Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The forsaken gods

As I stepped into the cold area, shivers ran down my spine. Hollow yet expecting pairs of eyes were gazing upon me from within the sunken eye sockets. I could hear moans and groans from everywhere corner of the room. A faint cough reached my ears from the extreme corner and when my eyes sought for the owner of the voice, there she was, weak and frail, her skin sticking to her bones and she looked like a corpse. Barely moving even while she coughed. Someone right near the door called unto me and all I could do was to turn around and give a smile. I tried hard, indeed very hard to keep a cheerful smile on my face even while I felt like breaking into tears. Thin bodies covered in dirty pieces of clothes were leaning on the bed inside the makeshift house. They looked like skeletons laid down in a biology lab. The sight was really disturbing.
What was once considered as an unimaginable action and sin even to think about has now become a harsh reality. More and more people think of and many opt to dump their aged parents so that they can have no burden on themselves. People think it is the best possible way to do so, so the couples can carry on with their careers.  It is justified that the presence of an old parent at home is too much trouble for the children, bringing friends at home is embarrassing, they need to be tended to when they are sick, vacations are out of questions and there is no room for privacy. But all these justifications fall flat when we realize that the old parents called as problems are the very people who took care of the children whenever they fell sick. They gave up their favourites for their children's expenditure. They sacrificed outings, friends and vacations only for the sake of the children. They did not talk about not having privacy whenever they were in need of their parents. And when the parents grow old and the children start having their own family, they pay back their family by dumping them.
With the busy schedules of the children, all material requirements might be well provided but surely the vacuum of love and affection that only a family can provide is still there. The anticipations and expectation that a parent has from their children are never met. An indifferent institution seems a better option than bitter nostalgia and loneliness at home. But, it doesn't replace the warmth of a real home filled with the presence of one’s kith and kin.
On the other side, there is no denying the fact that some cynical elderly parents have spoiled the lives of their adult children. Many marriages have been destroyed due to the constant interference of these people. Still, dumping them is not and cannot be a permanent solution. Slogging away at work or even enjoying life to the hilt isn't really worth it at the cost of losing one's parents. We are what we are today because of them. Of course, not all possess a generous heart, great patience or even remember their duties when it comes to taking care of old parents. That is the harsh reality in the modern world.

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