Larry King and the how to live longer. How about just play ?

Happened to catch bits of the Larry King show last night on how to live longer. My friend Deepak Chopra was on it – though he did not seem to get too much of a chance to speak. The one thing no one mentioned was community. That people that live in harmonious communities, or fulfilling relationships have healthier immune systems. Deepak did mention the idea of toxicity being not just about pollutants, but also how relationships can also be toxic. There is enough research now to show that loneliness is a great cause of loss of immune system and therefore the onset of disease. In modern society though, we see isolation almost as a pedigree to success. Almost masculine.
For those of us that come from in India, remember the word ‘Mehfil’ ? I remember my boyhood being spent on my bicycle going to friends houses and shouting at their windows to come and play. Play. That is what keeps harmony in communities. Play is what keeps relationships together. Play is how we defuse stress and tensions. Play is what keeps the immune system alive and healthy.

14 thoughts on “Larry King and the how to live longer. How about just play ?

  1. Absolutely! This was one of the deductions of Tal Ben Shahar’s research at Harvard. He teaches the most popular course there called “Happiness,” and published a book on his research titled “Happier.” Its a good read.
    Shahar also gave a great series of interviews on the subject. One of the funniest (and that included the topic of community) was with Stephen Colbert; but I can’t seem to find it online. You’ll have to settle for this one with Jon Stewart.

  2. Mehfil! Come to my window and we can play! I like that. Why do we lose that when we “grow up.”
    What happens to us? My daughter always wants to play. I say, I’m busy I can’t right now. But really, all I want to do is play. And then I deny my daughter that. We give power to these words. Can we not call work, play, and vice versa?
    Who are we working for? All I want is the shine in my daughter’s eyes.

  3. yeaaah……! thats so true……all of us are so spontaneous as children…..
    as we grow older, the play is still there within us, but, we reveal it to people who have the same fun in them……..or to the ones we have shared those moments with during our childhood ………who have managed to protect that rainbow through the storms of life !

  4. by large i tend to favour the beautiful possibilities that can happen out of community that has a base of inner consciousness at its core…i imagine it in many ways at times though the possibility on a larger scale seems gleam..
    dear Shekhar, your post reminds me of the Aryans(not as a section but as a concept) – applicable to persons who value the inner life and have civilization/community based on spiritual realisation.
    last month i happened to stay at auroville where around 2000 people from 40 different countries live trying to bring in such possibility in making as a sustainable community around the core ruling factor of inner-consciousness. (you may visit
    [one more thing i would like to share is of a restaurant that i came across – the indus valley the art of giving restaurant that i came across there – a place that offers 5 to 6 dishes in its menu and an option of tea/coffee/lemonade. And there is no price list for any item – one has to pay as per one’s own evaluation for the meal he choses. i happen to see some paying 30 rupees for the meal and some paying 300 rupees or may be more if one feels like and can afford it. And its a beautiful place, neat and clean, good, tasty, hygienic north Indian food. And they are been able to run the place, paying all the salaries, and cost of maintaining it and still making profits. What an interesting concept. they call it an experiment which if fails they will shut it down]
    :such a sustainable living phenomenon fascinate me i wish such live’in ideas a long life)

  5. Dear Shekhar,
    I will say something here which is true for almost all successful people that they are lonely even in the midst of thousands of people. The main condition for success is focus on your goal or interests, and that secludes us, at the same time the solitude helps us create our life in whatever manner we choose to.
    Therefore, the very successful people are generally members of the society but hardly active in the community directly, as they can’t afford to behave like a common man. The pyramid of success has already secluded them and they can’t “play” with the masses as they are not really one of them, they are special, unique, and therefore by themselves.
    It does not mean that the very successful folks don’t care about the community; they do a lot, just that they can’t be a part of it at the grassroots level, so they try to help by charitable giving and fundraising, or like you being accessible and sharing your views on this blog. It is a like a plastic reaction Shekhar – once you are special you can’t be ordinary.
    And honestly Shekhar, don’t you often feel alone, like all by yourself, even in the middle of thousands of people?
    Best Regards,

  6. post 4 extended
    what i forgot to mention specifically was that such a community i observed some areas were all so playful inspite of at work..AND NOT A IGNORANT PLAY OF CHILD BUT OF AN AWAREFUL ADULT:) functioning in LIFE AS A PLAY.

  7. post 4 extended
    what i forgot to mention specifically about such a community that some areas were all so playful inspite of at work..AND NOT A IGNORANT PLAY OF CHILD BUT OF AN AWAREFUL ADULT:) functioning in LIFE AS A PLAY.
    and why i feel that possibility of such a harmonious community is gleam on a larger scale because i have time and again observed the majority of highly aware beings withdrawing from the community related actions. same i observed at auroville!!?

  8. when i first read ‘to kill a mocking bird’ i was struck by what it said about the author “Harper Lee’s chief interests are literature……and being alone”.
    whereas it is true that people who live in families have healthier lives it can by no means be a generalisation. indeed sometimes people can drain you, even your very near and dear ones and certainly one can not tap in one’s genius in a crowd.
    your recent query about duality will apply beautifully here i guess, it is both true and false that loneliness kills/elevates. love, shivani.

  9. hi shekhar,
    i have to agree with shivani ……. solitude does not neccesarily represent loneliness.
    infact, today the world has too many disgruntled souls, whom the more refined and sensitive need protection from……
    an individual who is happy by her/himself is healthier and reflects a more positive aura (and probably shares that happiness within a smaller group of people) than one who probably connives to have a piece of every pie and plays games to be in every organisation.
    even you probably found it easier to draw out your childhood buddies in the evenings while on your bicycle rounds as a young boy…lets say …. than tackling certain adults from the adult world today as a grown man…?
    a happy person has a HAPPY AURA. whether the individual is with crowds or alone is immaterial.

  10. Mujeh aak bhi>>>
    Patang urana
    marbles khelna
    lattu (tops)
    gulli danda
    peethu (dropping a layer os flat stones, with a ball, a game between two teams)
    Ye sab khelne ko mann karta hai…
    Shekharrr hugsieee

  11. Dear Shekhar Bhaiyya,
    great great thoughts once again!
    I don’t know why, but it makes me think about Sanjay Dutt! The man has gone through enough turmoils but yet alive, kicking and fighting because he has company…the “Mehfil factor”
    I would want to share with you kabir poetry that my apartment watchman tells me without fail every night when I go on walks late in nights…
    “Chinta sey chaturai ghate
    Dukh se ghate sharir
    Paap se dhan-laxmi ghate
    Kahe gaye daas kabir ”
    Readers, please re-invent the ancient concept of “Ghar Sabha” – the daily family meetings and I am 100% sure this is one key of life…long life

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