Posted in हिन्दी, Blogs, parenting, Senior Citizens, Uncategorized

मेरी नानी की कहानी, मेरी मां की जु़बानी

यह कहानी मेरी नहीं, मेरी मां की है। आज की

इस कहानी में जज़्बात भी उनके हैं, और अल्फाज़ भी उनके।

इसलिए इस कहानी में मैंने कोई बदलाव नहीं किए। उम्मीद करती हूँ, आपको पसंद आएगी :

मेरी शादी हुई तो मुझे मां बाप से बिछड़ने का बहुत दुख था पर सुकून था कि मैं उसी शहर में हूँ तो आती जाती रहूंगी। मेरे पिताजी की सेहत ठीक नहीं रहती थी। हालांकि वो नौकरी भी करते थे। अच्छी पोस्ट पर भी थे, मेरी शादी के बाद मुझसे मिलने भी आते थे, मेरा कोई काम होता तो अवश्य करते।

कभी कभी जब मैं अकेले होती तो यह सोच कर घबरा जाती थी कि मेरे पिताजी की तबियत ठीक नहीं रहती। उनके बहुत करीब थी। उनकी याद आखोँ में आँसु ले आती। कुछ साल बाद, उनकी

तबियत और बिगड़ने लगी। अब मैं बैठे बैठे डर जाती कि अगर मेरे पिताजी को कुछ हो गया तो? मुझे लगता था कि मेरी दुनिया वहीं रुक जाएगी। और फिर दिन ….वही हुआ…

मेरे पिताजी दफ्तर गए और वहां उनकी तबीयत खराब हुई। उन्हें जल्द अस्पताल ले जाना पड़ा। शाम को अस्पताल से खबर मिली कि पिताजी मां को याद कर रहे हैं। मां उनसे मिलने अस्पताल गई। जब घर लौटी तो बोली, “मैं खाली हाथ आ गई”। मुझे समझ नहीं आया। तब पता चला कि मां को देखते ही पिताजी ने आखिरी सांस ली और चल बसे।

अब तक तो कुछ समझ नहीं आया। ऐसा झटका लगा कि बुद्धि ने काम करना बन्द कर दिया, किन्तु पिताजी की तेरहवीं पर जब मैंने मां को सीड़ियों से उतरते देखा तो एक मिनट के लिए सांस ही रुक गई। मैंने अपनी मां को सफेद साड़ी में बिल्कुल सादे और शांत रूप में देखा। मुझे जीवन का सबसे बड़ा झटका लगा जब मैने अपनी मां को इस रुप मे देखा। तब असली एहसास हुआ कि पिताजी नहीं रहे। मैं रो रो कर बेहाल थी। बस चिल्लाई जा रही थी, “यह ठीक नहीं हुआ, यह ठीक नहीं हुआ”

उस वक्त मां ने ही मुझे सम्भाला, बोली “यही जीवन की सच्चाई है इसे जितनी जल्दी समझ लेंगे उतना ही हम लोगों के लिए अच्छा है”।

मैं अपनी मां का वो शांत रुप देख कर बिल्कुल स्तब्ध थी किन्तु मुझे शक्ति भी मिली। जीवन की सबसे कड़वी सच्चाई का मां ने इतने सहज रुप से स्वीकार किया। मुझे अपनी मां पर गर्व भी हो रहा था। मेरी मां स्कूल में अध्यापिका थी और हम पांच बहने। पिताजी की मृत्यु के समय दो की शादी हुई थी और बाकियो की होनी थी। एक छोटी बहन तो बहुत ही छोटी थी। शायद उनको देखकर मां ने संयम रखा होगा। मां ने हिम्मत के साथ मेरी दोनों छोटी बहनों को पढा लिखा कर उनका ब्याह किया। मुझे आज भी याद है, सबसे छोटी बहन के ब्याह के बाद मेरी मां पहली बार रोई थी कि सब मुझे छोड़ कर चले गए। उनका मतलब पिताजी से था। तब मुझे लगा कि मां ने कितने सालों तक वह दर्द अपने अन्दर छुपा कर रखा था ताकि उसकी बेटियाँ कमजो़र ना बनें।

