Old Age The Natural Phase Of Life Or An Irreversible Curse?
Akhand Gyan - English|March 2021
The only two residents of their wrinkled eyes were– tears and loneliness! The glow within their inner beings stood totally extinguished.

The rain had just stopped. The climate was still wet Tand cloudy. It suddenly clicked me that the drainage pipes of the terrace of my house must have got blocked due to the accumulation of dry leaves and twigs, resulting in water clogging. It invariably happens during every rainy season. Thinking thus, I went on the terrace. Alas! My assumption was correct. There was a pool about one foot deep on the terrace. Without looking left or right, I rushed to the point of drainage crossing the 'river' and removed the accumulated dirt from the mouth of the drainage pipe. On finding the exit, the water gushed through the pipe.

Suddenly I sighted an old woman on the adjacent terrace. When I moved closer to the wall dividing the two houses, I found her standing right in the middle of the pool of water that had resulted on her terrace as well due to the drain-blockage. On carefully looking, I found that with great difficulty she was trying to reach near the drain hole. With both her hands she was tightly holding the stick. Taking the support of the stick, she slowly lifted her foot and tried to regain her balance. Then, after stabilising her body, which took a couple of seconds, she lifted another foot. In this manner, it took her about 1 ½ minutes to take one feeble step forward.

Observing her plight I was terribly upset. I jumped over the dividing wall to reach her terrace. “Wait mother, let me clear the rubbish from the drain,” saying thus, I began to clear the drain line. Within a matter of minutes, both the terraces were dry. However, what waited next was the turn of the water to flow in the eyes of both the individuals standing on the terrace face to face. On conversing with her, I was given to understand that the old woman began her journey to reach the terrace 1 ½ hours ago. With great difficulty she pulled her body step by step to reach the terrace. On hearing that, I was shaken from within. “Why mother, is there no one with you– your son or daughter– who could have rushed to the terrace?” I spontaneously threw this logic at her. And, that was it! A slight touch to the strings of her emotional mind, and painful notes sprung forth in all intensities.

I got to know that for the last thirteen years, the old woman was staying alone in her dilapidated house, although she was blessed with three sons. Two of them were in business and did extremely well. They were the owners of big companies. The third son was also working in a government office and held a good post. The old mother told that all three of them had well-furnished spacious houses. But, the space within their hearts was so small that there was no place to accommodate anyone other than their own family members– not even the mother who had breastfed them! That was why, the poor mother, who was weak and ill-fed, old and widowed, lived all alone in the house.

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