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Celebrating a Centenarian : Shakuntala Patnaik

Happy 100th Birthday to Mrs. Shakuntala Patnaik from DOBARA

The 22nd of June, 2021 is a very special date indeed. We celebrate the 100th Birthday of our beloved DOBARA Icon, the epitome of a Super Senior, Mrs. Shakuntala Patnaik.

On this extremely special occasion, we would like to share a few written words by some of the DOBARA Members along with photos and achievements of Mrs.Patnaik.

Mateen Ansari, founder of DOBARA with centenarian Mrs. Shakuntala Patnaik
Mateen Ansari with Mrs. Shakuntala Patnaik
There is so much to be said in praise of Mrs. Shakuntala Patnaik! She is a lady I admire very much. She is independent, active, involved, full of interesting stories... I remember recently listening to her tell a very funny story here about how she was considered too old to get married in her time - she is the original breaker of glass ceilings!! A student of Madame Montessori, a graduate from Madras - she has travelled the world - knows seven languages - and with all her acquired knowledge and wisdom, she is so very humble and down to earth! She gives us so much to aspire to, a true icon.


Veteran of pandemics Mrs. Shakuntala Patnaik recalls how the world has changed
Deccan Chronicle article on Mrs.Shakuntala Patnaik
I was really impressing on reading the DC article on Shakuntala Patnaik. At 98 she feels she's healthier than her children. She has 4 children, 12 grandkids & 5 great grandkids, amazing!! She has seen 2 world wars, freedom struggle, Independence, 2 pandemics - plague & small pox.
Newspaper article on Mrs. Shakuntala Patnaik. A witness to the transformation
When she was based in Jakarta a deadly flu epidemic broke out and she, along with her family were quarantined at Sulawesi Island for six months. After her husband's retirement they returned from Taiwan to Hyderabad in the year 2000. She urges the present generation to not lose the thread of family bonding, which is so essential during these times of "stay-at-home" and global lockdowns.


A Short and Adorable Conversation between two Super Seniors

November 2019 at the DOBARA Annual Vanabhojanam.

Here are two beautiful, wise, accomplished ladies :

Mrs Shakuntala Patnaik -aged 98

Mrs Najjo Anwar Hussain - aged 93

Mrs Patnaik: Arey tu tho mujh se bohoth junior hai...

( English translation : "Oh you are so much younger than me...")

Mrs Patnaik: Years to go before you catch up with me!

Mrs. Hussain, smiling : Yes I'm looking forward to that !!

Haseeb Jafferi - In Conversation with Mrs. Shakuntala Patnaik

Haseeb Jafferi : Maam when do you start your day ?

Mrs Patnaik wakes up at 8am. She says, " I'm not a morning person!"

She does Surya Namaskar and gives thanks that one more day has been gifted

Breakfast is Chai with 2 biscuits. The chai has black jaggery instead of sugar.

Lunch is at 12.30, a simple Andhra curry with ragi or millets. She avoids rice and wheat as much as possible. Dal is a must.

Haseeb Jafferi of Sufi Trails with Mrs. Shakuntala Patnaik DOBARA
Haseeb Jafferi with Mrs. Shakuntala Patnaik

Evening 5pm is chai time with 2 Marie biscuits. Dinner is at 7.30 to 8pm - where she eats one full fruit.

She says, " When I get a cold or a fever, I make spicy pachadi and chutneys with ginger, tamarind, chillis." She views food as medicine.

She loves watching the Fox network BBC and CNN. She is not into sitcoms and prefers instead to stay informed on the affairs of the world.

My dear friends her story is a learning for a life time. She was student of Madame Montessori. A witness signatory at Durga Bai Deshmukh's wedding. A close friend of MR Syed Hashim Ali IAS, VC of Osmania & AMU. She was associated with the Administrative Staff College of India and so much more.

Full of stories and memories and lessons. Active and alert. May Almighty continue to give her strength and inspire all of us


There is so much to be said in appreciation of Mrs. Shakuntala Patnaik. She is loved and cherished by so many.

On behalf of all the members of DOBARA, a very Happy Birthday to Mrs. Shakuntala Patnaik! We love your spirit and your sense of humor, your zest for life and your disciplined self-care. Thank you Mrs. Patnaik for yet again, paving the way for us all to follow! You are a shining example for Healthy and Active Ageing. It is an honor and a privilege to know you.

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