Presenting Harmony's silvers - sparkling lives, success stories, accounts of endurance, courage, grit and passion

Fittest @ 55

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Natasha Rego meets the enigmatic Dr Mickey Mehta, ‘the revolution’ who aims to bring about a human evolution

At 6.30 am on a windy Wednesday morning recently, hundreds of Mumbaikars with yoga mats were sprawled along the promenade at Mumbai’s Marine Drive. Leading the charge was a fleeting figure in black and white who seemed to possess the uncanny ability of being everywhere at once. In one instant, he was giving his team of trainers a pep talk before they scattered along the drive; at another, he was welcoming celebrity guests such as Malaika Arora and others to join him in an asana; at yet another he was posing for pictures with the various groups such as the police force, silver citizens and various yoga enthusiasts who had gathered that day. Besides being International Yoga Day, it was also a special edition of Yoga By The Bay, a programme led by holistic health guru Dr Mickey Mehta and his partner Shaina N C, a BJP functionary, that has initiated 150,000 Mumbaikars, young and old, into yoga over the past two years.

Indeed, Mickey is on a mission to start what he calls ‘A Wellness Revolution for Human Evolution’. “My vision is to let every individual in this world of 7 billion people be self-healed and happy,” he tells us when we meet him a week later at his mother’s cosy apartment in Napean Sea Road. “One of my mottos comes to mind: Sleep every night with the wish to heal yourself and wake up every morning with a promise to heal the world,” he says, quoting one of his classic ‘Get Mickeymized’ messages, a rhythmic tool he uses to propagate his wellness message on social media every day.

Since his journey began, Mickey has touched the lives of millions—whether it is through the many Mickey Mehta’s 360° Wellness Temples across Mumbai; or initiatives targeting different groups in the urban demography, such as Yoga By The Bay, Be Stronger, Live Longer for silvers and the Grow Taller programme for children; or through the radio and television shows on wellness he has been hosting for years. “In fact, I was the first wellness coach to do Femina Miss India, the first personal trainer in India and the first columnist, TV and radio presenter on wellness,” he acknowledges.

Early in his career, Mickey worked as a health club manager for hotels in India and abroad. His primary mandate was to help people manage their weight. Given his knowledge of martial arts and fitness, this directive helped the young college dropout land on his feet—but all the while an esoteric lurked within. As he became a self-inspired student of new-age gurus and other philosophies from various cultures across continents, Mickey grew inclined to holistic human development. In addition to the sensitivities of the human body, he wanted to explore the mind and soul, and complement the pursuit of physical fitness with a path to spiritual awakening. He wanted to push the boundaries of the mind and test the potential of the body, while existing in urban chaos.

We all know him as India’s most sought-after life coach among the rich and famous. But as he likes to tell it, it all just happened to him. “When the river flows, it has impetus,” he says. While his personal attention is lent to a famous few, primarily the elite of Mumbai, he offers complimentary services to groups such as the Mumbai police force. Further, his Wellness Temples offer up a holistic approach to fitness, comprising meditation, nutritional support and ‘equipment-free exercises’.

The consolidation of ‘equipment-free exercises’ as a Mickey Mehta special—like ‘learn swimming in 24 hours’, which fetched him a place in the Limca Book of Records 1995—reveals a savvy marketer beneath his health guru persona. And like many inventions, it was born of necessity. When he was roped in to the Femina Miss India beauty pageant in 1995, Mickey had to train 30 girls at time. With no gym at hand to accommodate them all, he moved the workout outdoors. This eventually led him to start training his own clients in parks, gardens and the glorious Mumbai seaside.

All these experiences also honed his skills as a businessman without any formal training in management. But, by his own admission, he is not as good a businessman as he is a healer. He attributes his acute abilities to evolution. “My neural mirroring abilities, which are usually strongest between the ages of zero to seven, are still at their peak,” he reveals. His talents don’t end there. In 1993, he collaborated on an album with pop stars Anaida, Bali Bhrambhatt and Alisha Chinai called Winning Rhythm that was infused with social awareness messages. He has also been awarded honorary doctorates by two institutions: South Korea’s Keisie University and Sri Lanka’s Open International University for Complementary Medicines. Further, he has launched a book in Marathi Braille, titled Gharbaghya Pregnancy Wisdom, and produced and presented the documentary Gandhi, The Healer, a film that explored the Mahatma’s beliefs in naturopathy.

