Complex circles called Life!

My take on complexities of Life!




Today I came across this poem, it could be about a Mother. I will be swapping term mother for parents during the blog as in relationships , mother is prominent. आई, जननी, माता, मा are different names of the  epitome of human relationship. This relationship is one that cannot be compared with anything else in the world.  Mother is the ultimate giver and in the end also she is giving her last but lasting and valuable suggestion,  to us about letting her go!

Only a child and the mother have real closeness during pregnancy before the child is born. Their heart and breathing patterns have the same rhythm during this period. The term “cutting of Umbilical Cord” is used when time comes in Guru Chela type of relationship, to part! Once this Cord is cut, the child slowly gets away from common rhythm; if the child is upset or crying, the mother holds the child to the bosom, the child probably recollects the old rhythm and starts to quieten down. This is the strength of the rhythm.  The child starts growing, the influence of mother starts diluting because of many more interactions with the real world.  Mother feels that her child is going away from her. Child starts recognizing  friends, cousins, uncles, later on associates and the list is ever increasing. Though the intensity may not change, time together starts reducing. The mothers go out of their way to raise, teach their children about life in general. They educate them, they help them physically to learn to walk, talk, and sing and what have you. Mother is the All in One teacher of everything for the child. Mothers do so many sacrifices for their child, but it will be separate subject for discussion.

When the mother teaches the child about growing up, she teaches the child many things including relationship after marriage. Post marriage dilution is the biggest one and mother sometimes find it very difficult to handle. Dilution also occurs on arrival of more children in family. In all this teaching, mothers tend to forget to “learn”. When a person gets married, in the initial phase the closest inner circle will be Husband-Wife, next will be Parents from both sides in a tight circle; these two circles may cross each other regularly. Siblings, grandparents are in the next circle. When a child arrives in the marriage, the inner most circle is naturally Husband, Wife and Child. Parents get shifted to slightly loose outer circle and similar shifting takes place for all circles. As the children grow, Parent’s support system may not be needed and the “tight” outer circle becomes a normal outer circle with corresponding shifts in other circle.

Later, Parents grow older and in reverse they may need some support. This is where the unfortunate but unavoidable struggle starts. The support could be physical, financial and mental support. Physical support means actual physical support, this can be provided by children themselves or by supporting staff. Financial support depends on the means jointly available with the family or individually with parents. Mental support is one which is tricky. Children are busy in their own things and their availability for parents may  reduce. But the mother is always comprehensible, intelligible and straight forward. In most cases she knows how to remain a little distant as situation demands.

The poem above, reflects the thought process of a parent, at sunset of life. Parent suggests that children should let go when their time to go arrives. This is the ever giving nature of the parent, who wants to help children to deal with the tough situation.

Now a practical person in me is stirred and some thoughts came in mind.  Our society has changed a lot, in last 50 years and many good things have happened but some tough situations are bound to be there. In olden days, in my Grandfathers time joint family was the norm and now nuclear family is the norm. In olden days life spans were much shorter. Now with better treatments, medicines longevity has gone up. So there will be many parents who will be around for a long time and they will be  “with problems”.

How can the children give back? Is there a mandate to give back? No I don’t think so. I also hear a discussion about giving back to society! In the “giving back” culture, should your parents come at the top of hierarchy? Its a tough call in busy life! Especially if you do not live in the same city. I see and hear about such situations regularly. How do I solve my dilemma? Mom can you help him resolve this one last time?


So long dear friends, Al Vida!

Al Vida is a Hindi word meaning Goodbye! This year has been a bit rapid in the wrong sense! I lost three dear friends of mine to the almighty till today, 11th April 2017. I am not writing an obituary but I am writing random thoughts that come to mind when such deaths take place. I am now 67 and it’s not a big deal really to face that your friends or family are dying. I know the realities of life and know very well that one has to go at some stage. My first such experience was when I was in final year of school and I had lost a friend to destiny. I have written a blog on this event That time it was a big shock!

In my grandparent’s time, he died at the age on 89, reaching that age was a miracle! Medical science and other allied sciences were not yet really developed and reaching the age of 50 was a great feat. Probably this threshold has already gone up to 55, then slowly to 60. My father and father in law both died at the age of 63. Celebrating 60th birthday was a great event then. People were considered to be at their prime around age of 40/45. Things have really changed now; almost 10 % of my batch mates from engineering college continue to work and are in reasonable health. Another maybe 50% are in good health though they have retired. People go for walks, treks, climb hills daily or hit the gym.

Now people are considered to be in prime around the age of 55/60 and I have known a few who have started new ventures after crossing 60. Definitions of old age are changing rapidly in India, the age bar for doing new things, new achievements has gone up! Besides improvement in medical sciences what has helped to raise the bar? New technology has brought people together. The isolation that older people had to suffer is now almost becoming history because we are in touch many people and many of the contemporaries are still around. This has definitely added to improved longevity.

I only feel sad that two of my friends who died, passed away almost instantaneously. Third friend was unwell for a few months. I don’t know the details about their health status for the period before they died. My other friend Suresh who was an Air Force pilot, flying MIG 27, had once told me. “Pramod, planes are as good as the way they are maintained. Except for one system, all hydraulics can be checked on the ground; only one system gets checked during flying. Similarly there is no sudden heart failure; there are signals which are ignored or sometimes due to diabetes the person does not feel the pain.” Had these two friends been a little more proactive in getting themselves checked who knows….

In this world time is the same for everybody. One minute for me is the same one minute to everybody. How we use this one minute is what matters. If we are day dreaming, thinking of future for ten minutes, we lose ten minutes from the current time which we could have spent better. Similarly if we had used those ten minutes to remember what we had done in the past, the net result would have been the same. It is the current time that is THE time!

Out of the three friends that I lost one of them was current time person. He would enjoy life to the fullest, whatever he was doing. He passed early morning. He had just come back from a party a couple of hours before he died. He had the real zest to enjoy the life. His son had shared the following on Facebook, sometime back. It is a perfect fit to my dear friend’s style!

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity:

“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. Then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present. The result being that he neither lives in present nor the future. He lives as if he is never going to die, and then he dies never really lived.”

My friend really lived life and it is not easy to be so zestful all through your life. Thank you dear for showing us the path how to live and in the how to go!  Goodbye, Al Vida, My angels!