Rookmin still full of energy at 104

Rook­min Mathu­ra is 104 years old but she still walks with a pep in her step.

To prove her en­er­gy lev­els and re­mark­able abil­i­ties, Mathu­ra, dressed in her gold­en dress and orhni, gave a brisk and dig­ni­fied walk for the Guardian Me­dia crew dur­ing her birth­day par­ty cel­e­bra­tions last Sat­ur­day.

Four gen­er­a­tions in­clud­ing her sev­en daugh­ters, sev­en sons and a mul­ti­tude of grands who at­tend­ed the cel­e­bra­tion, ap­plaud­ed loud­ly.

Her youngest daugh­ter Cin­ty Nar­ine who vis­it­ed from New York said it was her wish to re­turn home and hug her moth­er.

Hav­ing been abroad for 19 years, Nar­ine said it was amaz­ing that her moth­er still had such abil­i­ties and ab­solute­ly no health com­pli­ca­tions.

“She has nev­er been in the hos­pi­tal for any ail­ment. Up to when she was 86, she was still mind­ing cows and mak­ing a gar­den.

“She was al­ways a hard work­er. Then we de­cid­ed that was too much for her and we got rid of the cows,” she said.

She added that Mathu­ra no longer cooks but still does every­thing else for her­self.

“She has no di­a­betes, heart prob­lems, stroke, noth­ing. If she walks in the sun she gets a bit dizzy but that is it,” she added.

Nar­ine said Mathu­ra’s moth­er came to Trinidad as an in­den­tured labour­er. Mathu­ra was born in 1915.

Dur­ing an in­ter­view, Mathu­ra said she had for­got­ten how old she was. She said she spent most of her life work­ing on the es­tate.

“I had sev­en daugh­ters and sev­en sons and all are alive,” she said. How­ev­er, her hus­band died 57 years ago, leav­ing her to care for her chil­dren sin­gle-hand­ed­ly. She nev­er mar­ried but raised an­i­mals, plant­ed a gar­den and en­sured that all of the chil­dren had a firm spir­i­tu­al up­bring­ing.

One of her great-grand­sons, Chris­t­ian Rud­der, said he was thank­ful that his great grand­moth­er was still around. He said de­spite her age, she was al­ways ac­tive.

“She so old but she does still be cut­ting grass. She has a cut­lass which she us­es every day. She loves to walk the vil­lage and check peo­ple. This is how she stays hap­py,” Rud­der said.

He added that she was full of wis­dom.

So what was her best ad­vice?

“She said girls are too hard­en and don’t study them. She tells me that do some­thing bet­ter than that like my school work be­cause girls are trou­ble,” Rud­der laughed.

He added that Mathu­ra al­so ad­vis­es them to stay away from cig­a­rettes and al­co­hol.

“She says she used to drink and smoke and it did not do her good. Now she eats lots of veg­eta­bles and she re­mains ac­tive,” Rud­der said.

Mathu­ra’s favourite food is dhal, rice and bha­gi.

“She doesn’t know how to sit qui­et­ly. She likes to move around. She talks a lot. She loves to tell us what hap­pened in her ear­ly days. I want to thank God that she is here and I could still see her, hug her and love her,” Rud­der said.

Mathu­ra and all of her fam­i­ly went to the beach on Sun­day to cel­e­brate her life.

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