Mickey turns 55 years this month, with at least 55 more to go, he assures us! And this birthday, like many others, will be celebrated with the city’s dwellers: from 360° Wellness Temple membership discounts and freebies handed out, to a barrage of ‘Get Mickeymized’ messages on social media counting down to D-Day, and a big celebration of life and living on 29 August.

His own daily routine begins with an hour of slow meditative exercises. His breakfast involves cold-pressed coconut oil and herbal teas, followed by special herbs. His Haji Ali home doubles up as an office where his core team gathers and discusses the day’s meetings before they head into the city; and on the dashboard of his car is a makeshift timetable with a two-week schedule pencilled in. His impressive resume spanning 35 years aside, this lone crusader wishes to focus on the future rather than dwell on the past. “It doesn’t matter where I’m coming from,” he says. “It matters where I’m headed.”


How does one get initiated into the age-reversal process?

A single-celled sperm has the potential to germinate and grow into a multi-cellular body with multi-cellular functions. That is the potential of the life force within all of us. It is so automatic that even in Africa, where people starve, where they might not have muscle or fat tissue, they still grow. This force is constantly regenerating our cells, which happens in four seven-year cycles. The first seven years are growth with a clean slate. The second seven years are of impressions and imprints on your intellect. From 14 to 21 are your formative years. And the fourth cycle is the consolidation of your learnings. It is the age for wisdom. After 28, there is a lag in the rate of regeneration. This lag brings death.

The idea is to reduce the lag through inputs: physical, physiological, psychological, emotional, and spiritual. When you introduce these five multi-pronged inputs, they nurture human life not just in cellular regeneration but in the rewiring of your brain. When the elements—the sun, moon, earth, water and air—are absorbed, assimilated and utilised is when a human becomes an intelligent being, completely connected with the cosmic elements. Then we are living every day, as opposed to dying every day, and death will not come through ‘dis-ease’.

What prompted you to focus on silvers in this reverse-ageing process?

Silvers need our attention as they are in a state of rapid degeneration. We can do literal magic to their lives in no time. Small steps will bring about major change. Then you will see 10 years get on like this [snaps fingers], 20 years like that [claps hands].

To give you a real-life example, my mom was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer at the age of 70. They went in for exploratory surgery and found she had to be operated upon or, given her condition, she wouldn’t make it for more than six months. They cut off her duodenum, pancreas, gall bladder and 80 per cent of the stomach. We avoided the chemo and, after the surgery, I put her on a vegetarian diet and sacred cow’s urine that was prayed upon, herbs and aloe vera. Then, I got her a home in a completely new environment, full of gardens and fresh air. In time, the new cells generated new memories and disconnected from the past. Today, she is 82. She does yoga every day, goes to the fire temple, and cooks. It’s been 12 years and we haven’t gone through any tests. She eats non-veg too, though I don’t approve of it. Of course, at her age, she’s a little hard of hearing and has trouble with her eyesight. But she walks straight! So spontaneous remission is possible with natural therapy, prayer and meditation.

What is the value of sacred cow’s urine?

Modern science says that any fluid has memory. If something as pure as the urine of an albino cow is prayed upon and blessed constantly, it will have an obvious transformational effect. Further, this cow is kept in very comfortable conditions, has been charged with mantras and gone through a purification process.

Does a vegetarian diet have healing properties?

Everything that is in abundance in nature, which grows out of the soil, having absorbed sunshine, minerals, water and oxygen, and having witnessed the planetary movements over several months, will possess absolute wisdom—the wisdom of healing. The curative properties of vegetarianism have been recorded and validated. That is not the case for meat.

Have you always been a vegetarian?

I was a vegan for 10 years, then a non-vegetarian for seven-eight years, and a vegetarian in the last two years. I have experimented a lot with food and its correlation to dreams, thoughts and temperament. I am forever on an alternative trip. I would probably still drool when I see someone eating lamb chops, but my consciousness has superseded my animalistic lust for food!

When did you start seeing exercise as more than just physical activity?

Maybe from the time I was seeded in my mom’s womb. Most destinies are predetermined. I say ‘most’ because those people are chosen to lead, deliver and liberate others.