आज भी मां की वो सीख याद है, “जीवन की कड़वी सच्चाईयों का सामना हिम्मत से करना चाहिए। जि़दगी तो चलती ही रहेगी। हिम्मत रखेंगे तो बड़ी से बड़ी जि़म्मेदारी भी निभा पाएंगे”। मुझे एक बात का एहसास भी हुआ कि मंजिल पर पहुंच कर ही थकान का एहसास होता है, और कहीं ना कहीं यह खुशी भी होती है कि हमने अपनी जि़म्मेदारियां अच्छे से निभाई।

यही है मां की सीख- तकलीफ मे घबराना नहीं चाहिए, हिम्मत से काम लेना चाहिए। सब समस्याएं समय के साथ हल हो जाती हैं।  

 

This post was published on mycity4kids : https://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/my-kids-my-wings/article/meri-nani-ki-kahani-meri-ma-n-ki-jubani

Posted in Blogs, Life style, Senior Citizens, Social Responsibilty

This Couple Defied the Norms of The Society to “Live In” Together

I recently came across this article which shared the story of an old couple who lived together for 50 years and got married recently. This old couple in MP were very much in love but could not gain the approval for marriage by their families. They defied their families and lived together for 50 years.
80 years old Sukhe Kushwasha and 75 years old Hariya lived together for 50 years when they were not allowed to marry each other by their respective families. They moved in together and continued to live happily. They have 4 children and a gaggle of grandchildren. It was only after the thought for salvation started sinking in their old age, the couple decided to get married. Appreciating their thoughts and feelings, their elder son, took the advice of the priest and the elders from their village and arranged for their wedding. The entire family and friends participated in the event happily.
The story struck me because “live in” relationships have not gained so much approval in our country so far. Though they are slowly gaining ground. But majorly, marriages are considered as essential for a man and woman to stay together.
On the one hand, couples are forced to marry each other even when they don’t want to and the result is years of sufferings and pain. Relationships fail and break, leaving behind years of agony. On the other hand, there are couple like Sukhe and Hariya, who wanted to marry each other but were denied by their families. They started living in together and continued happily for 50 years.
The question I want to raise is that should marriage be a forced institution? Why can’t the decision be left on the couple to decide? Why can’t couples be left with this decision on their own whether they do want to marry or not?
The other aspect of this story is the ‘live in’ relationship. “Live in” are still to gain equal amount of respect and acceptance as marriage. This couple sets an example for ‘live in’ relationships by making it as equally a strong and long-term relationship as marriages.
This story certainly makes one point clear that married or not some relationships are made in heaven.
 Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/mp-old-live-in-couple-of-50-years-marries-for-moksha/story-revwNnv8n3o7n3Xnfyz33I.html
 
 

Posted in Blogs, Reviews, Senior Citizens, Social Responsibilty, Sponsored Stories, Uncategorized

The Powerful Role of the Grandparents

 

 

The other day, I took my kids to their grandparent’s house.  They were happy to see their grandchildren. My kids insisted their grandfather to take them to the park to which he agreed instantly. My mother went in the kitchen to make their favourite onion fritters.

 

After some time, she brought hot and crispy onion fritters along with ginger tea. We started chatting and enjoying our snacks. I noticed that the fritters had a different taste. They were lighter, less oily and crispier. I asked her the reason behind it. She told me that she had started using Sunny Lite Oil. It has the power of 5. It has vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, antioxidants and Omega 6. She praised it a lot, saying that food cooked in it is very light and easy to digest.

 

My children came back and couldn’t resist themselves from eating the fritters. I asked them to wash their hands before eating. They protested and turned to their grandparents for support. My mother scolded me pretentiously and very gently took the kids to wash their hands. They were very happy to see me getting scolded by my mother. They felt comforted and secured with the powerful presence of their grandparents. They were soothed by getting their support and being listened patiently by them.

 

I could hear my mother explaining to them that they should listen and obey to their mother first. When their mother scolds them, it is for their benefit and betterment. She will not scold their mother on their behalf again. They understood and apologised for their behaviour. I admired the way she tackled the situation and was able to calm down the kids at the same time making them do what I wanted them to do.

