The Internet,Senior Citizens and Relationships.

On the 24th inst. I had posted that I intend sharing three stories with my readers about Senior Citizens. As chance would have it, I have had to post two posts on the same story about SCB and Anand, and the way events are unfolding, it is likely that I may have to post more.

The third story that I had to share was this. I belong to a yahoo group consisting of ex employees of one of my employers. Most members in the group are retired from the same company and some like me left prior to retirement but, we were all known to each other for many years and enjoyed our being colleagues during the time of our employment with the company. A few such persons now residing in Bangalore decided to arrange a get together of as many ex employees as possible and thanks to the Internet, the number of persons thus located and contacted became quite large. The first meeting took place last year and the second one is to take place by the end of September.

Since the list of members has been compiled by the moderator quite exhaustively, our email addresses telephone numbers etc have all become available to all of us. On my responding to one mail from the moderator, two old colleagues who I had lost touch with since twenty odd years ago, sent me emails wanting to reestablish contact. One of them also is the younger brother of a classmate close friend of mine, with who too, I had lost touch for over forty years.

Thanks to the Internet and the initiative taken by some well meaning ex colleagues, I have been able now to reestablish contact with three persons and I am extremely happy to have been able to do so, as the three others are too.

The point of this post is to emphasize, that the Internet when properly put to use is capable of bringing people together like this. In these days of isolation and alienation, such relationships are priceless and I wish to express my gratitude to technology that makes this possible.

What about you? Have such things happened to you too?

Senior Citizen Story II

My friend Anand and I had to change our bench from the usual one where we sit every evening at the joggers’ park due to a sudden downpour. We shifted to a bench under some trees. This bench was already occupied by an infrequent visitor, who we had seen at the park but had not met and made friends with.

The rain gave us an opportunity to make friends with this stranger and it turned out to be an illuminating meeting.

Our new friend is now 81. He is a Sindhi who came to Jaipur from Hyderabad, Sindh, in 1947 after India and Pakistan became two countries. His father started a small business in 1948 and our friend made it grow and flourish. A typical story of many such refugees who had to leave their homes in what is now Pakistan and move to India.

He is blessed with two sons neither of who stays with him at Jaipur. He is a widower and lives all alone in a palatial home in Jaipur and having sold off his business to retire, spends his time shuttling between Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Pune. His two sons live in these two cities.

The illuminating story that we heard was the sad change in his life style. Neither of his daughters in law is able to provide the kind of food that he was used to getting when his wife was alive. Moreover, his attempts at training the servants in both households have not been taken well by the daughters in law who fear that the help may leave if he does not handle them properly!

Our new friend’s loneliness and sense of rejection by his family came out loud and clear and broke our heart. There was little that we could do other than to invite him to join us whenever we were at the park and if he would like to visit us at our homes.

Such stories are very common among widows. This is the first time that either Anand or I had come across the same story from a man. Just goes to show that one has to be very lucky to be a Senior Citizen and be happy among friends and family.