Saturday, 31 March 2012

Old Age Homes - A Social Disgrace

              Whenever I watch the movie 'Lage Raho Munnabhai' , apart from the excellence of RajKumar Hirani to portray the power of Gandhi's values , the other thing that hits me hard is the concept of the '2nd Innings house' . The dialogue where the old man mentions that he brought up 4 children in a one room home now they do not have one room for their old father in 4 houses hurts me to where the Indian society is leading.

               I do understand the problems faced by young couples when the wife cannot gel with the in laws at home, but staying nuclear to avoid these is like running away from a problem rather than solving one. And in my personal opinion, only cowards run away from problems. Why have we become so selfish that we forget all that our parents have done for us and we send them either in old age homes or staying alone. If this is what we learned from the west, perhaps we just followed them in half measures.

               Whatever we are today is cause of them. The Indian society is very different from the west. Our parents do not leave us when we reach 18. They play an important part in our life to take us where we are and sponsoring our education is just a very tiny part of what they do for us. They spend their major part of the golden years saving for us or giving us what we want. Giving us the best they can afford. I have seen parents sacrifice necessities so that their children can get luxuries. And later when it is our time to repay them, all most of us think about is excuses to run away.

               I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I have seen my parents work hard to earn what we have today. As a kid when we visited our relatives, we traveled in public transport and buses. I remember me pestering my dad to take a auto to the station rather than waiting 20 minutes for the bus. I got angry on him, said him things I should not. He just kept telling me the bus will be here within 5 minutes. I did not realize then that the reason he took shit from me to save money was so that he could afford me a good education. Today when I think of those incidents my head hangs with shame. But I was a kid then. Today I am not. So today I realize that what my parents have done for me and so even the thought of leaving them to stay alone will never cross my mind. I wonder why those who do send their parents to Old age homes do not remember such things or incidents that might have happened to them.

           The girl who feels she could not get along with her in laws and pesters her husband to stay separate should think if the same would have been done to her parents by some other girl, how would she feel. The guy who does separate cause he needs peace at home is nothing but a coward who runs away from problems. It is time we stop being so self centered and selfish.

          I feel the concept of Old age homes is bullshit. There should be no such homes and no need of such places. All we have to do for this is stop being practical. It is not just the heart but also your head who will tell you to respect your parents and give them the best you can when they are old. And one should never forget that there will be a time when you will step in their shoes too.



  1. Kapil you are bang on target,i validate all that you have written & want to add something more too-
    there is this new trend of folks settled in other countries calling over their mothers to mind home & baby;(while the couple pursues it's career)which is taxing for an elderly selfish can one be ?what do you think about this ?

  2. @ I agree that I have seen people do that and it is even more disgusting.

    Please help me promote this post as much as we can

  3. @ Kishore: Thanks for this e-mail

    'Well Done MY FRIEND...As your profile says "You are more matured than your age....." Keep going and live by it...Way to GO! Rate this as your " BEST VALUE ADDED" blog.

  4. excellent blog bro :)
    good to hear such sentimental write ups.
    but u know, the pain you were willing to describe, its not fully felt.
    Just a friendly advice, next time u write, let not emotions drive U.
    This will help u improve the story line :)

    but yes, your incident of auto, i too had few of those. Will share when i feel comfortable doing that. Keep it up bro. :)
    Punit D

  5. m too proud of u for the post. but i wonder if there is a character limit to your blog. if not you shud have just gone on. but things like parents' sacrifices for their children is so above words. however long the post we'd hardly be able to justify it. just imagine wht your comments thread would look like if each one of us would have to share an incident of our own similar to the auto incident.

    apart from that do prolong your post somemore. i find they get over too soon these days. wud like to read a lil more of ur writing. rather try being more detailed and descriptive..

  6. Its not that these days children have no tym for their parents, thats not the whole picture. Today no one has time for another person, wife has no tym for husband; husband is busy earning money no tym for family; even kids i see these days are busy with there computers or friends and no tym to sit with family.

    Everybody is in a rush. Yes, most suffered are the old people.

    Even the baby sitting example given by my friend shows that these days parents have no tym for there children as apposed to our parents.

  7. Interesting write up. Nicely written; though as a couple of people have mentioned above, you could have been a bit more elaborate. I can't really give a 'for' or 'against' statement here since I haven't been in a similar situation yet (both parents still working), and I can't really predict how I will react if I were to fall in such a situation.

    Just an observation though. I agree that it is selfish and inconsiderate to send your parents to old age homes. But wouldn't it be equally bad to ask your parents to move from a place where they have stayed for a long time, into our place - especially if we are not living in the same city, or they are living in the country side? I mean, after a certain age, it becomes really difficult to adjust to new surroundings. Leaving old friends, neighbors, familiar surroundings can be equally tough for them as moving into an old age home. Just my two cents of course.

  8. Hie Kapil , i wish to thank you for taking this topic, which needs focus in today's india. it is cruel to send parents to old age homes and this should come from within as a child not to be taught. In this case the girl coming to your house not the only person to be blamed or not the only reasons it can be higher education , career in other countries or cities too

    parents who have only girl child what they will do after she gets married then they are also left alone :(

    I also agree with Gaurav Vartak as they should not be forced to change their homes where they have spend years together; their friends and family its hard to get separated with friends and neighbours in that age.