At what point did you grow conscious of it?

I think it happened at the residential schools where I studied in Nashik. I took to exercising and my interest slowly drifted to subtle sciences, philosophy and spirituality. It was a wonder for me too because it just happened. I later understood that when a river flows, it is on a trajectory. People gave me cassettes and books of Deepak Chopra, Osho and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who became my biggest influencers.

Tell us about your parents.

I come from a middle-class Parsi family. Both my parents worked for 40-45 years for their companies. I grew up in the heart of a red-light area near Falkland Road in Mumbai. It wasn’t so when my grandfather moved there. Nevertheless, our community and other small communities also lived there. We were like lotuses in the muck.

How has age affected you?

Age brings a lot of wisdom, but otherwise I remain 18 years old.

You took a bold step dropping out of college….

There was nothing bold about it, nor will I take credit for it. Everything happened as I wasn’t good at academics. It was the push and pull of nature that I became a karate teacher. Later I got a job at a five-star hotel as an undercover security guy. Further I worked as a health club manager for maybe 1,200 bucks to start with. There were no goals at that time.

What made you go solo?

I was thrown out of wherever I was working, owing to some scandals there. But opportunities come out of challenges. You just have to optimise them.

Is that when you started teaching people to swim in 24 hours?

This was my first claim to fame. I always had a way of doing things differently and great marketing ideas came to me. When I was teaching people to swim in Oman, I got them to float on the first day and swim the next day. So when I lost my job, I said, ‘Boss, use this knowledge!’ I took over the pool at Hotel Sea Princess in Mumbai with a vision. I did 12-hour batches, from morning to night, batch after batch. And people started queuing up. I earned as much as a blue-chip CEO would in those days, which was unheard of. Soon after that, Miss India happened, TV and radio happened, and there was no looking back.

How was ‘Get Mickeymized’ coined?

Three to four years ago, when I was planning one of my birthday campaigns, an idea got me. I thought, let me ‘Mickeymize’ people. I started creating ‘Get Mickeymized’ messages, which have become quite a lingo. There are up to 1,500 on different subjects on social media. I can make them up at the drop of a hat!

Can you do one on ‘active ageing’?

Mickey Mehta says active ageing must be celebrated in absolute awareness. Let your awareness of ageing be optimised. Don’t wither. Renew with time, become sublime. Let your life be maximised. Get Mickeymized!

What is it like working with a celebrity or industrialist?

I am diplomatic by nature and heart-oriented. I am also extremely analytical—there is a mind of a NASA scientist lurking in here had I studied physics. So, diplomacy with politicians, industrialists, stars comes naturally to me.

How do you modify your workouts to such a diverse group?

Therapies differ according to age, place, constitution, time and function. Nowadays, I only take people who are serious about rewriting their soul software and evolving as humans. When evolution is the ultimate objective, weight loss becomes frivolous.

What is soul software?

We are all individuals, which means indivisible duality, that which cannot be divided. It is represented by the soul. One component carries the collective memory of your life and is unique to you, and one holds the memory of the universe too. These two components make up your soul software. This software can be reprogrammed or wiped completely clean, which is what happens to the enlightened ones. After having gone through a spiritual cleansing of one’s being, none of the past influences the now. I call it the here-now philosophy of being super-conscious.

Is it possible in urban life to pursue consciousness?

Difficult, but possible. However, we can always start our journey. I aspire towards this for myself. Extraordinary are those who believe there is something within that is superior to circumstance.

What is plaguing urban society today?

Life exists in polarities. The chase has to be eliminated. As a compass points north, human health and healing always point towards equilibrium, but we keep disturbing it—with the wrong choice of food, no proper rest and bad attitude. We are oscillating between the positive and negative, while in the centre lies the shoonyam quotient—that is where restoration, rejuvenation, revitalisation and regeneration take place. This can be achieved through creative workouts, ethical eating, regulated breathing, meaningful rest and, of course, ‘me’ time. Healing is further aided by compassion, benevolence, philanthropy, creativity and grace more than even food or exercise, because then there is emotional fulfilment.

What would be the starting point towards leading a life of consciousness?

Self-love—not to be mistaken for narcissism. Take responsibility for what you have and all that you don’t. Seek atonement and forgiveness, only that will liberate you.

