They were rich, famous and respected during their youth. But, when they grew old and weak, they were thrown out of their homes by their own in Bhopal.
They shared their shocking, painful and humiliating tales with HT on the eve the World Elderly Day.
Rani Saxena, 82: She was once a renowned Rangmandal artiste. Her performances with theatre stalwarts like BV Karanth and Habib Tanvir had earned her fame besides her being a regular Grade A Aakashvani performer.
But, now she lives in Apna Ghar, an old age home on Kolar Road, in Bhopal. Because, she was thrown out by her own son and daughter-in-law on September 27.
“I remember I was packing my stuff and nobody bothered to even care about me, not even my grandchildren,” she said with tears in her eyes.
A self-reliant Saxena can’t forget the day when her daughter-in-law raised objections to her occupying a full room in her own home.
Things turned worse thereafter and finally they asked her to leave the house. “I contacted my younger son, who was even more ruthless and told me I was independent now and could go wherever you want to,” she said.
This was more than disrespect for a person who lived all her life without financially depending on anybody and earning to see her children grow independent.
“But this disrespect, I couldn’t bear. We give all our lives to our children and get this in return,” said she, who lost her husband a few years ago.
“I don’t want to see their faces or talk to them ever. This (Apna Ghar) is my home now. I will regain my art and get my inner artiste back,” she said.
Mohini Shrivastava, 75: A retired judge, who didn’t marry in order to look after her parents and uncle’s family, was crestfallen when she was told to leave her ancestral home about seven years ago. She too stays in Apna Ghar.
“After my parents died, I continued to serve my family until one day I was told I was not needed anymore. I had nowhere to go. I dedicated all my life to them but they didn’t care when I needed their support. I feel depressed when I recall those days and see myself now,” she said.
Shrivastaba hails from Shahjahanabad area of Bhopal and now is partially visually impaired.
Krishnamurari Sharma, 82: He is a retired penal lawyer and a father of four. Sharma, who was once known for his keen arguments and fair judgment, now lives in Apna Ghar.
But, the story how he was brought to the ghar is most moving. It was Apna Ghar properieter Madhuri Mishra who spotted him near a hospital dragging his dead wife’s body as he was shown out of his own home by his very own whom he reared and built the house for.
“Anybody would have felt empathetic towards him at that point. We brought him here after knowing he had no one who could look after him,” said Mishra.
“Nobody was there to worry for me or my dead wife,” interrupted Krishnamurari. “Both my sons and two daughters are well-off, settled in big cities. I made them study in big schools and colleges, paid for their extra-co-curricular activities and my wife dedicated all her life to them. My son threw us out of their house and never cared to know whether we were alive or dead,” he recounted with stony eyes.