Start and you shall finish

Retired matron Ranjit Kaur from Ipoh reflects on her health and well-being while taking part in a run for hospital staff on 6 Aug. She came out tops in a hospital staff run in the retiree category

| Ipoh, Malaysia | 7 Aug 2016 | Asia Samachar |
Ranjit Kaur won in a run for hospital staff in the retiree category. Insert: Ranjit clocking out for the last time as a matron in a hospital in Ipoh, Perak - MAIN PHOTO / RAV'S STUDIO
Ranjit Kaur won in a run for hospital staff in the retiree category. Insert: Ranjit clocking out for the last time as a matron in a hospital in Ipoh, Perak – MAIN PHOTO / RAV’S STUDIO

By Jasrinder Kaur

“The first place… goes to….Ranjit Kaur,” comes the announcement, as the crowd goes into a frenzy, cheering and applauding.

Filled with excitement, Ranjit Kaur composes herself and calmly walks to receive her hamper.

With a smile from ear to ear, gratitude in her heart, she reflects on her journey in health thus far.

At 60, the retired matron from Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun Ipoh recently took part in a run for hospital staff. This year, for the first time, retirees were also invited to take part in the Larian Mesra Tertutup HRPB.

The Batu Gajah, Perak, born lady took the challenge. She took some 50 minutes to finish the 3.5km run to emerge champion in the retired female category.

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She walked the entire length as per requirements of the run. The second runner came in 5 minutes later.

Years back she had decided with the grace of God, she was going to enjoy her golden years, praying that health would walk with her.

But she was not going to leave it to fate alone. She was going to play her role and leave the rest to God.

Walking at ease in her run, accompanied by her thoughts, deeply inhaling the morning breeze, she mused on how life has played since her husband passed on three years ago.

She is battling with hypertension and diabetes. Still, the mother of three children, is  determined to stay healthy. She made it a point to walk at least once a week before retirement, due to her hectic schedule.

After retirement, she decided to dive into improving her fitness. Walking daily from Monday to Saturday, she would leave her house at 6am and return around 8.30am after a beautiful morning walk. Then comes a 15 minutes of light aerobics.

From experience, she knew diet and exercise were crucial components to her health. She took a serious look at her diet and made the necessary changes.

First, she increased her water intake. She realised that dehydration is damaging to the body. “I never walk without my mineral water,” she pondered, looking at the mineral water bottle in her right hand. Squeeze a few drops of lemon and you have the perfect thirst quencher.

Second, she reduced her intake of Punjabi tea, opting more for green tea instead. As a lover of Punjabi tea, she finally gave it up. “The maids just took too long to get it right. It was worthless. Green tea was healthier and easier to make and the maids never got it wrong,” she mused. Add some chrysanthemum flower. “Emmm, the aroma, a few drops of lemon, perfect,” once again she mused with narrowed eyes.

Third, eating steamed vegetables. Avoid over cooking with minimal salt. Ensure it’s nutrient content and fiber was maintained. Squeeze lemon on some freshly prepared salad and its perfect for dinner. “I’m hungry,” she realised.

Fourth, seeds, ‘oh my lovely seeds’, she mulled over. Flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds. Seeds on my steamed food. Chia seeds in my green tea. I just love seeds, she thinks, smiling to herself, proudly.

Fifth, fresh fruit juices, pomegranate, dragon fruit, carrots, capsicum and celery. Two to three times a week. How much better could life get, she bemused.

Sixth, not forgetting my supplements. Multivitamins, calcium, omega fish tablets and glucosamine for joints. “Taking care of me, is my goal now,” she asserted.

Finally, ghee, my choice of cooking oil.

Age is only a number, she believes, not an obstacle to keep one healthy. “The recipe to health,” she  contemplated, “is non other than exercise, diet, sleep, nutrition, hydration and, most importantly, prayer,” she declared, satisfied with her line of thought.

Start with short walks. Increase it overtime and soon it will be a must-do routine. “Go for morning walks,” she cheered herself on, “and live life in fulfillment to all that it has to offer, Ranjit Kaur,” she tells herself as she is more than halfway into the run.

Ranjit Kaur with the hamper for winning the retiree category of the Ipoh run - PHOTO / SUPPLIED
Ranjit Kaur with the hamper for winning the retiree category of the Ipoh run – PHOTO / SUPPLIED

“Thank you Mata Sukhdev Kaur, 73. Your daily walks with me, have kept me going even on the days I felt a little lazy. You have kept me on track. Thank you Mataji,” she sent her vibes of gratitude to her walking partner.

Do everything at the right time, in the right amount and you’d never go wrong. With Vaheguru’s grace, you’d keep walking. “If I can do it, you can do it too, my friends and sisters.” her inner voice spoke loud and clear.

Through this event today, I know I can do it. If Gurdwara Cup had an event like this for those in their golden years, she thought as she glimpsed the finishing line, “I would jump into it and drag my sisters with me”. Her thoughts picked pace as her steps picked tempo in the run.

If more competitive events like this were held, I’d be there, she declared to herself. If she gets the chance, Ranjit wants to go up Kledang Hill on a daily basis, and eventually conquer Mount Kinabalu, the highest point in Southeast Asia. ‘Someday, I will be there.’ she made a solemn promise to herself.

Not realising how much her pace had picked, her thoughts were broken by the thunderous cheer of the crowd, as the announcer enthusiastically announces her victory, “Ranjit Kaur, in first place,” as she crosses the finishing line.

Ranjit Kaur is actively involved in Sikh activities via the Sikh Women’s Awareness Network (SWAN), Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (SNSM) Perak and Ladies Wing Ipoh.


[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website:]


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  1. Having seen Matron Ranjit Kaur work at the HRPB and having seen her smilingly work hard despite the very trying times she has gone through I am not surprised by her achievement in the “Walk”.
    This stoic lady is a fitting role model for many people, and not just in the field of nursing. I wish her all the best.

  2. Yes……as Jarnail Singh said …..way to go……and also as suggested by Ranjit Kaur a Walking Competition for Men & Women during next year’s 66th Gurdawara Cup & Sikh Festival of Sports.