"I had absolutely no idea what I would do to keep myself occupied. And then I heard about Unarvu," says Gangadharan Nair.

Gangadharan Nair turned 84 on Saturday. He has made lone journeys to different parts of the country, briefly met Mahatma Gandhi when he came to the capital and continues to enjoy working as a technician at the Kerala University’s Health Centre, a position he has held for decades. For long, he has tried to put off that nagging thought that he would need to quit his job soon and pay better attention to his health.

“I had absolutely no idea what I would do to keep myself occupied. And then I heard about Unarvu,” says Mr. Nair.

Now, come hell or high water, Mr. Nair is there on the lush premises of the Vyloppilly Samskrithi Bhavan on every third Saturday of the month. And he is not the only one who has come to rely so much on this event, where the koothambalam here turns into a haven for the elderly — a place where they interact with others their age, present their artistic prowess, or simply be.

G. Venugopal Nair, a retired BSNL employee, holds this post and he is determined to diversify the activities of the club.

“In the morning, we have all the singers and dancers perform. There are also many among us who dabble in literature, so we now have reading sessions in the afternoon,” he says, sprightly jumping up on the stage every time it was his turn to make an announcement. He says his daughter had once come to see what Unarvu was all about. “She said that she had never seen a place so brimming with positive energy,” he says proudly. “That’s what it is. There is no other place for a senior citizens to feel safe and at peace in the city except here.”