February 09, 2013

At 60! Feeling Helpless?

Life is strange. As children we are dependent on our parents for most of the things. We respect them, love them, care for them as our universe starts from them and ends at them. We grow up, start working, earning and become independent. We no longer have to plead them to eat an ice-cream. Slowly, we imagine ourselves as the supreme leader in the family and forget the sacrifices that they have done to bring us up.

A week ago, I was travelling from Bareilly to Rudrapur by a UP transport bus. An old lady (60+) was sitting with me. We were about to reach Rudrapur. She tried to call her son couple of times so that he could come to the bus-stand to receive her, but she could not. She asked me to help her. I called and gave the phone to her. She put the phone on “Loudspeaker” to listen clearly. Her daughter-in-law picked up the phone and asked her to come on her own. Her husband in the background told the same to her. Old lady pleaded to send her son as she was carrying 3 bags with her and it was already 11 at night. She refused and cut the phone call. Everyone in the bus could hear the conversation. I saw her face. She was tensed, frightened, dejected and could cry at any moment. I felt for the lady. In this cold, temperature below 8, it was difficult to even put your hands out of the pocket.

We reached the bus-stand. I took her bags and helped her, get down the bus. I called a rickshaw for her. She sat and I paid the money. The lady moved her hand over my head in order to give her blessings. She left and I took another rickshaw to my hotel.

I had mixed feelings. I felt bad for what the lady has to go through and felt good that I did nice gesture by helping her. I wonder how children change their feelings towards their parents. We can see many such cases in our neighborhood, where the children abandon their parents or exploit them daily. A lot of introspection is required about how our societies are moving. With the economic growth, the life expectancy in India is also increasing. We all need to secure our future so that we don’t land up in such situations.

Some of the things that we can do are: inculcate good family values to our children. Make them understand that they too will become parents one day. Do not name your assets- land or property after them in advance. Try old-age shelters if nothing works. Do not waste your pension. Try saving some part of it. It is for your benefit only. Children are already losing a lot by not taking their parents’ guidance, which they don’t understand. At the same time government needs to take initiatives for the old age people.

All I can say is let’s be strong to face such adversity in life. Do not expect much. And I hope none of us have to see such a day in our lives.   

No comments: