Life is cryptic, elusive, fragile, short and treacherous, as felt by one, yet is enchanting. Nobody likes to go after coming in this mortal world, even after a hundred years' of living. Mysteries of life and death are better known to only God. He is the one, who decides, who is to come or has to go. If one is born with a silver spoon in the mouth, the other does not have even a wooden spoon in the mouth. Some come in the chants of bugles in the best hospitals, others come in the aero planes, in rickety rickshaws or even on the naked roads. Such are the tantrums of life that we all covet so greedily.
After birth, wrapped in towels or nappies, one is in the cold or warm arms of the parents, in cradles or in nurseries to be looked after. On reaching puberty, one is married with or without the consent of the parent's. Hereafter begins the real race for means to keep the family. When one is 60, retires from the job is entitled to a measly pittance of monthly pension, to keep the body and soul together.
After retirement, starts a new phase of life. Some take the retirement lightly, others are worried for their future, fraught or uncertainties. Those who are not prefixed do odd jobs or what comes in their way. For some life in post-retirement days is no more than a drag. Need of the daily shaves of beard and moustaches are not felt like before. If the hair is not dyed black to keep the younger looks, it doesn't matter. If the dress is not well ironed by the housemaid, she receives no reprimands of the master or housewife.
Time usually hangs heavy on hand of all the retirees, if not suitably fixed. Some go for the rituals of Hajj and Umrah other visits shrine of the respective saints. To make the best bargains, some starts taking the children to their school in the morning and bringing them back as the dusk falls. Some take to do household chores spend their time in kitchen that they can. Some go to nearby market to fetch the weekly requirement of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, fowl, meats, milk, poultry and medicines, if run short, to suffice a week or so.
Some go for their evening stroll in the nearest park to have a whiff of fresh air and also for exercise to keep good health. Those who have finished with their daily newspapers laze their afternoons or watch TV programmes of their likes.Some gather the children, if they are free by any chance, and play with them indoor games like carom, chess, ludoor snake-ladder.
In advancing age, infirmities take a heavy toll and necessitate all precautions to reduce their agonizing impacts. Diseases like common colds, coughs, catarrhs, flue, headaches, stomachaches, muscular pains, skin disorders, dryness and respiratory diseases feel free to come. If some of the oldies are laid down by the malarial fever, others may be having bouts with dysentery, hemorrhoids and diarrhea if not typhoid. All the old have to visit the eye specialists, dentists to put bridges, braces and dentures to ease the quality of life.
Disabled people hit by old age, have walking sticks, walkers and wheelchairs to cart them from one place to another. Young and old, who have lost their limbs, have now got artificial limbs to help them like before. Cancers, T.B. polio and Aids are the most dreadful and devastating health conditions to have by the old or the young, have no new astonishing approaches to deal with are the new challenges, that take long and cost more hard to hear. Diabetes is debilitating but is manageable by keeping ones blood pressure and sugar under control. In many cases, however, old and young die untreated due to lack of consciousness of good health.
In old age, if one has nobody to look after, one is destined to come on roads for begging, as it is the only means for their survival. It is heartening that the present government, among other good things is also making five "Shelter Homes" in each big city of the country. The problem being of great magnitude only five "Shelter Homes" are by no means, enough to cope with the problem. At least 100 to 500 such "Shelter Homes" are required in each big city, if the homeless are to be rehabilitated and the menacing beggary has to be ended, once for all. So let it receive the attentionof the concerned authorities for further action, if any.
Old age comes to all human beings. It is never a matter of chance, but is imperative. So people getting in their dotage, partially or entirely, are the responsibilities of their dear ones. Their requirements are reduced to a few. They need their medicines at their fixed hours to alleviate their pains. A pair or two of the ordinary cotton or the woolen garments once a year can keep the frail bodies covered and safe from the atrocities of the changing weathering conditions. A pair of ordinary "chappals" and a pair of "moccasins" is enough to keep the feet warm and unhurt. Food that they get is to be most suited to their health conditions, which ishard to be compromised.
Above all, the old people like most are the true love from all. They want children to come to them, as and when they can to cheer them in their distressed life. Remember the old people are like the migratory birds, who have to return to their homes, when the period of their honeymoon is over. So make the best of them so long the old are with you. Take full benefit from their long experiences that you direly need to live.