After visiting an elderly relative of mine yesterday, I was quite disturbed on seeing him, sitting all alone in the front porch. His three children stay abroad. Wife was at the hospital. He has a male servant who helps him out. Otherwise, it is him, the big house and silence.
In the eastern countries, filial responsibility is entrenched in the minds of people. We rarely send our parents to old age homes or put them under the care of someone who is not family. When we come across such a situation, the first thought is ‘The children donot care for their parents. How selfish of them!’ Maybe, we are wrong to jump into such conclusions ! Maybe, it was wrong of me to feel ‘disturbed’ !
Let me see the situation from his perspective, an elderly uncle who had retired from service a few years back.
“I enjoy the silence of the home. Nearly 40 years in the heartland of a throbbing city like Mumbai, all I wanted a quiet home in the countryside of Kerala. I never thought it would be possible. If I have pushed myself through those busy days of the corporate world, it was by pacifying myself, I can enjoy a slow paced life after my retirement. Tranquility and silence amidst nature, all my dreams have come true.
I am proud of my children. Alhamdulilah they have done so well in life. It’s a joy to see their success. I realize, all my efforts, all my hard work to put them to the best schools, all my investment in their education – everything has been fruitful. I find so many parents disappointed to see their children not engaging themselves in any fruitful work, instead squandering the family wealth. I have been blessed to be the parent of three wonderful children. I pray for their happiness.
….but then, I miss my grandchildren, their laughter, their smiles, their pranks. I wish I live long enough to see them grow up. “
I leave with this beautiful verse from the Holy Qur’an regarding parental care by children :
And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, “My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.” (17 – Verse 23 & 24)
(I am taking part in NaBloPoMo and the prompy for today is : Write about an event that happened today. Now write about it, from the perspective of someone else in the room)
PS : If you enjoyed this post, please do check out, in her shoes, written for last week’s DPChallenge by the Daily Post, concerning the same theme, perspective