At 106 years of fine life, Mastanamma is definitely overqualified when it comes to the topic of life lessons. Her story is now being retold far and wide but just in case you don’t know who she is let me tell you a little bit about her.
Mastanammaa is a grandmother from India. The fact that she is 106 years old is great but what makes her story even greater in this social media driven age, is that she is on YouTube. Even greater still, she’s totally crushing it!
She joined (okay actually her great grandson and a friend got her on) YouTube in August 2016 and to date, her channel has over 340,000 subscribers.
Mastanamma’s is a bonafide culinary genius whose creations include egg omelets in cucumber and chicken in watermelon. Not flavored by cucumber or watermelon, but actually cooked in a cucumber and in a watermelon. Foodies around the world are no doubt all raising their hands in salute and wondering whether there’s room at the table for one more.
Here are five key life lessons that I’ve taken from her inspiring story.
Lesson #1 — Simplicity always Reigns Supreme
Mastanamma is the epitome of simplicity. She uses only the most basic of tools. Cooks over an open flame while sitting in a field. Peels vegetables with her fingernails and slices food with a ‘Bonti’, a traditional Indian knife. She forbids the use of cutlery and this makes perfect delicious sense for food eaten by hand often tends to be the very best kind.
Lesson #2 — Aging Should Never Signify the End
Betty Friedan said, “Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”
You may slow down, but aging does not mean you now simply have a life and should stop living a life. You’re only done when you’re dead.
Lesson#3 — Aging is an Attitude
You can’t stop the hands of time but you don’t have to get old. Mastanamma is proof positive that aging is nothing but a reflection of time on the body and that aging gracefully has more to do with attitude than it has to do with having access to a factory-made beauty product.
Lesson #4 — Always Stay True to You
Mastanamma’s grandson could have insisted that grandma moves to a modern kitchen and takes advantage of the latest technology. She said no and he listened. She stayed true to herself and this is why 340,000+ subscribers have tuned in. They’ve tuned in to watch her story that just happens to be told through food.
Lesson #5 — Food will Forever be a huge part of Your Story
When asked to give advice to her subscribers, Mastanamma said we should “cook a lot of curries and eat well.” You might not agree with the curry bit but we should all be nodding our heads in the affirmative about eating well. Well not in quantity but in quality.
The food you consume either builds you up or breaks you down. There is no in between. You are powered from the inside out. You are not a trash can. The sooner you can master this, the sooner you can start to flourish.
They are yet to crack the code of eternal youth on the physical but in the mind, eternal youth is thriving. We are just temporarily blinded to it.
We as members of the society we live in have turned the view of aging from one of wisdom and experience to something that should be feared and found a cure for. We have the power to change that.
So until the sands of time run out, may you remember that Mastanamma lives in all of us. Stay curious. Stay hungry. Stay learning and maybe plan a trip to see a 106-year-old culinary genius while you’re at it.
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