Skip to main content

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!

Comments

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...
love
deepika
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!!

Popular posts from this blog

A Mad Man Or A Boor

What does one do when one encounters a mad dog? Or what does one do when one encounters a man with pre-fixed notions about everything in life, most specifically of women who live alone and give him some importance? The two are equivalent to me and basic intelligence says avoid the paths they tread like plague. But I chose to tackle them head on. I almost got rabbies. The mad man said [sic] " You sound like a very desperate person. A single and frustrated woman who is looking for anyone to leave a comment on your blog so much so that you wouldn't even spare a spammer ." Spammer being, the first comment on the previous post is apparently a spam, an advert for T-shirts. Bummer! I thought it was a handsome Spaniard or Latino, so I had replied "Hi Rodrigo", hoping to take the conversation forward offline. Anyway! All this the mad man found out. I didnt. Sure, I dig comments because I love the spontaneity and intelligence of my friends. And I didn't invite the ma

O-B-A-M-A

Two million people at the National Mall in Washington alone. The world watched too as Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. So did I. I rudely cut roomie's soap operas and switched to CNN to witness history being created. Some day I may live to tell the tale of how Barack, the much touted Afro-American President of the United States, stumbled with his swearing-in oath. I was a bit disappointed as I watched the man who had run the most successful of election campaigns, the man who Americans were pinning their hopes on, take his oath. Clearly, he was under too much of a pressure to be the best. So before Chief Justice John Roberts could complete the first sentence, there was Obama abruptly breaking out into his first names... " I Barack Hussein Obama.." and then waited for the judge to complete the sentence.. The next line was even taxing. He stopped short after two words... " That I will excute ..." and then Justice Roberts cont

Good Girls Don't Drink?

I have been disturbed by the news coming out of my region – the northeast of India - where a teenage girl coming out of a bar at 9:30 pm was molested and beaten by a group of 20 men. The news has even found its way down under for the shocking nature of it. Tabloids and even TV have carried the news. I have always prided myself in belonging to a region that is known for its high tolerance and where women are generally safe and independent. But I have always felt a bit squidgy about Guwahati unlike the rest of the seven sisters. The place is so like the rest of India in many ways, dirty and claustrophobic. That explains why bars are looked upon as sleazy places and women going there beaten up as with the recent case. Just 150 km away is Shillong, the place where I grew up. Night clubs thrive there and till date there has been no case of attacks against women. Reading the news, I am appalled by some of the reactions. “But the girl was drinking,” or “only prostitutes visit that