India is a strange country; we revel in contradictions than any other part of the world. Ours is a land where elders are expected to be respected and it is here the elderly parents are either ill treated or deserted by their own wards with impunity.
This week’s ‘Satyamev Jayate’ deliberated on this topic of ‘Ageing and the woes of the discarded parents’. As usual, at the outset we were shown the unfortunate old parents narrating their tearful stories. So we had been shown how the merciless children taking the wealth and leaving them in the lurch and how the oldies become redundant in the present day life. It was not much of a surprise that when a reporter from Deccan Chronicle said that in Tamil Nadu villages even the old and the invalid are terminated without qualms. Is it not better to die than leading a worthless life? The shocking population of beggar women in Brindavan was surely an eye sore; What Lord Krishna is doing?
Well, whether ageing is a bane or blessing? Whatever, it is inevitable.
‘One has to be prepared for becoming old’ said Agewell Foundation’s Himanshu Rath With the developments of science and medicine, the average age of an individual Indian has increased. The longevity of life has its own problems and everyone should make their own priorities and financial support at sixty since one may likely to live for another two decades. It turned out to be a very valid point.
Where Aamir Khan scores over others doing similar programs is he brings some better side of old age too. So he interviewed a couple who flirted and remarried at seventy-nine and a park where all grandpas and grandmas meet and merry make in Mumbai. He showed another very unusual activity of aged in Gujarat where they meet and choose some suitable partner for ‘live-in relationship’ without wedlock. Shocking, isn’t it?
He also brought a nonagenarian who indulged in a deadly sport of crossing two mountains through a rope and please hold your breath, two old ladies of UP who got trained in shooting and won several medals and honors. Nevertheless, these are exceptional cases and cannot be considered as rule for all. It only exposed the will power of an individual and his/her sound health conditions.
So most of the old people said that ageing is for the body and should not be for the mind.
It is obvious that getting aged cannot be escaped and also the subsequent weakening of many of the faculties by the individual. All is well. In India, we always expect our happiness is dependent on others and never learn to make us happy without resorting to expect others, especially the children to offer it. The philosophers and the holy books in any religion repeat the same thing the fact that ‘We come alone and go alone’. We take nothing from this world except good or bad experiences. It is better if one learns to practice attachment with a bit of detachment so that the losses will not be felt. The loneliness one gets at the old age should be construed as ‘solitude’.
The episode of pathetic, informative and hilarious deliberations also indicated that it all depend on us. Life will never be fair to all; but, we should know how to accept it as it comes to us.
Image (c) Gettyimages.com