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HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014
The old age pangs
Ravneet Sangha
New Delhi, November 10, 2013
First Published: 23:52 IST(10/11/2013)
Last Updated: 23:56 IST(10/11/2013)

We all reach a stage in life when we need help, love and kindness. Our parents, all their lives, have helped us, kissed our bruises, wiped our tears and made us what we are today. Now when they need our care and love, what do we do? We have no time, we become impatient, short-tempered and snappy.

And, the worst that makes one upset is, “Oh, the treatment is very expensive.” When did we become so callous? Why have we started equating everything in monetary terms and then we expect our children, our progeny to take care of us? Isn’t that what we sow, so shall we reap?

I have know many who say with confidence that their children will never do this kind of ‘ungratefulness’ and that they had brought them up to be caring and loving.

And yet, we see so many children being so cruel to their parents and won’t care a bit in their crucial hours of need. Recently, I met someone who was counting the cost of his father’s treatment in hospital vs the days he would live. He was also worried that the money spent could be used better for his daughter’s wedding!

What is the point of prayers and satsangs, and offerings when we can’t take care of the elderly and love and be kind to them at the fag-end of their lives. Where is our ‘maryada’ and traditional values? What we care for today is all about property being handed over to us and then the parents become “useless”.

There is an urgent need to think about the lack of compassion and empathy towards one another. I see nowadays people showering more love to dogs and cats and other four-legged varieties. We need to look within and see where we are headed to and what has gone wrong with us. Parents and elderly are the first to be taken care of. Only then, one can be said to be a true human being.

(The column, Never-ending road, published on Nov 8 was by Rituparna Shome. The error is regretted)


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