Sunday, November 1, 2009


There was an old couple living in a small city. The husband was working with U P Government and had retired 25 years back and is now more than 85 years old. His wife is 75. The husband is suffering from old age ailment and confined to bed. The wife has blood pressure, heart and cervical / spinal problems but very pro actively, very religiously serving her husband. She, with so much commitment and devotion, is very careful in looking after her husband like a mother to her newly born baby. She cleans his bed and the cloths many times a day as husband is sometime unable to go even bathroom. But every thing is normal in spite of financial constraints as the husbands is totally dependent on a monthly pension of Rs 6000/. Earlier the couple had some rental income from their house as a part of ground floor and entire 1st floor was being let out. But with the marriage of younger son who resides with them the ground floor was not being let out. The family of elder son also occupied the 1st floor for his family. Thus there was no rental income.

The couple has a large family tree of two sons and four daughters, all of them are married, and the description is given below

The two sons:

The elder son is working on a good post in Govt department notorious for earning money by corrupt practices. His wife is a Government school teacher drawing a handsome salary. He is due for retirement some time in 2010. He is posted roughly 300 kms away from the parent city. He has a son and a daughter both is married. The daughter, as usually happens in India, resides with his husband elsewhere. His wife and son and daughter in law reside at 1st floor in the house of old couple.
The younger son at his 45 is not well settled and is working in a private company as a Sales Executive and his job is basically a touring job. Often he is required to search new job when ever he failed to meet target fixed by the company for him or company is closed down or some time when he finds a little better job. His wife though highly qualified is working as a school teacher in a private school for a very low salary. He has son who is studying in metric. He is residing with the parents and supporting them with whatever he can do from his very limited resources. He is a psychological strength of the couple. He is the only one who is actually doing some thing for the parents.

The four daughters:

The eldest daughter, the widow at her 50 is working in a Govt. department. She got the job on a compassionate ground on her husband’s place. She has three sons and two daughters, all of them are either studying or doing nothing. Thus she is also not well settled. She is posted 200 kms away from her parental city (the city where old couple resides) and her family also reside in a nearby city for education of the children.
The second daughter in terms of seniority of age, is a Govt. school teacher. Her husband is also a Govt school teacher. Both are drawing handsome salaries. She has a son and a daughter. The son is married but the daughter is yet to be married. She resides along with his family in her own house near the parental house. She and her husband both is busy in their family though can extend a great help to the parent. Her husband has good means and enough time but enjoys his life in what ever way he can. He is very busy.
The third in number is a house wife. Her husband is a senior manager in a PSU and posted at very a distant location. She has two sons both are studying elsewhere in the country at distant places.
The last one in the hierarchy is also a house wife. Her husband is working in a private company and by and large they are happy with what they are. She is located at nearby city (to her parental city). She has a daughter and two sons. Daughter is married while both sons are studying.

The Dark Deepawali :

On the 17th October 2009, the day of DEEPAWALI, ek chirag bujh gaya.

Yes, you are right, one of them died. Who is this?
No, sorry. It is the wife who passed away leaving the husband in such a critical juncture. The husband thinks “he (not the she) should have died”. Any one who will see this pity old person will agree. He is very old, can not move from the bed , can not recognize any one easily, can not remember any thing, can not take a glass of water in his own, can not take medicine, can not get down to bathroom, can not even cry in case of need, he is a helpless creature. (It is he who had a tall, strong and handsome body. He has served armed forces / para military forces and police deptt. And was known for strong ness).

Now the turning point of the story is that after rituals of the mother, all the family members the sons, the daughters, the daughter in law (s) and son in law(s) are back to their usual business. The daughters and their husbands have returned their respective places. The sons are also back on job. As a routine the big house is deserted at 7.00 a.m. when all the family members are out of the house. The school going children and teachers (both daughter in laws, grand son and grand daughter in law) start returning from school after 2.00 pm. The old man remains alone in old big house during this 7 hour period. He can not move.....He can not sleep......He can not drink a drop of water without help. Nobody has time …time to take care of him,……. Time to serve him………. Time to see him……..Time to talk to him and time to know whether he is alive on bed ?

How long will he be alive? Every body makes guess……. his own children his own blood. He spent all his life for all of them. He does not want to be alone and in fact he is afraid of being alone. He wants his children with him.. in front of his eyes. He weeps silently with tears .....he cries without making any sound .....very silently .....helplessly with eyes on the gate to some one his own. He is fearful that some unscrupulous person may come and kill him...looting house holds , after all lawless ness is every where. This 7 hour period is hundreds of births and deaths for him. …..but nobody has time ..time for him .
A large tree but no green leave. This is a picture of our family system and growing nucleous culture. Yes this is happening will continue to happen after we are all materialistic persons.
What is to be done? Let us think alone and share our views. We all are this old person in waitig. can we put ourselves in place of this old man think...... It is really very painful but this is the bitter truth of tommorow. Some of us will face similar situation.
Please analyse and give your suggestion as who should do what? You can not edit the history of this story but you can edit the story now onward.. in what ever way you deem appropriate.But please do not forget you are on the place of this old man.

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