I am 81 years old now. I belong to the city of Sri Ganganagar. I am an educated man who completed graduation from SD Bihani College, a well-known and reputed college of the city. I had my family business of export and imports of fruits and food grains.
I was around 77, when my son left me to the old age home. So it’s been almost four years that I am staying here. I and my son always had differences with each other. Call it the generation gap or just two polar opposite people who couldn’t understand each other. Or, he was the wrong son born to the wrong father. After my wife’s death, my son decided that he does not want me to stay with him.
Did I want to stay with him either? Please don’t ask me to confess that.
I just have a single child. When he decided to separate ways, I didn’t have any alternative but to retire to an old age home. My grand-daughter still comes once in a month to visit me. I have made many friends here. We are around eighteen people who found their last shelter in this old age home. Now I feel this as my home and people here as my family members. No regrets. Sometimes it does get very depressing, especially when we see families where three generations are sharing a happy and healthy exchange. But that is temporary, like an unwanted illness which makes you suffer only for a while.
People in the old age home are very supportive and understanding as everyone has going through the same journey, and deep in our hearts, we know what our future beholds. We often have visitors who organize events for us on selective occasions. We look forward to those for our entertainment. Now it’s normal for us as we all have almost overcome all our problems. Sometimes we even feel happy about staying at an old age home. It’s the most peaceful and happy place where a person can live with likeminded people, all of us being from the same generation with matching sensibilities and values. We are provided with all the basic amenities that make life comfortable. Small NGOs even organize small trips for us. This is now a small unbiological family where we actually care for others and share each other’s pain or pleasure.
Storyteller : Santosh Pincha
As told to Ritika Jain