Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Waiting to die?

Dark side of ShantiNiketan? No way! Iggy's vision


The ideas expressed here on this blog are exclusively mine & not that of:
Hindu Seniors Community Of Las VEGAS!

Here is Iggy’s 2/6/15 NPR radio interview (You can skip to 4:44 to 5:36 instead of listening to the entire interview if you wish):

It has some of his revelations about primal human instincts & his vision behind Shantiniketan communities.

--Begin clip
But there's a dark side to this homogenous heaven, its founder says. "I don't want my children or grandchildren to live in a community like this," Ignatius says. "Retirement communities are places where people go waiting to die.”
And at that time, he thinks, it's beyond your control. No matter who you are, you'll experience a deep primal desire to withdraw, like a salmon swimming upstream to the place of its birth to spawn and die. "I think that is an animal instinct which we as human beings seem to have.”

Waiting to die?

Do you envision settling down in a “forever home” possibly your final sanctuary? Would you want to live in your own “agraharam”, not in a depressing extended stay glorified motel / time-share? 

Most senior communities voluntarily impose the age restriction for the tax benefit (no kids would mean no additional burden on local school district) rather then keeping the (undesirable / annoying?) kids away from the residents. But if you have a non-profit status, you will not be taxed anyway!

You don't have to be a gerontologist or a psychiatrist to know that major problem in old age is depression caused by isolation & loneliness. If you withdraw into a "vanprasthashram"; kind of old age "man-cave" (even if with other similar Indians) would you be making it better or worse? 

I suspect 80-85% investors / renters / winter birds buy in SN for bragging rights: “I bought a condo in Shantiniketan”! The rest of the 15-20% permanent residents would be dying for you to buy & move in with them for good instead of the constant turnover of the transients!

Count the number of smiling faces on Shantiniketan website or on their Facebook photos! Waiting to die; even if it is in a comfortable & clean resort along with other Indians that understand you, is for those who have given up on life. Would it be despicable to include a crematorium on site?

Would it be better to live / celebrate life to the fullest towards the end with your loved ones, young & old (without age restrictions)? Like an oil lamp that burns the brightest just before getting extinguished, running out of oil (juice of life)!

Salmon-run analogy: most of us are done spawning; wouldn’t you agree (unless you are planning a hedonistic resort LOL)? & hardly anyone would want to return to Varanasi or Haridwar or somewhere on the Himalayas (our Indian birth places)! What kind of living can you anticipate, if you are just waiting for the “grim reaper”?

Do you really want to build “a retirement resort (purgatory?) for Hindu seniors waiting to die, living with 80-85% investors or curious transient renters”? It would also force you into an auto centric development to accommodate rental car traffic that most renter / tourists would invariably bring in! Las Vegas would certainly attract more renters. Building a resort would also imply going into hospitality business. 

Do you recall my suggestion about building either a mixed community or an age restricted community adjacent to a non restricted development? & my caveats regarding car-centric design, waving the “holier then thou” Hinduism flag, living in a resort vs living in a community, economics of standard vs high density zoning, parasitic dependence on investor participation, MacMansion villas vs empty-nester’s frugal homes, insistence on the divine number 108 etc. 

If you do not have a clearly defined vision; you will have to adapt & conform to the builder's vision; good bad or ugly! Even if your project does not materialize, it would still be a feather in the builder's cap; another “stay tuned location” for his brochure!

This is not an attempt @ bashing Shantiniketan or Mr Iggy Ignatius; he is providing a much needed service to a particular niche of Indian seniors. God bless him!

Follow your bliss!

#LasVegas  #IndianAmericanSeniors #community#SeniorCommunity #LasVegasIndianSeniors #Desi #LittleIndia #IndianImmigrant #DesiInLasVegas #Villages #ShantinNiketan #GokulGaon #BharatVillas #PriyaLiving #VishramKuteer #SunCity #MaplePalayamCommunity