I have always wondered why some people live much longer than others. I've had relatives who died before attaining the age of 60 or 70, and I have two cousins who are three and five years older than I am. Why do people in Hunza live much longer than people in the rest of the country? Why do women invariably live longer than their husbands? Why do Japanese people have longer life expectancies?

There's no use talking to the average Pakistani about such things. One thing Bhutto did to damage the country was nationalizing schools and colleges. He did this to provide jobs to his followers, but scientific education suffered immensely. Then came Zia, and he ensured that most Pakistanis became religious scholars.

Thank God for Twitter. I came across what a Japanese doctor said about how to live a long and healthy life, but I'm afraid most Pakistanis will find it impossible to do what he said. The Japanese doctor died at the age of 104. I don't want to live that long, of course, as my body is already displaying symptoms that warn me about impending death. But some of the things the Japanese guy said I've always believed in.

First of all, he said one shouldn't eat more than necessary. He himself used to take only one meal a day, his diet comprised chiefly of vegetables and fish. He never used elevators, he always walked up the stairs (this is one thing I do as much as possible). He also said people shouldn't worry too much about collecting material things, as you can't take them with you to the grave. 

Although I can't subsist on one meal a day, I do try not to fill up my stomach, always leaving some space. I exercise every day, and as I said, I try not to use the lift, even though my relatives say their doctors have told them not to climb stairs. Perhaps it's due to the fact that the hearts of old people are weak.