Friday, September 12, 2008

This week I

This week I travelled to other town and met this lady whose son has settled in US, she was feeling so lonely and melancholy,had some health problems also so she had to go to hospital for all the check ups and then nobody was there at home to take care.
Then while waiting for the train I met a couple whose only son has also settled in US.and they are here all alone at the autumn of their life.Then again I met someone around 65 yr old lady with the same story except that when she went to stay with her son, they used to leave their 2 and half yr old child with her while both of them went to work.,As very normal, the child will move around a lot and go upstairs, and running after him she had severe back pain.Recently I have come across many people with the same story except that some are open to tell their misery and some camouflage it with the reason that their children love them a lot, and children;s future is most important.
To go deeper into the problem I asked a few questions from all of them like Why dont they stay there in US where they will have someone to look after them?Answers were different with different reasons like--
1-their children dont have visas where they can keep the parents permanently/
2-They dont want to live their permanently. there they have nobody to talk to, and nowhere to go, they have no circle and all that
3--They find the medical system there very expensive and are not comfortable with that.
4-Here they can hire help and can manage their life but there very few children are so considerate that they can keep their parents with respect and love, even if they cant do anything, most of the children want their parents to do the house work or keep the children, for both of them they have no energy left now.
Most of them want to live their life with dignity, even if they have to live alone or without any emotional support.In the next five yrs this is going to be the biggest problem we need to face.
When the parents say that children's future is more important than us, they are being parent only, as usual magnanimous and sacrificing, but then should the children not think about them. And what is the definition of good future---is it money, or job satisfaction or both, and family means nothing?.One should be taught to take every decision in life with a rational aand righteous thinking.Getting professional success and making money can not be everything in life. One has certain duties in life and they should be fulfilled only then life gets a meaning.I am not saying that all those who dont go abroad are better off.There are all sort of people everywhere.But thatlady;s sentence made me think---why the children never consider parents in their plans of their life, and take all the decisions without bothering about their well being, whereas parents take all the decisions CONSIDERING their children;s future only.
Now the stigma with old age home must be removed and I hope some business people realise this and make homes such where senior citizens can live and have a life, life of security and with all other facilities like entertainment and health care, without bothering about housekeeping which is a major problem after a certain age.


Monika said...

i dont agree with this completely - its not that the children dont think of parents in the plan its just that sometimes their interests, desires and aspirations from life are very different that their parents and they cant go well together....

and this problem is not their only with parents and children settled apart but also living in the same house... and sometimes more so in the same house as their ideas clash everytime

I agree that a top class and well maintained old age homes are needed... i would prefer to live there if i have to rather than hinder the way my son wants to live his after all I would lived my life anyways and it would be his turn now

Destination Infinity said...

That was a nice post. People are so oblivious of things going around them. Or they are too selfish. Call it whatever, what you have represented is the fact, and is NOW. But the cycle is started by the parents by encouraging their kids to 'go abroad and settle there. that's inly life.. as life here sucks' and so on....

Destination Infinity

Anonymous said...

If any old person from Mumbai needs my help to visit hospital or anywhere, I will be the happiest man to help them.
Thankyou !

Anrosh said...

Kerala is already facing the problem.
senior people outnumber the young in almost every village.
The village on the contrary has HUGE houses with the latest cars, all modern amenities, and the bedrooms are locked until the son/daughter comes for vacation for 15 days. Old parents take pride in the money that their children mail them.
And if the children are from the middle east you will have elder men and women sporting the longest and thickest chains like rope.
Go Figure.. parents want their children to be abroad especially in kerala, since being abroad, your son may be "janiator or a construction worker or working in oil rig", being in dubai means pride and an increase in stature in the society....Go figure.

sansmerci said...

hmm there is some generalization here.. me n my fiance r best examples n m sure there r more ppl who have left their life in US to come down n b with parents.. but yes i do kno some ppl who care more bout the dollars than dignity n stay there like a dog.. but m sure they r only doing good to their parents by not taking them there..seriously tats the worst place to live in old age.. as u said no social life.. no friends/ freedom/independence... no medical help... no household help.. most of all its not HOME! n if u ask me i wud like to live my last years peacefully at home where i am comfy!

hmm yea some ppl do keep the $$s as priority, they r not only losin family but friends, happiness, dignity, and most of all they lose their identity n r soon left so lost with nothing to call a home!

SR said...

Well said. Even I know of people who get their parents to visit them only when they have kids..I am not saying that this is wrong but why don't they get their parents to travel even before that?Only a very few expect their parents to enjoy their retired life and as u said most expect them to help with household chores and kids. I hope we start seeing positive changes soon...

Anonymous said...

