) sang a ghazal to get the program started, and McGuire introduced the new members and Kapur’s new role. Kaka had just turned 90 and also turning a year-older was my mother, 91 year-old Shakuntla Malhotra (fondly and universally known as mama), C65’s first Life Member, whose birthday is on the 22nd. Also attending was the oldest member, Yusuf Ali, a sprightly 94 year-old who doesn’t look (or move like) his age!


From left, Mandeep Randhawa, a financial advisor; Neeta Sane, the Houston Community College Trustee and Paru McGuire, the President of Club 65.

Neeta Sane, the Houston Community College Trustee who is running for Ft Bend Tax Assessor-Collector and her husband Deepak attended the meeting and gave a brief recap of the discounted courses that HCC has developed for seniors.

She was followed up by Mandeep Randhawa (who goes by Mandy), a financial advisor who spoke about the four keys to financial well-being and stressed the element that is key to a senior’s wellbeing – long term care and how to plan for its enormous expenses (upto $90,000 per year at a nursing home) in the ebbing years. The other three keys are buying adequate life insurance, paying off debt and saving funds for emergencies through investments and annuities. She also gave tips on estate planning, medical power of attorney and wills.

When it came time to cut the cake for Kaka and Mama, all the other July birthdays gathered around (including this reporter) with the C65 Board and kaka’s son Taha.