This old lady must be of about 85 years of her age. She resides at Dombivli,Mumbai alone since she lost her husband twenty years back. The only bright side is land lord is compassionate enough and does not charge her any rent. The old lady manages her life from the help of her neighbors. We help her occasionally. Last month she expressed her wish to me.she said considering her old age she does not know how many days are left, she strives to visit her sons who are settled at some village in Konkan, once before she says goodbye to this world.
I impulsively said yes. And the information that I received was shocking. She has four sons and four daughters. I asked her why she has lied to all that she has no one. The reply was, if she had told the truth nobody would have helped her and the land lord may would have asked her to vacate the place. Maybe, Manoj, you also may not have tried to help me. And I was trying understand her life. ( I knew pain of being without children in a life, but this pain of having to lie as a childless on one hand and not a single child has tried to visit her even once in this long life ) Really how one can be such ruthless and heartless not to visit their mother even once in last twenty years to enquire whether she is alive or not.
After a long travel of 310 kms by train we reached the village of the old lady. Looking at that familiar road and her old house from the memories long last, she was in tears. We knocked at the door and a small girl came running to open it. She called her mother from there. Her mother appeared and asked whom do you want. We were taken aback. Our old lady, we were addressing her Grannie by then, was also bit emotional, but she introduced herself as her mother in law. Daughter in law took us inside the house. She touched the feet of Granniee for blessings. Offered us water. Then we had a lunch. After some time Granniee’s son came home. He seemed pleased at her sight. Grannie also felt better and at ease.
Then we went for a ride in a village. We met few of the remaining old timers on the road. We stayed there at night in that house. In the morning when we were ready, Granniee told them that she will now go back. Neither her son nor anyone else said a protested. The pain on the face of Grannee was hidden behind the mask. Grannee simply took her bag and started walking towards bus station. It was nearby, strangely nobody fom the household came to bus stand. Maybe they were puzzled how to answer the querries over the mother who is still alive. As the bus started leaving the village behind, Grannie’s eyes were trying to gather the diminishing sight of her village and family. The result at this phase of life was devastating and frustrating. Though she has four sons and four daughters, today she is leading again a lonely life as a tenant in the city where she is too far away from her village. With all the family members well established what was falling short in her life – Humanity or wealth ?
As posted on Manoj Panchals facebook timeline: