I know it is late but Happy Diwali all the same. I hope you all had a nice and safe Deepavali.I reached home just a day before Deepavali so we made it very, very
It has been a long time since I posted anything on my blog. I think I am going through one of those lethargic phases when one just does not feel like doing anything. The trip to the south was exhausting and made me pledge never to fit in so much of travel in future trips. Considering the accident prone world we live in I am glad to have returned to my niche in a single piece. In Karnataka it appeared as if the rains followed us giving us just enough time to leave a place before creating havoc there. Unfortunately we were unable to enjoy the natural beauty of the western ghats since we were holed up in a hotel room most of the time.
I had high hopes of meeting Suranga, Usha, Aarthi, Srijith and Riti during this trip. Lack of communication was the only reason for missing out Suranga and Srijith who live within walking distance of the place I was staying in Mumbai and Chennai. As for Srijith I felt lousy staring at an apartment complex near Balaiyya garden bus stop and wondering whether he actually lived there. I must have crossed the place at least twice a day but I did not have his phone number and I was being punished for my laid back attitude. Sorry folks, there will be a next time and that is a promise
Coming back to Jamshedpur feels good. Where else can one leave home at 10:15 AM and reach one’s workplace before 10:30 AM? Where else can one go on long winding walks for an hour and return all set and fresh to take on another day? I can hear my brothers and sister both natural and by marriage call me a ‘pattikkadu’ (villager) unaccustomed to smart city ways. True, we all get used to a particular life style and claim it to be the best. Every time I meet my folk I am under a kind of dilemma as to whether I should continue in Jamshepur after retirement or move out to Chennai, Bangalore or Mumbai. But city life baffles me and finally I decide that our good old Jampot is the best place for an ageing couple to spend the final lap of their life on earth.
Post retirement I need to take up an assignment and absent myself for at least 5 hours each day. Or else my husband is going to drive me nuts and I’ll be churning out sob stories in my blog. I had copied out a piece on ‘Golden Retirement’ 3 years back and like the lady who authored the piece I think I am going to have him velcroed to my hips if I dared to stay home. Can you imagine the areas in which he awaits my response are?
I’d have returned from college and would be relaxing in my bedroom with a magazine in hand.
HIM: I am going for milk.
HIM: I am going for milk.
ME: Please do. And take the keys with you. I may doze off to sleep
HIM: What did you say?
I ignore the question. He has almost reached the door and comes back just to ask if I had said something. I could not have asked for a cuter husband but I really wish he could just go and get the milk instead of waiting for my approval in matters that don’t matter at all.
Jokes apart, I don’t blame him. There was a time when we had to worry about so many things. A child’s admission, hostel bills, father in law’s health concerns etc. etc. There now seems to be a sudden void in our lives. That brings home another realization. When a person has nothing to look forward to, one’s life becomes monotonous and boring. That is exactly why his concern touches my heart.
Did you take your medicines?
It is getting cold. Why not wear a half sweater?
I am drawing out my quarterly interest from the post office. Shall I deposit a part of it in your account?
The questions continue and they are important because they sustain us. The phone rings and I pick it up.
He appears at the door.
Who? He gestures.
My friend. I reply.
He goes off nodding his head.
To those of you leading a busy life these things may not matter. May be not yet. But to us it reiterates the fact that we need to remain fit and well if not for ourselves at least for the other person. We have made ourselves so very interdependent that very often he says something that I was just about to say. This brings to my mind another malaise that seems to have inflicted society of late - couples opting to separate in the twilight of their lives. I recently heard of a person known to me with grown up and married children opting out of marriage. They may or may not go for a divorce but they certainly prefer to lead separate lives. Each one says that the other is free to come and stay with him/her but on his/her terms and conditions. When I discuss this with friends they say that people are more honest these days. Why put up with an arrangement that is no longer agreeable? There is some logic in this argument but is this the right solution? Like one says that children earlier put up with their parents since their common property generated the income that was required to support their families. It no longer holds in a society where parents see to it that children reach dizzy heights saying that their children should never go through the hardship they once faced. Parents too have set aside enough to lead an independent life post retirement. There is no question of anyone adjusting with the other person. But isn’t it taking things too far when a wife or husband refuses to be part of the other’s life at a time when there is an acute need for meaningful companionship? I’ve known children supporting the mother and abandoning their father. Perhaps they feel that a mother’s presence in their homes would be more useful to their working wives than their father’s who would do nothing but occupy the front room reading the day’s newspaper.
Be it as it may I still subscribe to the view that old age is meant to be spent together whatever be one’s differences in day to day life. As for me I cannot imagine life without the domineering presence of my old man so what if he bugs me with irrelevant questions all the time.