Now here’s an aspirational goal. Per the NYTimes:
RAYAVARAM, India — Palaniappa Chettiar has always been goal oriented, and when he turned 97 three years ago, he set himself a new one.
No one within memory in his family, extended clan or village had reached 100. Determined to get there himself, he cut down on the yolks in the raw eggs he swallows daily for breakfast, took extra care on his daily four-mile walk to the local Hindu temple and started planning for a party the likes of which few here (or anywhere, for that matter) have ever seen.
Early in January, Mr. Chettiar celebrated his century, and threw open the doors to his pillared ancestral house in this remote village in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, to what appeared to be every person he had ever met — about 7,500 of them.
Summoning a local cook his family has turned to over the decades, he and one of his numerous grandsons chose a menu and settled on a rough guest list that included immediate family; members of both his extended clan and the larger community of prosperous traders known as Chettiars; friends from neighboring cities like Chennai, Madurai and Tiruchirapalli, and people from the numerous small villages surrounding his own…
When the original estimate of 1,500 became 3,000 and then ballooned to 5,000, the organizers simply stopped counting. By the time the big day rolled around on Jan. 2, they had already quadrupled their order of the banana leaves they use as plates. “We were prepared for anything,” Mr. Kasi said.
Six months earlier, Mr. Kasi and his wife had begun planning in earnest, organizing a vegetarian feast served in shifts at tables set inside the Chettiar house and in a striped tent over an adjacent courtyard. The menu aimed to showcase a richly aromatic and highly spiced cuisine that has inspired an adage in India: You are lucky to eat like a Chettiar…
Apart from planning our own centennials, what’s on the agenda today?