Today I happened to watch a short film about an oldman who lives alone. He has everything in his modern and well furnished flat. In fact, he is not that old. He moves around and is capable of interacting with others. But, alas, there is none to interact in the close by areas, I think.
He imagines that he goes to beach and watch the happy families and children around, wet his feet in the waves, eats the lunch served by a caterer in Yercaud’s beautiful forest, enjoys a girl kid asks him to take her to the ground for playing and finally he goes to a fine restaurant and takes his dinner with a few kind words to the waiter and returns to his desolated home. All these are only his illusions. The only truth is his daughter speaks to him from abroad and exchanges a few pleasantries.
The film ends with a message ‘Neglecting is also a form of Old Age Abuse’ with some more profound statements.
Yes. This is, indeed, the life of many elderly parents in India whose sons and daughters are living abroad and these persons have to lead a life with loneliness. I know many like this elderly man. My colleague and his wife live in a beautiful house with their two wards living abroad and told me ‘We have all the facilities and in fact, are living in luxury.’ But, I know the ‘luxury’ they cannot aspire is the ‘constant’ company of their children or grandchildren. Again, even if it is so, for how long?
This story shows mainly the Indian mental state. We always try to pin or fix our ‘happiness’ (it is of course, very subjective) on others especially on their children and their proximity. We also feel happy only if we are in the company of others who listen to us, be positive and share something with us. In the ‘good old days’ it was possible because of the joint families and everyone living under one roof. Days, financial and professional relationships have changed with time. Even in those ‘good old’ days old parents were neglected which I myself have seen.
My humble opinion is only one thing. Please don’t search, pin, nurture, harbor or fasten your happiness on others; whoever it is, it will not work especially in these fast and materialistic days. One should try to find happiness in quietude or in some passion of ours which will not have flesh, blood and emotions. In fact, I have posted on this topic in Feb 2019 itself.
We don’t choose our family during birth; so it is also impossible to demand our happiness in the later part of our life from others' presence or attention. We need to accept life as it comes to us and make it happy or sad within the available relationships or resources. Further, loneliness is not the problem of old alone. It is, indeed, very much there among the young also.