Chennai's 83-year-old Kiran Bai has become an icon for physical fitness. She religiously lifts weights and works out at her home, defying her age. Her Instagram videos are shared widely, in India and abroad.
At her sixth-floor home in an apartment complex at 4 pm, she is ready to hit the floor mat for a round of exercises.
"First is a warm-up," she said, and began her stretching. Minutes later, she got into her groove from strength training, lifting 20 kg weights, bar bell and banded row each with a break in between.
Her huge hall has turned into a gym. Her sofa is a leg press for her. With her great grandson seated on it, she pushes the 44 kg load.
"I'm so happy. By working out we can be so jolly. There is no link between age and working out," Kiran Bai said.
Normally an independent person, Kiran Bai said the lockdown triggered by COVID-19 since last year has restricted her normal activities. A fall from her bed also made it even more difficult for her. That was when she needed to rebuild her strength and her grandson, Chirag Chordia, a fitness trainer himself, suggested weights.
She began lifting bottles and old weights the family had. "My grandma gained strength and it was a turning point. She loved it and now over the last one year she has made it a routine doing thrice a week, an hour every time," Mr Chordia said.
A video of his grandmother's work-out that Mr Chordia shared had gone viral on Instagram. Eleiko, a Swiss company, donated her a lifting kit with weights.
"We are really happy that it's reaching so many people, inspiring people to get stronger. A lot of people are reaching out for help and advice on how we can go about this," Mr Chordia said.
On how she feels to be an international celebrity on social media, Kiran Bai said, "It's all god's grace." Hugging her grandson, she posed for a picture, saying, "He is my coach."