What is the worst of woes that wait on age ?
What stamps the wrinkle deeper on the brow ?
To view each loved one blotted from life's page
And be alone on earth , as i am now
LORD BYRON , childe harold
THE YEAR 2007 ,KERALA
A bunch of medical students were guided to an old age home as part of their community medicine posting . I was one among them . For us the daily visits to such places as part of the posting was kind of a breather given the hectic clinical postings that we were supposed to handle otherwise . Giggling and passing jokes to each other, we entered the building . On our way we passed a dainty old man who was sitting crouched on a chair straining hard to scan the newspaper . There was a moment of absolute silence when it started dawning on our minds that this visit is not going to be mere fun . The assistant professor of the department who was at the helm of our group asked us to settle down . And then , he started speaking . He was so subtle in his content, painting before us a rather dark picture of the despondent , dejected people residing in that particular old age home .
Much to my surprise , i noticed a girl who was seated beside me trying hard to suppress tears pouring down her cheeks . Yes, the speech was poignant and it touched our hearts way too deep . The sir might have noticed it , because he started focussing on the girl , his eyes away from her . " I see young hearts wailing , at the mere narration of the loneliness and torture that people have to go through when they become old . Then why do the same young sons and daughters change colours and turn venomous to such extent that they discard their parents in some corner of a well renowned vacuum of an institution years forward ? Are they too much to handle when they are old ? Werent you unbelievably hard to handle when you were babies ? Did they throw you away to indulge in the ecstasies of their married life ? "
We left the building with a heavy heart . Atleast a couple of us promised in our minds that this would never be the fate of our parents .
|picture courtesy : Google|
THE YEAR 2011
I climbed the stairs of the very same old age institution which left me shattered a few years back . I had started earning stipend as part of my internship and i was here to bring to fulfillment a decision i had made a couple of years back, while i disembarked the very same stairs . Meeting the Mother Superior , i handed over whatever little the amount i could manage as monetary help . Right then while she was giving me a more vivid account of the working of the institution , an eldery lady of around 70 years came by . The topic diverted to her past . She belonged to a brahmin family , who had to elope from her tharavadu owing to the rejection and harsh treatment she had to bear from her daughter in laws . And now look at her , she was helping the servants there cook non vegetarian dishes something which she wouldnt have even dreamt of in those happy minutes of holding her new born son close to her bosom, years back .
What goes wrong in the mindsets of people when they grow older ? what happens so much so that it destroys the innocence and care deep from the rootlevels ? Yes its true, life starts becoming an ordeal once you step into family life . But certain emotions connecting two people are so deep and inseparable that they never deserve to be viewed differently by either anytime in their life , however far and high life takes you . Like the emotional chord that connects a mother and her kid and vice versa .
During my pediatrics posting i have seen sorrows of mothers who had to witness their babies passing through sickness which leaves them numb , motionless , with not even an ounce of energy to cry out . The unfortunate mothers would be yearning from their bottom of their heart to feed their babies atleast once, to hear their long hoped for bundle of joy cry out at the top of their voice like every other child . How does it end up in a situation where the same mothers cry out to their sons not to bully them infront of others , many years down the lane ? Pitiful isnt ?
If you can jot down a promise in the back of your hearts never to let your parents suffer when they are old , never to let them weep in the dark corridors of an old age home sinking in helplessness and desperation , that would be the most heavenly manner by which you could repay all the hardships they had to suffer to watch you grow up ,all the care and affection they showered on you all these years . Let no parent soak any more in loneliness . They deserve every bit of love from their children till the very last minute of their life . Dont they ?
|picture courtesy : google|
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