 

Despite the generation gap between them, grandparents are able to form a friendship with their grandchildren. They look after the small day to day problems of their grandchildren. The relationship of grandparents and grandchildren is full of love, pampering and fun. They also try to fill in the gap between parents and children, making them understand each other with their own experiences.

 

Parents become grandparents when their children become parents. They love and enjoy the company of our kids, who in turn reciprocate the same feelings. Children enjoy the pampering and attention that they get from them. Grandparents are always less concerned by the major issues of the children being assured that they will be tackled best by the parents. When kids get scolded by their parents they look upto their grandparents, at that moment when they are provided with a sort of emotional cushion, they feel secured.

 

Nowadays, with a growing trend of nuclear families, children are greatly missing out on this beautiful relationship with their grandparents. Grandparents also feel lonely; it is very important to give them some time to spend with each other. The powerful presence of grandparents makes the children emotionally stronger. They get to learn great values, respect, obedience and become more responsible.

 

 

Posted in Blogs, Senior Citizens, Social Responsibilty, Uncategorized

The Last Wish

A fictional short story
Nandita had been visiting an old age home regularly for quite a while now. It was established by her great grandmother she was very fond of that place. Every weekend she would inquire about their requirements and take it along with her. She would spend a few hours with the elderly and had befriended a few residents also.
They were also very fond of her. It was a great bond that they had developed over a period of time. The elderly people living there never complained about any member of their family or children for leaving them there. They were very satisfied and at peace with themselves.
In every visit, Nandita would get a lot of love and was showered by their blessings which was very overwhelming for her. She often wondered if there was anything she could do for them.
A resident called Asha aunty was especially fond of her. She would often make her sit near her and talk to her. She treated her like her daughter. She would always give her biscuits, fruits or whatever snacks she had with her. Nandita always asked her if there was anything that she needed or anything that she could do for her. But the kind old lady would always politely refuse. She was very much content with whatever she had.
One weekend, Nandita went as usual to meet her. Asha aunty was sitting with her friends Veena and Savita aunty. She was very happy. She greeted her in her usual loving manner.
“What’s the matter aunty? You look very happy today?” asked Nandita.
“I received a phone call from my sister yesterday. Her grandson is getting married. She has invited me for the wedding.” Replied Asha aunty.
“All my family members will be there to attend the wedding. It has been quite a while that I have met all of them.” She continued.
“Wow! That’s great! So, what are your plans?” asked Nandita.
“I will be leaving on Thursday by train. The wedding is on Sunday in Amritsar. But there is a problem. I don’t have a bag to carry my belongings. My old bag is torn. Veena and Savita also don’t have one either.” Said Asha aunty.
“Oh! Don’t worry aunty. My husband deals in travel bags. I have a few lying in my car. I will get one for you.” Nandita said excitedly.
“Oh, no! I can’t take anything from you. You are like my daughter.” She replied.
“If I am like your daughter then you will have to take it from me.” Nandita insisted.
She immediately went out to bring the bag. Asha aunty was very reluctant but took it after a lot of persuasions from her.
Nandita left feeling very happy that day. She was very excited that at last she could do something for her. She was also very happy that Asha aunty would be going to meet her family and friends. The entire week she spent thinking about her.
She went to the old age home the next weekend earlier than usual. She was very eager to know whether Asha aunty had gone to Amritsar or not. The old age home looked unusually quiet. Everybody looked sad and spoke in low tone. It made her feel very uncomfortable.
She went straight to Asha aunty’s room. It was locked from outside. She knocked at Veena auntie’s door. She was called in by her.
“Aunty, has Asha aunty left for Amritsar? When will she be back?” inquired Nandita.“Asha has left all of us for good. She will never be back. She expired early Thursday morning.” Veena aunty replied wiping her tears. Nandita was shocked. She stood speechless. Her thoughts ran back to their last meeting. She was to leave for Amritsar on Thursday morning. She was so happy that she would be able to meet all her family members. She did leave on Thursday morning but for where? She went to Asha aunty’s room and opened it.
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She saw the bag in a corner. It was filled with her clothes. She must have packed it well in advance. The bag was all that she had needed. It was the first and the last thing that she had asked from her. Her last wish was to meet her family members. If only her last wish could be fulfilled.

