Thursday, February 23, 2012

Have they become a burden on us?

'The old and neglected people were once healthy and caring, serving society. It is now our responsibility to serve them'. This was the message I saw on my airtel AX- Goodmorning. I felt this was very apt as just the previous day I was reading this  article which said that "Loneliness is a hidden killer". The article says that loneliness could affect all age groups but can particularly be harmful to the elderly and can be a ' hidden killer'. Depression, lack of exercise, and poor eating habits seem to become their companions.

Well it was not only this article, but on the same day I also read this article which said that a son had burnt his parents alive because they refused to give in to his demand of lending money though they had helped him every time during times of dire needs! In another case the children had dumped their aging mother in the dustbin on the road! In yet another instance an old woman had appealed to the court for Euthanasia saying that her children had abandoned her and since she did not have any means of survival, this she thought would put an end to her miseries. Isn't it shocking? What a sad state of affairs.

During their hey days all parents have worked hard enough to provide a comfortable life for their children, many a time depending on the circumstances. Many parents have gone through extreme hardships to ensure that atleast their children have better opportunities which they had to forego due to various reasons during their times. They have held the hands of the children through all the ups and downs of life. They have  shared all their joys and sorrows and have felt it to a greater degree  than the children themselves.

In the current scenario the elderly are physically fit, thanks largely to advances in medical sciences. Life expectancy has  gone up substantially. But the thing is, are they getting that  psychological elixir of life that can come only through loving words and  by means of simple heartfelt actions and gestures from us which show that 'We Care' for them?

Don't you think that during their twilight years, they need not be considered a burden by the younger generation? 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

On stage and under the arc lights

Shakespeare in his play 'As you like it' wrote the famous lines "All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players". Though this has a deeper meaning to it, but for a short time literally this became a reality when my kids had their annual day last month. The theme being 'Sanskriti', they showcased the rich panorama of Indian culture through various dances which are unique to each region. The practice started as early as September and the final show that all the children put up was outstanding. My children were part of the Bhangra and Dandiya group. The costumes, the lighting effects, the grace with which all the children performed was fabulous. As I was watching the beautiful performances, my mind went on a flashback mode.

Though I used to take part during every annual day in school, three instances stand etched in my memory. The first was when I was in  the fifth grade. Our school had an invitation to put up a dance drama along with many other schools in Bal Bhavan which is located in the then favourite place of all children the - Cubbon Park. If participating in plays was the cake, getting to practice for it in Cubbon Park was the icing on the cake. It was a double whammy!! The play was directed by someone from the Bal Bhavan committee.

I remember the story was that of the 'Toys and the toy maker'. It was a story of how the toys in this toy makers shop were very fond of him and when the toy maker had to sell off his shop due to financial difficulties, the toys help him out. Dressing up as different toys with different costumes was a thrilling experience. I was a doll and I still remember my costume- a lovely frilly dress with laces.

The practice was quite rigorous and we were taken almost every day  to Cubbon Park by the Bal Bhavan bus. It was a thrilling experience for us kids. The best part that I used to enjoy apart from the practice was when other school children were practicing, we could use the mobile library which was a new concept and had started just then. I would get lost in the wonderful world of the story surrounded all around by my favorite books, ensconced in the cosy interiors of the bus.What more could one want from life?

The play went off very well .The first day we performed for children from different schools and the second day it was open to the general public. We all got standing ovation each time we put up the show. We performed  about eight shows over a period of two days! And too very soon it was all over.

The next was when I got a chance to write a script for a play when I was in my tenth standard. The story was a light entertainer of how a thief was taught a lesson when he would steal valuables under the pretext of  sleep walking. It was well liked by the audience and it was a dream come true to have something which you conceptualised become a reality and appreciated.

The third was a play that we put up in college. The play was' Amrapali' and how this beautiful danseuse became an ardent devotee of Lord Buddha. It was again an amazing experience to put this play for our fellow college mates and the lecturers. The play received a lot of praise from everyone in college.

So performances like these and many others that our kids have been / will be a part of over the years will form part of a rich mosaic in their life and will be treasured and cherished by them for years to come. 

Such moments are what makes each one of our student days memorable, don't you think?