India, “the grandmother of legend and the cradle of human civilization” (Mark Twain), throws another stupefying nugget our way. Mahashta Mûrasi, from the holy city of Benares, one of the oldest cities in the world, claims to be 179 years old.
The gent says that he was born in 1835 (i.e., before the American Civil War was fought and before India’s first battle of independence in 1857). The amazing thing here is that there is a record of Mr. Murasi having lived in Benares since 1903. Old age, though, does not come without its problems.
His family and friends long gone, Mr. Murasi laments that “death has forgotten me.” Mr. Murasi was a cobbler by profession and pursued his trade till 1957, by which time he was already a ripe 122 years of age.
What could be the secret of this modern immortal? A secret potion, the recipe of which is now lost in the mists of time, or a boon from the gods?
Medical mystery or hoax, it should not be difficult to decide. Apparently, the man’s identity cards and documents tend to confirm his story. But, then, if true, why didn’t this come out before?
I would like to think of this as not a hoax. I’m sure the sexagenarian in question feels the same. How about you?