I meet her almost every day and every time she tells me her brother will come to see her the next day. She has been there for more than five years and is a life member. Her brother and his family have paid the money and believe she is no longer their responsibility. In a way, she is no longer their responsibility but can family ties break so easily? It has broken easily for them but not for her. She remembers her brother every day but he has never come to see her. We have many festivals in our country and they are an important part of our lives. During these festivals many there go home to be with their family. They are happy about it. But no one has ever come to take her home. We wonder about the behavior of her brother. Why cannot he understand that she would love to go home with him during festivals? The least he could do is visit her twice a year and take her out for lunch. But he does not understand and he never comes. It is sad. And every time she tells me that her brother would come the next day, I feel like banging something on his head to bring him to his senses. She is always waiting.
That reminds me of a beautiful song from a beautiful old Hindi movie, Bandini. It is about newly married girls waiting for their brothers to come to their home. It is a song which touches the heart. We all wait for something or the other from birth to death.
I remember the days when we were waiting for our grandchild to be born. Life changed when we saw our grandson for the first time. Now we are waiting for the end of October when he and our daughter will be coming for a month. He is three now. 🙂
Of all the different types of waiting, I think the most tragic is waiting for death. A few months ago I read books by Jennifer Worth. They are some of the best books I have read till now. In one of them she writes, “It does not really matter what you think or believe. Death comes for us all. How, when and where we die has always been a game of chance. Our determination to control it has not loaded the dice in our favour. Did anyone ever imagine that it would?” Most of us pray that we should just leave but who knows what is in store for us? Suppose we have to wait for a long, long time for death? Not all are lucky enough to remain healthy, physically and mentally, till the end. There will be changes, changes in our thinking and we may become helpless and dependent. It helps a lot if we are lucky to be surrounded by a loving family. Waiting does not become merely waiting when we have the support of our family. Sadly many have to wait all alone. Jennifer Worth has written, “many a time the tragedy of old age is loneliness and not the surroundings.” Being lonely and waiting for release from life seems so very tragic. One may be alone but need not be lonely. But that waiting might change us. We will never know till we reach that stage in life. It is good to live in the present but thoughts of the future do come to mind at unexpected moments.
“Watching a peaceful death of a human being reminds us of a falling star; one of a million lights in a vast sky that flares up for a brief moment only to disappear into the endless night forever.” ~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
( Sunset )