Is old age a regret?
The story was about the bond between a kid and an apple tree, which grew stronger with time. But when the boy grows up into an adult his needs far exceeded than what the tree could offer. Apart from the shade and the luscious apples that the tree gave, he set his eyes on its branches and the trunk, which he wanted to construct a home. The greediness in him made the tree into just a stump. The man spend all his youth , chasing worldly pleasures and fortunes and when he became old he too became an unwanted guest in his own home, which made him at par with the apple tree. He realised his mistakes and came back to be once again with the tree stump. The story winds up with a motto that every parent is like an apple tree who spends all their life for the welfare of their kids only to be trashed at the twilight of their life.
Now to come back to the fact from the fable; an aged lady in her eighties got into a transport bus to go to a hospital nearby. She struggled to find a seat and was very weak. When the conductor came, she showed the free transport pass left for her by her hubby , who was in the army. She proudly told the passengers nearby that she gets a handsome family pension , which she distributes among her two sons, though they seldom bother about her welfare . She was on a routine health check up to the hospital – all alone with no one to help her. When she got down with a helping hand from the fellow passengers, and melt into the crowd outside, I felt that the tale of the apple tree is not just a bedtime fable but the expressions of stark realities in our society.
The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 specifies that it is the moral responsibility and duty of the children to take care of their aged parents. In the Indian tradition, the aged are held in high esteem and respect but it is sad to know that only a few fortunate ones do live and die in glory these days. Most of them are left alone to perish by the new generation who is too busy for all these!