Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Old Age

I tried hard not to think about her. But the moments when we met keeps wandering back…

During my last visit to Goa, I visited one of my distant relatives. She is now old, has faded memory and is hard of hearing. I wanted to meet her before I leave Goa in this visit, not knowing when I would be back again and get time for the visit.

‘Kakibai’ I called her. I knew she did not hear me (I knew of her hearing problem) and was concerned how I was going to communicate when we meet. She turned to me with an inquiring look. Her eyes I could make out was fading too. ‘Shreya go?’ (Is it Shreya?). I was seeing her after may be more than 3 years. She had always been old as far as I remember her.
She looked at me and gave a relieved look. She said ‘How long have you been away?’ I said 2 yrs; I told as loudly I could. ‘2 years? It seemed so long. Now that you have come, don’t go.’

For the time I was there, I must have just spoken only these couple of words. All the while I simply looked at her in amazement.

There was Kakibai, one of my favorite Grannies, though she is not closely related to me, I liked to spend time with her whenever she visited us or whenever we met. She was always the caring, loving granny who told interesting stories to grandchildren.
But now, she looked old and weary. She could barely hear or see. I wondered what must be going on in her mind all day. Cooking, looking after herself, sleeping and occasional talking to someone may be who had the patience to talk loud and hear her say the same things over and over again.
Does she worry about the change in weather? Does she long for people to visit her? Does she simply sit back and remember the good old days when she was able to do all things easily?
What do people want in life when you are that age I wondered. Are they satisfied with the time they spent, time spent mostly looking after kids and praying for their well being?
What would we want when we are of Kakibai’s age? Will we be looking forward to anything at all? We may not be able to watch and enjoy television like the way we do now, or read books, or visit places. How would it feel to be dependent on other people? Value of money or gold or diamonds would make no sense whatsoever. Would we still want our favorite political party to win elections? Would we worry if the economy went up or down?

Or would we get fed up of the situation and pray to God that we die now?

I don’t know when I will meet Kakibai again. Before leaving I hugged her and touched her face. She could not control her tears roll down her wrinkled face. Was she sad to say good bye again wondering would it be another 2 yrs until we meet again? I don’t know, but I felt sad to say good bye too.


Nidhi Shah said...

Touching indeed!

Gauri said...

very senti, shreya i can see completely new side to you!
Love u always!