Every human being has wishes and desires in life. They drive us to work towards our goals and we tend to behave and react accordingly. When we are young, we relentlessly follow our dreams but not all of them get fulfilled. With time, some get buried under the burden of responsibilities while some get sacrificed for the sake of other ideals. Some don’t get to know their dreams, and hence don’t focus on their dreams in depth but somewhere deep inside; those untold wishes remain folded and wrinkled. With age, as our hairs turn gray, we realize that we are left with unsung melodies. But there is no one around to hear the same. Every old man or woman has as many stories to tell as their wrinkles but the time lag between generations has made this narration difficult. I have sat down with my grandparents and listened to their verses and it is really better than reading novels or other books. They are treasures of goodness, goodwill and great words. They are showers of immense love and care but there aren’t enough hands to receive them.
Even aged people from the low socio-economic classes, especially women, suffer from a lack of family support and nourishment. Every detached caring hand adds to one more wrinkled skin fold. Every unheard request along with other factors like lack of healthy diet leads to a remorseful heart. Old people also have psychological and mental suffering of a high level. They lose the right to have a say at home. Unfortunately, declining health and decreasing body strength needs more hands of help and care rather what they get these days, “more reasons to cry, more wrinkles with no shoulders to hold on to”. I met an old woman and that too accidentally, when she fell on the road and I just stopped to help her to regain her posture.
Her eyes filled with emotion. She said, ‘I wish my son and my family was there with me to help me stand back from all strands of downfalls of life’.
I could only console her and say that there’s always one shoulder for her and that is of God. It was philosophical, not practical. But she managed to grin! Life isn’t easy in old age but it is worth living with efficient support and tender loving care (TLC). Old age is already pre-occupied with health related problems and attitude of family worsens it further. But, old age is the second childhood and when in our childhood days, our parents can hold on to our hands and make us walk. Why can’t we be their support so that they can walk when aged? The coughing old lady was once young, your mother, whose lap was heavenly for you! She isn’t asking for your lap, only for your concern and time. My grandparents always say, ‘the best gift which one can give to someone is their time’. It feels good inside. After all, one day we all will turn old and would need the same! And our wrinkles would be ready with another set of stories. ☺
Written by Dr. Aakshi Kalra