This Eid I volunteered with Silver Liners Club to pay a visit to the senior citizens living at the old home. I was very curious of how some person can just abandon their parents by simply kicking them out of their lives. It seems strange to me how someone can just discard the people who gave birth to them and tried to do everything to ensure they had a good life. They might not be as useful as they used to be and need help from us now but that doesn’t mean you just remove them from your house and life. Honestly, I did not believe the intensity of the gravity of this issue until I went there.
Parents after Rasul ALLAH صلى الله عليه وسلم are the people we are obliged to respect or take orders from. We aren’t told to sack them somewhere where they silently wait for their death. So, I went to this old home at Committee Chowk in Rawalpindi. It is run by a benign old man known as Haji Sab in the old people, despite of his age, he takes good care of them. He introduced us to the institute and its services and their selection procedure. When we visited him he was giving “Eidi” to the elders in envelopes. “Paison ki baat thori hoti hai beta ye to muhabbat hai hamari”. He told us with his crooked voice which was due to the tears he was holding in his throat that its been 14 years since his mother had passed but even in her last ages he gave money to his mom from his pocket to receive his Eidi from her.
A snare of grief and gloominess was tangled around my neck throughout the visit. First, we met a lady who seemed to be older than 80. She walked in to the room with the snail gait and delighted us with a warm feeling you get when you meet your favorite grandmother. She hugged me and I could smell the beautiful antique smell in her soft lawn clothes. She was a Punjabi from Faisalabad. Sitting down with us, she started to tell us about how her husband died and how she was left all alone when her daughter got married “tennu pata e ay assi tiyaan dy kaar nai rehnday”. She gave more details on her difficult life and the relationships she had with her immediate family. I saw immense strength in her. She took us to visit the other ladies who were shy and were not coming out of their rooms. It melted my heart to see how they lived together. It was a supportive community where they kept an eye on each other like taking care of each other’s meal. But there was something common in their eyes, a painful emotion that reflected the madness of being abandoned.
Next came many old fellows some on their wheel chairs and some with the sticks. They sat with us and told their stories. One of them came from Uttar Pradesh (UP) India, his tongue was damaged and knees were dysfunctional. He was all alone when his family died in an accident in 1992 when they came from India. He managed to utter the sleek beautiful Urdu words even with his lisps and sputtering tongue. But amidst the conversation he started clapping and slapping his hands over his legs saying “main bar bad ho gya main lut gya” and then saying “beta takabbar na karna aur hasad na karna”. Another person who was a little mentally challenged was master at making doodles in his free time.
Some had been thrown out and their homes snatched from them, some even didn’t every say anything some kept regretting saying that “I sent my son for Umrah and this is what he did to me”. They were sweet and kind, and harmless as a sparrow. Its still a mystery how their kids could convince themselves to perform this cruel act. May Allah ease these old people’s misery.