Monday, April 16, 2007

old age?? no please....

Haridas was at it for the past 45 mins, sorting out spinach leaves from a huge pile of spinach. He would spend another 45 mins or so, washing and chopping the spinach fine. Haridas took so long to carry out this job daily as we has a patient of parkinson’s syndrome. His right hand shook and trembled a lot. He was unable to walk properly, while other body movements had become stiff too, and this dreaded disease had impaired his speech to such an extent, that his grand children were unable to understand his narration of panchtantra anymore. A weak eyesight, and diabetes further compounded his misery. At 76, he was anticipating and gladly willing to embrace death, which had so far eluded him. Unfortunately for him, his wife taradevi wasn’t any more fortunate than him.

She too had to spend 2 hrs daily morning, first to sweep the entire flat, and then to mop the floor. And the flat was a 2400 sq feet penthouse in the posh upmarket area of the city. It belonged to their son manish, who was a project manager with a reputed software firm. Taradevi had eyesight and hearing problems, and a cataract operation in both her eyes had further impaired her vision. Like a true “pativrata” she tried to help haridas everyday to cut vegetables, after finishing her cleaning job.

However she was prevented from doing so by radhika, manish’s wife. Radhika as a happy-go-lucky person. Enjoying life. And also enjoyed harassing her in laws. Yes, she made her in laws toil in the house from early morning till late evening. Haridas and taradevi were made to carry out most of the domestic work in the house, and in the night, were made to sleep in the passage. Their twilight years were actually nothing bus misery, anguish, and pain! Hubby manish provided tacit support to his wife by ignoring things in the garb of 12 hours of hard work. The kids were busy with their studies, friends, video games, and TV, and had less time for their grandparents.

This is one example of how the elder generation is abused in India. And this abuse is prevalent in every caste, community, and religion, irrespective of the financial status of the individual or the family. It includes mental abuse by way of sarcastic or tormenting remarks during the day, hankering for property etc, and physical abuse like making the seniors toil hard to finish the household chores, and even manhandling or beating the aged members of the house.

In the mad rush to make or mint money, and to enjoy the luxuries that present day life has to offer, even the so-called educated class has forgotten the basic responsibility that we all have towards our parents and seniors. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, there are many people who take excellent care of the elderly, respect them, even worship them, but such population is dwindling, sadly.

What most of us tend to overlook, or forget, is, that life will soon come to a full circle, very soon we too will walk into the sunset of our lives, our kids will have to cope up and adjust with us. The earlier we realize, learn, and improve, the better for all of us, and society in general.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yes,,u r right..
older generation is being neglected