This piece of writing is coming out of my closet from the time when I was doing my dissertation on Senior Citizens in Jaipur.
Age is only the number. Is it correct? Does number not affect? Then Aryabhatt wasted his time while discovering ‘Zero’. The life of senior citizens in the Pink City tells the story while breaking the myths behind.
The term ‘elderly’ brings the sympathy among us while thinking about their health, generation gap, financial crisis, issues with son and daughter-in-laws. But the narrative does not need to be painted in blue and black always. Harisharan Sharma, a 70 years old retired Chief Manager of SBI says, “Both the kids and parents don’t get time in this fast pacing life, which leads to the miscommunication and gap among them. It is bilateral in that way.”
A 78 years old shopkeeper from Jaipur, Uday Narayan informs that he doesn’t have kids but has earned well and now paying for a sophisticated life in a private old age home. But before this, he got cheated not by his son or daughter-in-law but…
His wife was rejuvenating their house and told him to start living in an old-age home; she will join him later which never happened. Narayan’s plight is his wife never even showed up to know whether he is alright or not. When he called her, she said she is happily living alone.
Another elderly, Kusum Mittal is adamant the way people treat them as a substance of mercy and says if she is spending so much for her older age then does she need to live on someone’s pity. These oldies have agreed that those who severely need the help are living on the footpaths without clothes, food, and medication. They are the real victims and need to be taken care by the government. Taboos like elderly re-marriage are not at all an issue for Mittal as she thinks that one should be bold enough to take his/her decisions and elders should also come forward to adjust with the gen next.
Savitri Bhatnagar is also staying at the private old age homes and getting treated for fractured hips. Her life is getting even exciting now at the age of 82 and enjoying music by forming a friendly club who sings bhajans. She explains earlier while staying at home, she never got time to revive her dream towards music.
Retired Professor of SMS Medical College, Nidhindra Dwivedi (calls himself ND) interestingly, talks about his liking for the well-equipped old age home and has started living there. We have a stereotype that an aged person must be living a peaceful life while memorizing almighty’s name. But Dwivedi’s stay has no resemblance to such life. He is passionate about photography, painting, and he is even a techno-savvy and has himself made the pair of speakers suiting his gigantic screen of television.
ND has such lavish life but living in an old-age home? He later shared that because of better medical facilities available in the campus, he came here for his father and after his father’s death, ND decided to live here. It’s not that he does not have a family. He has a loving wife & two daughters; one settled abroad & another in Delhi. ND regularly meets his family.
P.S.: Age is just a number. One can perform his/her best inning anytime. The number should not generate sympathy but we need to seek for those who literally need our support.