Couple of days back I went for my first ever Gujarati play. My in-laws, Mil's mum and Mil's mum's friend, together stuffed in one car decided to go together. K dearest decided to run away, work out at the gym and spend his time more productively. (Productive time - extra gymming plus some swimming)
I think I was the only "marathi mulgi' in a pool full of gujju people. The play was called "Baa tamne hu kya rakho". (Translation - Baa where do I keep you). Even though I was briefed very seriously by Mil that its an emotional show, I was prepared to laugh my ass off. Anyways we went to Nehru, which was beautiful to be honest.
The show started. I did not even laugh once. Not because it was emotional, because they tried to act funny by cracking horrid jokes which I did not find amusing. The crowd was going ballistic. The crowd comprised of 99 percent old people and 1 percent me.
On a serious note, it was a good play as it brought light upon the concept of how old people are treated. "Baa" who has two sons, shifts between the two and suffers under her mean daughter-in-laws. I am sympathetic to the concept but however I am against how daughter-in-laws are shown here. Not every daughter-in-law is bad just like not every mother-in-law is mean.
The show mostly revolved around how "Baa" the mil is treated badly by her dils and suddenly when she comes across a lot of money, the cards change and now they want her to live with them so they can take her money. (little stupid but I guess a harsh truth as money is everything)
I loved the end of the show minus all the weird drama and crappy jokes. The end was where she took a practical decision to go her own way, live in an old age home to be around people her age and basically to find herself. "Baa" in the end says that her full life went in her husband and kids and now it's time to live for herself. I felt this end was very modern in terms of how our society thinks. Even today old age homes are considered a shame, so for me this was a pretty fresh point of view.
I had a very lengthy discussion with the in-laws about this. I asked-what is the right and wrong thing here. Children are always suppose to take care of their parents, so why do so many issues crop up. Why do children shunt away their own parents. Where does the love go. How do they change so much.
According to them everything in the end is on the priorities. There are so many issues these days like struggle, monetary problems, most importantly space issues. Mumbai and most major metro cities are very difficult to live in, especially if you are middle class. Thus in these circumstances it is difficult to manage your own family and also take care of your parents, plus in-laws. It is not possible to balance the two. Responsibilities keep piling and it's not easy.
I asked them what's the solution then. Because no matter what, it is our duty to take care of our parents. The solution is that they need to plan their life so well that there is never a chance to be dependable on another. And that goes to everyone. The children too today need to plan their life so effectively that they never have to deal with something like this.
I feel it's a grey area. There is no right or wrong here. Because sometimes both the sides are right. It's a sensitive issue where people have a lot of opinions.
Post the show I just pondered over this and came home. The audience loved it because I am sure a lot of people related to it. This is the truth in many households. Old people are considered unwanted, many times neglected and mostly used to take care of the house.
All I know is we need to be sensitive about this, plan our lives and also fulfill all our duties towards our family. No matter what. But to each his own. We cannot judge anyone on this as we do not walk in their shoes.
Like they say.....
There's one more terrifying fact about old people: I'm going to be one soon.- P. J. O'Rourke
That's all for my "B" post. Stay tuned for "C"