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Old Is Not Gold

When I watched 36 Chowringee Lane, I was quite depressed for days. I hated the thought of being old and, that too, alone. The movie was so stark in its depiction of old age and loneliness that you wish the years of your life stopped at the 30s.

Now when I see my neighbour aunty Nora Das, I feel 36 Chowringee Lane is replaying before my eyes. Aunty Nora lives alone, her son and daughter live in the US. And she has no relative too. For the last one-and-a-half year, I have been seeing her doing the rounds of offices, roaming the streets and the markets trying to get her paperwork for getting a visa to the US. It seems the last time she visited the US, she overstayed so this time she is just unable to get a tourist visa. And for an immigrant visa, she has to collect all kinds of documentation!

Last Sunday, the 75-year old and partly deaf neighbour of mine came to my place and discussed her problems for over two hours. Although she was overstaying her welcome, I didn't have the heart to get up. I realised how she was loving my company, discussing her past, her children, her husband who is no more. Fighting loneliness is tough...

The US embassy wants her marriage certificate all over again and her church has no record. She got married in the '50s and there is no way they can trace it. A big problem there. Now I told her I would help her with the police clearance certificate, so every morning at 8 am, aunty Nora is at my door telling me no cop has come so far to verify her case. I explained it would take time but she seems to take my word with a pinch of salt. I guess at this age and with no one to help her or call her own, she's become cynical.

I keep thinking how her children can live knowing their old, fragile mother is all alone and struggling, not materially but emotionally. How can they sleep in peace with such a thought? Or have they stopped thinking?... But I am left thinking, have I made my provisions for my old age? Maybe I will just resort to euthanasia the day I feel I feel I have lived enough! I can't bear the idea of living alone. Mad thought!


Anonymous said…
good reading, but living on your own isn't bad, just frees up more time to do what you like too, take care, jdi,usa
Sabarmati View said…
Hi Indi,
36,Chowrangee Lane stayed with me for days together... you can't getit out of your system... don't think of all such euthansia. arre boss you are ever-green!!! ... don't worry. you will still be thinking am i looking beautiful... is this the right lipstick shade for me? and maybe we should be neighbours in the old age.. we can at least laugh at everybody around us and think of kuttu's dog biting incident....
take care and be nice to aunty Nora...
Shanti Thokchom said…
Ibemma, has Aunty Nora made you more depressed at the thought of old age? Well its not that bad, provided you have someone to share with. Do all you can to help that aunty cos she has no one to turn to.You do have a very good heart of gold despite your outwardly fuming and raging at everything!! Hey! there! I loved reading your blog.Its fun too!! keep it up ,my dear!!

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