Induced beliefs also play an important role in silvers’ lives. The people around them should declare that we as humans are capable, even at 80 and 90, of making wonders happen. And with a support system in place, sometimes silvers can outperform their children because they possess more compassion and a bank of wisdom and experience. Wisdom is the edge over the rest, and there is no expiry on the potential for human learning. It is just a matter of pursuit and aligning with the flow… wanting it, intending it, aspiring towards it, and not being aggressive or desperate about it. Every silver has to live life with purpose. If you want something, sow the seeds on the banks of time and wait for the season for them to become beautiful gardens, enchanting forests or delicious orchards.

Where do you get your energy from?

My energy is faith and hope-driven. It is in my DNA. It’s like, when you come to the core of the onion, when all the layers disappear, it becomes open-ended. I am like that: open-ended, vulnerable and anchored in faith. And faith takes care of me.

What are you currently studying?

I am studying almost every day. I go in blindfolded in any direction. I pick up learnings from the Internet, books, people and, of course, television—Discover Channel, Discovery Science, Nat Geo, Animal Planet, History Channel are my go-to channels. I am drawn to scientific phenomena and constantly searching for the meaning of words and jargon, and relating them with philosophy and spirituality.

Does religion dominate spirituality these days?

That’s because religion is an organised business. There is always a CEO, trustees and a board of directors; they control the thought and functions of the community. They lay down the dos and don’ts within which you are trapped. Religion will not set you free; spirituality will. Freedom comes when structures are toppled. That is when your soul can grow. I myself offer prayers at night, ritualistic and non-ritualistic, both of a brand religion and universal too. It’s about taking the best from all because everyone has something unique to offer.

Do you find a common message among all the teachings you draw from?

Love. It is the reason for proliferation and the single most important weaving factor. Osho says, “Forget God, love will do. But don’t forget love. God alone won’t do.” God could be crippled without love.

In your view, is there hope for us to regain our spirituality?

There is great hope. We are on the cusp of a golden era and technology will lead us there if it does not take us to the dark ages. If creation has to happen after parlay [dissolution], so be it. It is our collective destiny. As for me, I am excited about the last breath I take; that is, whenever it comes. I will be conscious and looking forward to where I am headed. When you are in complete awareness, death cannot happen to you even after breathing your last.

Does your family follow your path?

My wife became a vegetarian after me. She is very aware and conscious about her health. So is my daughter, but being young she also likes her pancakes, pizzas and chocolates! She now has a few Hindu friends who have convinced her to become vegetarian, even though it’s a tall order in America. My greatest challenge is to bring my daughter into my fold. It will happen one day because the seed of an apple has to become an apple.

What would you say has been your impact over 35 years?

There is so much that the stories will run into thousands. Sibling rivalries have been sorted, relationships between parents and children mended, suicidal cases solved, business disputes resolved. People have been put on the path of success and taught to navigate joint families. Responsible parenting has also been my core competency.

What does the future hold in store for you?

My book The Shoonyam Quotient has been picked up by Penguin Random House and will release this September. I am now working on a TV show about axial sages such as the Buddha, Mahavira, etc, who are the epitome of purity and holiness. And I have finished working on my branded music to be played at my wellness temples. I am just waiting for it to get finalised and the world to get Mickeymized!


  • Breathe 21 times consciously, seven times a day
  • Step out every day for half an hour; take a walk in the park or the beach. Or, if nature is scarce, take to the streets
  • Eat your dinner by 6-6.30 pm
  • Do the stomach-out, stomach-in breathing exercises that the Japanese call tanden breathing, around 40 to 50 times when you wake up and before you sleep, and you will never die of heart failure at night; this exercise infuses the memory of breathing
  • Sleep as early as possible and as much as you need


  • You can use temples and other houses of worship for their enabling environments
  • Use your shower, which is conducive for Introspection
  • Sit in a quite chair by yourself, or by the sea
  • Tap into the stimulus of smell and sound: the chirping of birds, the sound of rain, the smell of flowers or wet mud, sandalwood and musk are transcendental
  • Tend to a fire (which I do at the fire temple!)
  • Don’t be bound by time
  • Enter a state of simply being and enjoy your own company
Photos courtesy: Dr Mickey Mehta
Featured in Harmony — Celebrate Age Magazine
August 2017