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Sunday, May 23, 2010

woes of the senior citizens

woes of the senior citizens

गात्रं सम्कुचितं गतिर् विगलिता दन्ताश् च नाशंगताः
दृष्टिर्भ्राम्यति रूपमप्युपहतं वक्त्रं च लालायते।
वाक्यं नैव करोति बान्धव-जनाः पत्नी न शुश्रूषते
धिक् कष्टं जरयाभिभूत-पुरुषं पुत्रोऽप्यवज्ञायते॥१८९॥
gātraṁ samkucitaṁ gatir vigalitā dantāś ca nāśaṁgatāḥ
dṛṣṭirbhrāmyati rūpamapyupahataṁ vaktraṁ ca lālāyate |
vākyaṁ naiva karoti bāndhava-janāḥ patnī na śuśrūṣate
dhik kaṣṭaṁ jarayābhibhūta-puruṣaṁ putro'pyavajñāyate ||189||
ഗാത്രം സംകുചിതം ഗതിര്‍വിഗളിതം ദന്താശ്ചനാശംഗത
ദൃഷ്ടിര്‍ഭ്രാമയതി രൂപമപ്യപഹതംവക്ത്രം ച ലാലായാതെ
വാക്യം നൈവ കരോതി ബാന്ധവജനാ പത്നി ന ശുശ്രൂഷതേ
ധിക് കഷ്ടം ജരയാഭിഭൂതപുരുഷം പുത്രോപ്യവജ്ഞായാതെ
the pathetic condition of an elderly patriarch who has spent a whole life for the upkeep of this family is described vividly in an extract from Panchatantram. 
The body of the grandfather is shrunken, he negotiates his steps in a disorderly way, his teeth have bidden him adieu with a promise to meet again only in the next birth, his eyeballs are rolling around but providing him with little vision, the attractiveness of the yonder youth if he had any had forsaken him and from the purse-like mouth flows the secretions from the mouth incessantly. The so-called relatives do not deem it prudent to utter any word to him and the wife has many other urgent occupations other than helping the husband at least in observing his daily chores with some dignity, and to top it all the son never missed an opportunity to insult this human being who is afflicted with old age

Friends, this is the condition of all the elders who have striven hard and given everything within their power, and in most cases gone out of their way to place all they possess at the disposal of wife, children and family without any selfishness. Whatever be their physical condition now, they are to be worshiped like Gods, whether the old person is a male or female. In fact I have extracted such a gruesome picture form an old Kavyam only to appeal one all that it is our duty to ensure that the old gems of our family and nation are bestowed the greatest attention and care which are their fundamental right. Mind you, the same condition is awaiting everyone.

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