Meet Gertrude teacher, know why she is learning karate at 82

Gertrude teacher
With an age-defying spirit Gertrude begins her day taking a dip in the pond and swimming for 30 minutes. Photo: Reju Arnold / Manorama

It is said that life begins at 40. But Gertrude teacher would disagree. According to her life begins at 80! At the age of 82, not only can this Thodupuzha Thommankuthu resident fly, but she can also pack punches in the air. Meet VA Gertrude alias Gertrude teacher.

The teacher has thrown caution to the wind and has even started learning Judo and Karate now. Gertrude teacher who hasn’t had even a paracetamol tablet to date spills the antidote for a happy life.

Karate ‘Kid’

“Not that I wanted to learn karate. But when I went to vote for the last elections at Karimanoor, I heard that there was a karate class nearby. And I really wanted to see it. Once I saw the classes, I thought it will be a good idea to learn karate. In fact, when karate master Baby Abraham asked me if I wanted to give it a shot, I was sure about my decision. I started attending classes twice a week regularly,” says Gertrude teacher.

Gertrude’s day simply doesn’t start without taking a dip in the pond. She daily swims for 30 minutes in the Thommankuthu pond that streams in front of her house. And by the way, did you know that she learnt Yoga at the age of 75? She also religiously plays shuttle with the neighbourhood kids.

How young are you?

It is said that at the age of 5 she donned the garb of an old woman for a stage programme and won first prize. Even after becoming a granny, she played the role of a granny for Keralotsavam and won a prize.

Also, she doesn’t even like the cliched question of the secret behind her glowing health. Some folks start getting fever/sick when they touch 60. According to Gertrude that’s age fever. But she has an antidote for that—“Continue doing all that we have been doing regularly and consistently. Don’t think that you are getting old. Cultivate your talents.”

Dream freely

“I am part of Kudumbashree and Ayalkoottam. When you tell them to give a speech, they insist that I do all the talking. And I tell them that if I keep talking, their talent won't flourish. Make use of your opportunities. I have heard some of my colleagues say that their children restrict them from going outside. And I told them that they should insist on stepping outside the house. Aren’t the wishes of the old people not valid?” –she asks. 

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