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Life after the children have flown


6 Votes | Average: 3.67 out of 56 Votes | Average: 3.67 out of 56 Votes | Average: 3.67 out of 56 Votes | Average: 3.67 out of 56 Votes | Average: 3.67 out of 5 (6 votes, average: 3.67 out of 5)
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Life after the children have flownIt’s been more than a decade since I last saw them. This couple in their 70s. Alert, bright and organized but a little lost all the same. Time has shrunk them into small little structures, contented (in a way I can never be I guess) and yet a little apprehensive about the changes that ageing has brought in into their lives. Their children, 3 sons, are all well settled abroad, married, with kids, managing dream careers and up market lifestyles.

As you look around the living room, you see souvenirs from across the world, crowding those small built in shelves.  There is an unmistakable hint of luxury all round. The microwave, the washing machine, the impressive LCD TV. In fact there is everything one could ask for, except the human presence so manifestly required in one’s later years.

So here’s to the autumnal world of couples who’ve worked and prayed to enable their progeny launch super careers in greener pastures as they themselves opt to stay behind, unable to adjust to alien climes and fast track environments in foreign countries.

The number of parents who find themselves compelled to live away from their children settled in far off lands, is on the rise. “We had a vision for our child even when he was just three of age. We saw him take his place among the stalwarts of the world. And we are so proud of his achievements.”

The Baskars live in a middle class locality of suburban Bombay, unwilling to uproot themselves from their familiar world. Happy for their son who is doing very well abroad, the Baskars keep themselves occupied in various social activities till the time their son returns home for a brief vacation with his parents. The prospect of traveling for hours together by flight is not something they relish so they would rather put up with the long wait and feel rewarded when the family gets together once in two years.

A fear that haunts a lot of parents revolves around their sense of independence and identity. “We don’t ever want to become burdens on our children, a source of pity or something that their sense of duty compels them to look after.”

Tamanna’s only child, found his way to the States and decided to get married to a colleague there. Though a single woman, Tamanna has opted to remain in India and fend for herself. “I do not expect any help from him. I have done my duty by him and I’m happy that he is happy.” Emails and an occasional phone call now and then, keep them connected. And that’s that.

Though they hate to admit it, the loneliness is there and visible too.

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Responses to Life after the children have flown

  1. 1 ramakrishnan


    True story of more than 90% of the young mind oldage people or couple’s.give a wide publicity.
    A union of old age home with orphanage and destitudes should be developed in hi-tech level in all major cities so that no more of this story will touch the hearts of millions.
    A strong strong NGO should be develped with the help of word level by using ILO-undp-and other fund and involvement so that the old Indian culture of one home for entire family concept will again root in the minds of youngsters.I am also ready to join this because I AM ALSO SAILING IN THE SAME BOAT.

  2. 2 Rupali sahai

    Hi,
    This article is very close to reality for one section of society.Their are many other ways of solving the problem.
    Colony living system for a sense of secure living and building a living style that caters to the occpation of the old people in a creative fashion ie podlac parties for retired people, community festivals, morning walks in parks to bring people from all walks of life at one place for better association and familiarity, joining of hobby courses like astrology, social service like opening internet service for consilling different people in dealing with their life problem.
    Instead of building the old age homes in a hi-tech level in all major cities , i would recommend building them in a ordinary place where pace of living is slower and all facilities are provided ie market, hospital, parks, good wheather, a common place for yoga or art of living courses and occupational therapy facilitating with stitching, painting, games like chess or caram, computer dating system etc provided…with collective touring to hill station and tourist spots.
    In that light, Lucknow (INDIA) is a paradice for retired people.
    in answer to “A union of old age home with orphanage and destitudes should be developed in hi-tech level in all major cities” theoritically it works but in practical it doesnt…
    children and old people can solve mutually a lot of the problems but in reality they both need care by a strong hand. they both suffer from health problems. A child of 2yrs and good health might go to bathroom 2-5 times a day, in a jointfamily when a person mutually care for each other they know that the reward will come to them sooner or later, but when the culture for caring for strangers is not developed in an envirnment then people dont do good out of the way.
    Old people have a lot of Knowledge and experience of life, but with age their health goes down, they need constant caring and medical assistance however in todays date the real problem is bigger then that … and that is the psycological feeling of not doing something creative, when old people come in touch with their children and they tell them about their lives they feel they themselves are achieving something and life feels happening… but after a certain age people cant take stress and they cant accept their weakness either so the ego barriers starts filtering in…while the children are young and selfish and they have a lot to accomplish ie to make their lives meaningful…in context to comptition and success which is measured only by the amount of money you make and later giving importance to the values that you nurture
    living in our socity is not really an easy task. however a need for affection is a demand for all age of people and that can largely be solved primarily by somehow bringing people and animals together in a green envirnment. Pets give unconditional love to their masters and the language barrier is also not a criteria.
    Rupali

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