Posted in Blogs, Senior Citizens, Social Responsibilty

Loneliness in Old Age- A Bigger Killer Than We Thought

Recently, an uncle in my neighborhood passed away. He lived with his wife. Their four daughters are married and well settled. Uncle and aunt both in their eighties, lived in their house independently. After the death of that uncle, aunt is now all alone. Sick, old and lonely.

It brought to me the sad and the most harsh reality of life – loneliness in Old age. When we were children, we were always surrounded by our protective parents, caring siblings and loving grand parents. When we grew older, we had our bunch of friends to chat and hang out with. We got married and have our husband and children standing by our side. But what when we grow old? Our family members will not be with us, our children will be independently settled. What we will be left with would be ‘us’- old, sick and lonely.

When I look around, I see many old couples living by themselves. There are many elderly whose partners are no more. The elderly in such cases are often surrounded by loneliness. Even doctors are now recognizing loneliness as a disease and consider it more deadly than obesity.

Mother Teresa once said, “the biggest disease today is not leprosy or cancer or tuberculosis but rather the feeling of being unwanted and deserted by everybody.” Doctors have also quantified the effects of loneliness disease, warning that lonely people are more likely to die prematurely as against those who do not suffer the feeling of isolation. ( Source : amp.theguardian.com)

Loneliness impairs immune system and boosts inflammation. It can lead to arthritis, type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. It is a disease which is most rarely talked about.

So, how can we help our elderly from loneliness. Let’s help them reconnect. Years back, I had got fascinated with the idea that we should have daycare centers of children near to old age homes or places where elderly live alone. If we could have day-cares of children near the old age homes, it will have two way benefits – 1) the elderly will find the cheerful company of kids and will have something to look forward to. 2) children will be able to spend time with elders like their grandparents.

Another thing that we can do is to help the elderly reconnect. We can always take out time and visit them. Talk to them and make them feel important. Our love and respect is all that they ask for. Isn’t it? Help them reconnect and rebuild a social circle for them. Encourage them to meet and visit their friends and relatives. Plan a family gathering for them and let them be surrounded by their loved ones. Let them live once more, just the way they taught us when we were kids.

Posted in Blogs, Life style, Senior Citizens, Social Responsibilty, Uncategorized

A Perfect Solution to A Difficult Problem

Sometimes I think that life is a jigsaw puzzle. For some people, the pieces gets fit together perfectly and for others they get all mixed up. Some problems and situations are common to all and are faced by most of the people but even then many of us find it difficult to sail through and some find out a perfect solution. One has to work very hard with each and every piece of this jigsaw puzzle in order to set it at its rightful place to create a meaningful picture.

One such story is that of my aunt, Anita, the youngest of three sisters. She was very attached to her mother who became a widow at a very young age. When she was getting married, she knew that after her marriage, her mother would be alone.

Anita was married in a joint family with father in law, mother in law, brother in law, sister in law and their kids. She created a beautiful balance in every relationship and with a lot of wisdom and patience. She completed her studies after her marriage and took up a job of a teacher in a neighborhood school.

After a few years, her family decided to renovate their house and add another floor. At that time, her mother in law suggested that she should bring her mother to live with them. She was completely taken in by this suggestion coming from her mother in law. Her husband, Sameer, further supported her and encouraged her to bring her mother in their house.

Her in laws and her husband were very broad minded and considered her mother as part of their family. They supported her in every aspect.

It was not easy though. To create a balance and form a bridge between one’s parents and in law’s needed a lot of patience, wisdom and maturity. Her mother who was a very independent person herself did not find it appropriate to live in her daughter’s house. Sameer helped Anita in persuading her mother. Sameer always considered her mother as his own. He requested her a lot assuring that he is also like his son and she would feel like home once she comes to their house.