  9. @ Punit: Thanks. Well I actually wanted this post to be emotion driven. And I still feel I couldn't do justice on letting the emotions out.

    @ Harshada: Thanks. And The 'getting over quickly' is a compliment. I am happy I have reached a level where people want to read more rather than complain about long posts.

    1. u r just lazy, thts y u dint write a long one, atleast do justice to ur audience coming back to read ur posts... n the complaining must be coz u would go on n on about the same thing in diff ways.. Love!!! Hate !!! .... Phew ! this topic is just so worth it... so much to write, bt it still wont do justice

  10. @ Mani: The rush is what should be stopped and let us start with the people whom we owe the most

    @Gaurav: Absolutely, I agree that there is this concept of not forcing them to change environments at this age. If they chose to stay alone we should respect that. But that is what I want to convey, let them have the right and also the options to CHOOSE.

    @ Swati: Thanks

  11. are more mature than your age. A very wonderful post from a youngster. I doubt how many think of their old parents these days.

  12. I know I am late to comment but u know wot? The best thing bout this post is that this topic can never be dead.

    Well to be frank; I was not surprised to read this article by you coz I always knew how much u love your parents n how ‘special, incomparable & inseparable’ part of your life they are.
    They say, ‘No gift in this world can even come close to the love and affection of a child towards his parents.’ I wud say a perfect article from a son of today's generation. The best part is that u didn’t colour ur thougts n feelings with western culture...

    I agree with u ke required emotion nahi add kar paye tum, but writing on this topic & trying ur best to make it reach to the mass is also no less & doing this requires real emotions & feelings for not only own parents but for parents in general...& it shows that u hold them in high regards.
    I am really proud of you... Keep it up n going.

    Children should stop behaving this disgustingly with theirs parents. If not Love, atleast not this Despise & that too at old age... Will these children wont be old parents some day???

    I completely agree with Harshada, where required you write less & where not u go on n on. This one got over as soon as I started. Yaar I wanted to read more on the same from u & your readers too. Why dont u write part 2 on the same?

    Now about your writing..! Someone complimented you “Ever thought of writing fiction... You also write well.” Do I need to say anything more? ;)
    I have consistently maintained that u have improved with every article of yours but the matter/content still requires more attention. More on your writing some other time.

    Waiting to read about ur short vacation to India soon in some upcoming post.

    Happy Writing till then..!

  13. @Readers: Please share your views. Just don’t read and remain silent:)

  14. Very nice blog..Will read your posts in detail..:-)

  15. A very nice and touching article.... thanks to Harshada, reading these articles just today... didn't know about ur blog....
    Agree that parents should not be sent to old age homes wen they are old..
    They have their own house and what's the need to go to old age homes.. if children want to stay separately, they could move out on their own.
    But i don't agree with not staying in a nuclear family..
    Most of our generation have been living in nuclear families... its just parents and the children.. very few amongst us had their grandparents with them..
    so if our parents could stay away from their family, why not us..
    nothing that i am against a joint family. In fact once again our generation has been so dependent, that we would love to stay in a joint family. ofcourse not a very big one though... ;)
    And as someone has already mentioned, what about parents who have only girl child. they are obviously going to be alone once she is married off..

    The rickshaw-bus incident that you have mentioned, i'm sure many of us have such incidents to describe.. but at this point no one is ready..
    I'm sure next generation would complain on other luxuries.. mebbe between a charter plane vs flight... ;)

    good to see such blogs from u..
    its undoubtedly the best one so far that i have read...:)


  16. We can opt for a mid way.a way supportive for both the generations.If you say it is only the mistake of the couple i am a little stubborn to accept that.Even they have a privacy,and in today's world,Privacy means a lot to people.The old ones' approach would have been loving and caring but it projects out as a nagging one.Like you said the 2nd innings house,everyone was happy with each other,except for that little thing in their heart that they were kicked out.If such clubs are set up which can carry out weekend programs and gatherings, both the generations would have their part of life.Ofcourse,to kill my own opinion,It is India..Hardly is it possible here

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  18. Very informative and content worth article. I have got many information from this unique article.Keep sharing article like this because it might help many like me in getting the best old Age homes in Bangalore

  19. I searched for something random on Mumbai, London and arrived at this blog. Found this funny so went ahead to read a couple of posts. But this post is so chauvinistic I don't even know where to start!

    "The girl who feels she could not get along with her in laws and pesters her husband to stay separate should think if the same would have been done to her parents by some other girl, how would she feel." And do husbands give any consideration for the girl's parents who are separated from her child and the girl who is separated from her maternal home in the name of tradition? I was hoping SOMEBODY would have posted this glaring inequality in the comments and shocked that nobody did. So women are not people and parents who have ONLY girl children don't need any consideration as old people? Where do they go to? Or does all your emotional rant about parenting count only if it applies to parents raising sons? Raising daughters doesn't deserve any merit and if any, it applies only till the point where the daughter moves on to serve another male and his family by duty? I can't believe patriarchy is so deep-rooted and social conditioning is so influential that nobody pointed it out and all this compromise on the girl's part is glaringly for granted. Only sons have the right to have strong feelings for parents and express their gratitude by taking care of them in old age? And the only way in which they can do this is by marrying another woman who will serve them?

    Old age homes are not only necessary, but practical - the problem is they're not maintained well and we don't have enough of them. What about old people who have no children? What about old people whose children cannot take care of them because they're disabled?


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