“Is the dinner ready?” he asked his daughter-in-law. Said nothing, she went straight to the kitchen – banged some utensils. He knew the meaning, he walked in the kitchen he created with his lover, which was once the happiest part of the home is now just a room which can’t be avoided to keep himself alive. Then he sat down, she pushed the plate to him – tears of hunger forced him to maintain his calm, just wanting to be alive for his son a little longer. Then he heard his son’s footsteps, happiness garlands him in no time.
“Oh! How was your day?” he asked his son, never did he get an answer while his son was busy smiling with his wife. His son never noticed the person, sitting on the dining table; the one sitting not for his hunger but to save his son from getting the title ‘Orphan.’ His shaky old hands forced himself to push all the food down inside him, chewing the words, “I need to live for him.”
He stopped himself from coughing at night just to avoid disturbing his son sleeping next room. The one who wakes up whole night till his son stops coughing is now covering his mouth just to not disturb his son’s sleep. Tears and memories keep teasing him for once his son told him, “Dad, when I grow up, I will make a big house, I will take you around the world.” He doesn’t need a big house for a big room, he just needs a room in his son’s heart.
Tears cradled him to dreams, wishing to wake up the next day like nothing happened and happens. Welcomed his morning again by the breakfast made from leftovers of the last dinner. Now, his strength crumbles – willingness of wanting to move forward dissolves. Situation forced him to walk away, hugging his family photo, heading towards his friends – friends avoided by the hopes they created. Then only he finally smiled at last, the avoided Old Age home is now a home for making himself less avoided. Even after so, he kept narrating his friends how much he loved his son.
Why? Oh! Someone tell me why those words you promised crumbles with time? Is the hug given by your mother when fear disturbs you even comparable by the one given by your lover? I don’t know how many old age homes are there in Manipur, but I know this story is a reality in most of the houses. Love takes so many forms but avoiding the ones who give you unconditional love will make you row your boat without sail. If you are avoiding your parents by nurturing your children, you are not raising your love but the one who will kick you out of your house one day.
You think you will be so much loved by your children by buying him all his longings, trust me – he sees how you are with your parents. Don’t teach them how to love – love is a feeling not a formula, don’t teach them how to behave – because it’s a reaction not an action, don’t teach them what to do – because they will only reflect what you do. Don’t you dare think that being with your old parents is a waste of time because being with you was and is still the moment they never want to stop cherishing.
Do you still remember how you slept between your parents, how safe you felt, how happy you were? How has that feelings been replaced by a rose on 14th February? The problem is that you take your parent’s love for granted, you think it’s their duty to love you, you think you are supposed to be loved, you forget that it all happened by choice.
Yes! I am talking to you, the one reading this article. If you have someone from your family or someone you know living in old age homes, please bring them home. This is not just an article but a letter to all the houses which think avoiding the aged people minimize your tension and budget, if you think you are so resourceful by avoiding the aged people believing they are empty – darling, start counting your day, the day for you to search for your OWN family photo to walk away from the house you built is not so far away.
Thank you for reading till the end. See you next Monday.
(The writer is a Motivational orator, who currently resides in Canada. He will be starting a new live talk show named “Live With Bir”. In which he will be interviewing inspiring personalities from all around the world. The dates for which will be announced soon. Show him your undying support by subscribing his YouTube channel “Live With Bir”. He can be reached at [email protected]; Facebook – Birkarnelzelzit – Young Thoughts; Twitter – Birkarnelzelzit, INSTAGRAM – Birkarnal.)