Anita on her part treated her mother in law and mother as equal. At times, when the two would be sitting together, she gave more importance to her mother in law, so as not to let her feel insecure. She ensured that she would give equal love and respect to both of them. It resulted in creating a beautiful friendship among all the three elders. They enjoyed each others company and extended help and support whenever anyone needed. Even while the youngsters were busy with their work, the three elderly were happy giving each other company. Anita and Sameer worked together as a team to make sure that both the mothers ( Sameer’s and Anita’s) and his father were looked after well and none of them would feel neglected.

There were times, when misunderstanding would crop up, leading to situations when her mother would get upset and wanted to go back but Anita sorted out all the differences by focusing on the point of views and emotions of every family member. She tried to bridge the gaps by communicating the feelings of all the members in a rightful manner. Her wisdom enabled her to establish harmony and create peace in the house.

Her children were looked after well by all the elderly in their growing up years. The elderly felt secured and supported her to rise professionally.

In today’s scenario, when I see many elderly living alone and nobody to look after them, youngsters increasingly becoming busy with the struggles to make a living, this couple sets an example as to how by focusing on our goals and working together as a team, we can find a solution for every problem.

Girls should be wise and consider her husband’s family as her own. Similarly, boys also should give equal love and respect to his wife’s family.

Posted in Blogs, Life style, Senior Citizens, Social Responsibilty, Uncategorized

Is Nuclear Family System The Perfect Answer?

Is Nuclear Family System The Perfect Answer?

These days nuclear family system is increasingly becoming the order of the day. Many of us opt for this kind of system out of choice and many other due to circumstances. Sometimes youngsters have to leave their parents because of better work opportunities and lifestyle. Those who have lived in joint families must have faced the advantages and disadvantages of this set up.
There are many reasons due to which joint family is losing its glory in present times. A few reasons due to which the joint family system is loosing its luster are:
1. Lack of individual space
Many times the youngsters feel that they are not given enough personal space. Their individuality gets curbed and is not given as much importance as the others.
2. Lack of a balanced communication
Members of a joint family often fail to create a balanced and open communication among themselves. There are often misunderstandings and misinterpretations creeping up due to that which results in quarrels.
3. Lack of acknowledgement
The elderly often fail to acknowledge the positive attributes that the new members bring into the family. The lack of acknowledgement of every positive aspect of every individual often causes disharmony in the family.
4. Lack of mutual cooperation
Mutual cooperation is a must to maintain a healthy relationship. In a joint family set up, lack of mutual cooperation between the family members often becomes a cause of quarrel.
5. Balance in relationships
Many joint families fail to create a balance and impartial relationship between the members, thereby giving rise to feuds.

Due to all these and many more reasons joint family system is giving way to nuclear family set up. But is that a perfect answer?
Can we really say that nuclear family system provides complete happiness?
In the modern times. The expenses are very high and in order to meet the day to day expenses and maintain a decent lifestyle, both the partners have to work. With increasing pressure in the professional front, both the partners are under constant pressure. They have hectic schedules, they leave early and come back late at night. This leaves them no room to exchange pleasantries with one another.
For the few waking hours at home, a lot of time is spent on mobiles and other gadgets. The next day is already planned with many appointments and assignments. It further makes one completely exhausted both physically and mentally. Soon, a feeling of guilt starts seeping in that they are not able to spend time with one another. The warm feelings and spark of love that they once had for each other begins to fade away leading to everyday quarrels and arguments.
The partners begin to lose respect and regard for each other. Those who are worst affected by this situation are the kids who get neglected. They get devoid of the love and care that they deserve. By witnessing the daily arguments of their parents, they feel traumatized.
A possible solution for this could be the formation of a social circle where in the elderly could be included and treated as a part of our family. If we can create this type of neighborhood or social circle, we will be able to attain many benefits and overcome various problems, like:
1) Senior citizens who are living alone will not feel lonely and left out. They will be able to participate in social activities.
2) The youngsters will be able to share their problems with their elders and seek emotional support and guidance.
3) Children will be under the care and supervision of elders like their grandparents.
4) By participating in social gatherings and celebrating festivals together, there will be more enjoyment and refreshment from the hectic schedules of daily life.
5) A sense of security can be established if the youngsters chose to take care of the elderly and the elderly take care of the children.