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.