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From dawn to dusk... alone
By Purva

THEIR eyes bleed tears of loneliness. Their worn out lives and faces stare at you helplessly. Wrinkled and curled up and set amongst the "bricks in the wall" and "discarded old furniture", they cast a gloomy picture of people who are abandoned and betrayed in their most sensitive times. Alone and unaided, they are searching for windows to let in streaks of hope.These are the victims of old age, abandoned by their children in "homes" to decay and die a lonely death.

The first question that props up in the mind is: Do these parents, who give you life, and love, spend their youthful years to nourish you, educate you, to meet your demands, deserve to be dumped like that? Don’t they have the right to expect ‘a little’ from their own children — a little love and affection in return? All through their lives they slog to make life easier for their children, with whatever is within their reach, yet they have no one to love them in their loneliest and fading moments.

A visit to a home for the aged arouses strange feelings, and questions of all sorts crop up in one’s mind. They are alone, absolutely alone, homeless, desolate , betrayed, abandoned and long for a caring touch and someone who could listen to them. They sit quietly, staring out of the "cells" allotted to them. The air seems full of gloom and pessimism.

Each day drags, not in hope — but despair! Their silent acceptance of lovelessness is felt and heard, if you happen to visit any of these ‘homes’. The helpless, scared, hurt, discarded souls are found huddled in one corner or the other.

If you reach out, they pour out their agonies. The long and lonely hours cast dark and long shadows on their lives.

They sit silently through each day and night, waiting for someone to rescue them from the dark tunnel. They survive each day, thinking of the good old days.

All they long for is love. They want to be felt and touched by the ones who have abandoned them. Looking at their questioning faces, one wonders... What have they done to deserve this kind of treatment? Who will hear their cries and comfort them? Who will show them that they are loved and cared for?

The helpless anger felt at the manner in which the aged have been forgotten questions the very existence of certain relations and norms prevalent in our society. Why do we forget that ‘old age’ will overtake us in the future? Do children ever realise the sacrifices, pains and troubles their parents took to make them what they are today?

These victims are made to renounce their family life against their will and are deprived of love and happiness. And now, they wait for the lonely end.