I partially agree with u..
U can't typecast all kids to b selfish n thoughtless..cmon..

and it's very difficult for parents to adapt to a new lifestyle (abroad) at their age..they obviously want to b surrounded by familiar faces..familiar lifestyle..routine

waise I wud never leave my parents for anything in the world..thre r days wen v dont talk, when they constantly nag, wen i misbehave n snap..but parents mean the world to me ;-)

I have warned my parents tht I wont ever leave Mumbai so they shud not even consider NRI rishtas for me hehehhe

Cess said...

wow Renu, strong post today ;) I think i mentioned it in an earlier post, but again with my french point of view ;), we leave the parents cocoon earlier even if we live in the same city ;)
Now, when we have kids and grand parents are coming over they usually come because they want to watch their grand child, and if they clean the house like my mum would do, it s not because i asked her, it s because i m working all day and she wants to help, but again it s for a short time visit.
When our parents are getting old,
it also depends of the education, but in my case, when my parents will get older, i will take care of them, because it s my duty, like they took care of me when i was a child. I m already taking care of them in a way since i m working, people who are working can provide money for retired people like my parents in the future. But when they won t be able to live without medical or housekeeping help, there is a couple of options that we need to work with my brother. Depending where we are living the parents could stay with us (but in that case it won t be to watch the kids or clean the house, it will be because they can t live by themselves anymore), if not, we could pay for a 'retirement' house or medical/housekeeping service for them in their own house if they want to stay here.
I m sure it s different in India, u might expect more from the children, but this is how will do it with my bro and my parents are cool with it ;)

Renu said...

Monika: I agree that problem is with the peopleliving here also.
But what i wanted to say if u get a chance for a better job prospects or anything, u will think first whether it will be good for ur children, study wise, only then u will take that job, so in the same way before going for any better prospect one shud think....will it be ok for my parents, or with this they will be left behind alone.
All parents love their children, and none wud want their children to suffer because of them, but there can be a middle way also, and this is a cycle, everybody goes thru that period.
i am also a very independent person and I wud always prefer to live independentlt,BUT there comes a stage in life, when ur body doesnt support ur views and u need someone ,ur own to be with.

Renu said...

Destination infinity: I know, In India, still going abroad is a status symbol and sign of prosperity,and every place has its pros and cons, we may be more comfortable materially over there, but still most of the ppl miss their country, so....

Renu said...

Hobo: good to offer, but this is anday-to-day problem:)

Renu said...

Anrosh: Parents anywhere in India want their children to go abroad:) But when they grow really old rue the day.There is a saying in Hindi---jaisa booge waisa kaatogey---what u sow, u get that only.
and thanks for dropping!

Renu said...

Sansmerci: Yeah I am talking generally, as such my children are not like that, they are always there for me, and will do their best to look after me, but i write what i observe around me.There are many ppl who give priority to their own life ,jobs and kids,no time to think about anybody else,but wehen they grow old, they feel the lonliness and a vaccum as they dont have any family.
Family works as a solid moral support at times of crisis and need.But to get that one has to nurture it.

Renu said...

SR: Yeah, earlier even mothers never used to mind going there, doing everything, for them going abroad was big thing and all this was a very minor aspect, plus they used to do everything in India also. But now as the times are changing, here some women have a comfortable life style with a help around, and they are not used to so much of work plus at some time physically they become weak also.
I see very few children who keep their parents with respect and dignity without parents contributing anywhere.

Renu said...

Swats: No I wudnt typcast all the kids, how cud I when I have the best kids myself:) as i said earlier, i am writing what i observed around me, and the incidents are true.
Tell u one thing:) I believe marriages are made in heaven, and seen that those who dont want to go abroad, always settle abroad due to the stroke of destiny:)
This not taslking Nagging, these are all part of life and like spice in the food and it happens in all the relationships be it husband-wife, child-parent, sibling ,friends all, so its nothing to think about:)

Renu said...

Cess: Yeah, all parents like to help whenever they can, but it shudnt be expected from them, or if they dont do, it must not be asked, or feel irrited, bad with them.
The way u are thinking..that u and ur bro will think of an arrangement..........thats waht I am think about parents......I know of parents here who are shunted around in their old age, as none wants to keep them permanntly, not even their daughters,..actually practically its quite a binding on the family who has a very old parent, but its a part of life and taken as such.
I missed many of my holiday trips due to my daughter..she was studying and I cudnt leave her alone, and then missed a lot and still missing due to my MIL, as i cant leave her alone, but so what, thats life.

Mystique Wanderer said...

evidently the problem is much worse in Japan...where the aged exceed the young...

and while some people need to leave the world they were brought up in to give life a new meaning in some other part of the world...

it is the choice to ignore or care which really is the big difference...those who need to live far...which might be a different city also... a simple call can alleviate some part of their parents loneliness.

On a personal front...i don't see much sense in conquering the world...coz the world doesnt love me...i know the people who do and i'd much rather spend my time making them happy

Renu said...

Mystique wanderer:
don't see much sense in conquering the world...coz the world doesnt love me...i know the people who do and i'd much rather spend my time making them happy

beautiful thought, really touched me,just hope that more people understand this and feel like it.
and yes a single call matters a lot, some children call just once in 30 days, they dont have even that much of a time:(, really sad.

