“No guests, only phonecalls,” says Lataji about her 91st birthday. “My first and hopefully last birthday during the Covid19 Virus.”
India’s resident Nightingale turned 91 quietly on September 28 without fanfare.
“Waise bhi mujhe zyada shor-sharaaba pasand nahin hai. Aur iss baar toh bilkul nahin(even otherwise I’m not too fond of people making a fuss about my birthday). There are so many people suffering and dying all over the world.Any kind of celebration seems not just inappropriate but highly insensitive,” says Lataji , as her phones go berserk with birthday greetings from well-wishers.
She recalls a time when she had to move out of her home every year on her birthday to avoid the crowds. “They all wanted to see me on my birthday . It used to get impossible for me to cope with the visitors and guests. So yes, I used to shift to a hotel on my birthday.”
Lataji has nothing but gratitude for all the good wishes she received on her birthday this year. “It is impossible for me to acknowledge all the good wishes . But I do want to say that the love that I get at my age from my well-wishers all over the world is the biggest gift anyone can receive. I hope next year at this time we’ll be back to normal, so I can see some of my well-wishers and friends.”