Anonymous said...

Ok mama ;-)
no but wht u said is so true..even my mom says the same..v end up doing things v hate the most! Such is life!

and ur also rite abt nagging..i really look up to u Renu..Thnx ;-)

Renu said...

Swats: yeah, u have become by Blog-daughter now::)),wish u get married in chennai:), or Hyderabad or delhi, i am thinking from my point:) these cities are easily accesible to me:)

A rebel all the way... said...

rulao rulao, aur rulao mujhe...i guess before reading your posts, i should place an empty bucket in front of me and it would get filled up in no time...
waise beautiful post...and i see this happening everywhere now..people leaving for greener pastures without giving a thought to how lonely their parents would become...the same parents that are responsible for their very existence, the same parents who held their children and helped them to take their first step, the same parents who fed them, bathed them, groomed them, cleaned their vomit when they puked, paid for their education, got up early in the morning to pack their lunches, never slept properly at night thinking that the child might want a change of diapers, cared for them more than they did for anyone else in this world, put up with all their antics and nakhraas, worked hard day and night at home and work to pay and to fulfill their children's wishes, threw them grand birthday parties but never even cut a cake on their own birthdays, always kept their children's interests above their own ambitions - yes, THESE parents. And what do today's children do, they say a silent 'Thank you, but F*** you' to these parents and go and pursue their own selfish desires in life. It is not just disappointing, it is DISGUSTING.
You know what...yesterday I was out drinking with a friend...both of us were hell drunk...and he said, lets raise a toast...i said - to what? he said - yesterday I fought with my mom, so lets raise a toast to an independent life. then he asked me what would you like to drink to. I raised my glass and said - "to my family". I don't know why I said that when I was down 4 glasses of wine, but I meant every word of it. There is absolutely nothing that is more important to me than my family, and there never will be. You know one of my favourite quotations is - "Don't ever let your parents down, after all, they brought you up". Guess I have mentioned it on someone's blog, but I dont mind repeating it..hehe...
and btw, on a completely unrelated note, don't worry about Swats' marriage - she has already found her 'cutie'... x-(

Renu said...

Rebel: oho, u r really a very emotional person.
God has made a system like this, parents did evrything for u, and u will do it for ur kids the same thing, not for parents, but ,BUT u have certain duties towards them and its better to fulfil them with love and respect.
and I pity the guy who celebrates freedom from family.he will not have much to look forward when he grows old:)
though it all depends on how much Sanskaar u have imparted, my daughter is a well loved DIL, and my son.....he is the best son and same for my DIL and SIL.
I wud love to meet ur mother, must be really proud one:)
BTW swats is that true:).....?

Salil said...

Hi Renu,

That is one very thought provoking post. I agree that there is only a handful, probably 1%, children who consider their parents in their life's plans. And I am ashamed to admit that I don't belong to that group.

I left my parents very early in my life. I lost my mom a few years ago and that is when realisation hit me. Today I am in US and I realise the mistakes done by me and almost every Indian living away from parents. And only thing I am thankful is that my parents did not heed to my request to leave their hometown to join me while I city-hopped from Chennai to Mumbai to Bangalore, which would have made their lives miserable.

Currently, I am working on my
(early) retirement strategy, not back to some city in India, but probably to a small town close to where my father and my wife's mother are living.

I am glad you have children who are special and caring, which makes you one of the few truly lucky people in the whole world.

Keep enlightening us lesser mortals.


Renu said...

Salil: The very first ting I like about ur comment is that it is straight from the heart. This is what I wanted to cvonvey---not how many offsprings do their duty or look after their parents but and this is BUT how many consider their parents in their future planning and if not why? Arent they part of their life, future?

whenevr I tell my DIL that we are ur past, look for ur future, dont worry about us, she always says-no ma, it cant be like this.

Past cant be erased, one goes into the future, bt taking his past along with him/her.

I always thank god that he has given me good children,both my son and daughter are just too good to be true, I never write about them because In this i am very superstitous--kahin najar na lag jaaye...its hindi---its wishing that they never change:)

MOnika: I want to say one thing, the day children start thinking parents of a hindrance in their life; I as a parent wud never live with them because first.
.as a parent I wud want to bring happiness in their life not strife.

2-if their thought process become like that I wud want to live with my self respect intact.

Anonymous said...

Oh God Natkhat Rebu..tht was a BEAUTIFUL comment..i feel like hugging my parents right away ;-) my fondess for u is growing by the day..and whtever u meant by 'ive found my cutie' lol idiot

don't believe him..hes crazy..i am happily single ;-)and noooo i dont wana go outside Mumbai

Renu said...

Swats: Oh no swats;) why is it that anybody living in Mumbai wudnt like to leave it and those not living there dont want to go there, as whenevr my son got an option to choose mumbai, he always declined:) Ok then will have to come to MUmbai, cant forgo ur marriage::)) I hope REBEL also calls both of us, so that we can go to UK together:)

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