Thursday, August 21, 2008

Getting old…

The other day, NDTV aired a report on low pension in India describing an aged retired officer S.N. Verma and his agony, inability and his sadness. Mr. Verma, a pastime painter is in such a state with his modest pension that he finds it impossible to meet the ends. Not only this, but it is far more sad to know that he cannot even continue his only passion, painting, owing to his humble pension. While watching this, all the time I kept pondering over my future and this gave me nothing but shivers.

S.N. Verma somehow reflected me. I felt as if I could be him some years later. However, throughout, I kept thinking of today’s youth, who are indulged in the ecstasies of their youth and take everything for granted, their exasperating behaviour and sheer ignorance. And I think, it’s high time they should realize that at one point in their life, they’ll be at the receiving end.

Sadly, in the so called modern day world, the elderly have become synonymous to a weed that grows in a field along with the crop. The weed is ripped off and thrown away. Our old ones are made to think they are different from us and are treated with an attitude of indifference. They are made to live a life of disrespect. The question here comes, what are we doing? What have we made of our old ones? Why can’t we stop being apathetic? Why can’t we love them? This is something that I kept thinking the whole day, after my fateful encounter with the ‘old age’.

While I was thinking about all this, a lot of things seeped into my mind. So I just felt like sharing it with you all. My grandfather died at 90. He died a natural death. I still remember him visiting the fields and sharing his farming techniques with people. He was such a pro-active individual that he was always willing to help people with their problems.

Similar is the case with my father. He went for a cataract surgery in Patna, years back. An unfortunate mistake occurred in the operation and he lost his eye. I somehow feel responsible for that and it makes me feel guilty. My father is one of a kind. I haven’t seen anyone like him, someone who celebrates life like a festival and lives it to the fullest.

Talking about old age, I can’t help mentioning my father-in-law, who is about to become an octogenarian. A rare quality shown by people his age, he enjoys his job the most. I have been very fortunate in having these people around me and also have a learned a lot from them. This is actually how I inspiring myself to live my life and experience my old age.

Going some years back, I can recall a play that I performed in Delhi. I was the only actor in it. I played a retired station master who is assaulted by his son and daughter-in-law.
Interestingly in all the shows, I saw an elderly man on the front seat. Every time the show ended the man used to cry his heart out. Unfortunately, his life was the same as being portrayed in the play. He somehow saw himself in the play. My film Swami was no different. It was about a father who sends his only child abroad and himself leads a life of a loner in an old age home. However sad this may appear, but true it is.

Conclusively, I’d like to say one thing here. I owe myself to the elders who have taught me the ways of life. Who have taught me to face the world and still live my life to the fullest. Their experience has given me an immense strength and the true essence of life. Kudos to them. I’m grateful to them and will always be.

I wanted to reply to all the comments on my last post; however the state of our elders in the society compelled me to think and write this. I’ll definitely get back to you in my next post.

With love
Manoj Bajpayee


thevirtualjk said...

hello Mr.manoj bajpayee !
i bow down before you for your
tremendous performance in satya as
bhiku matre !

good to see you entering the computer
world. hopefully, you'll enjoy it !

i am an aspiring director/actor.
being a complete outsider to the
film industry, i want to ask you...
"how hard is it for a person like me to get into this field ?" and
"what steps should i take and where should i start ?"
your guidance would be very much appreciated..:)

G Vishwanath said...

I have posted my comments in Hindi.

In brief:
Old age is of two types.
One is physical over which one has no control. The body will age and the problems can only be mitigated to some extent by proper diet and exercise.

The other is "mental" old age which is not inevitable. You don't have to grow old mentally. You can think and feel young if you want to and keep yourself mentally active .

In the past we could expect our offspring to care for us in our old age.
In modern times, one can't take for granted the support of our children during our old age.
We have to plan and provide for it ourselves.

Keep writing.
Best wishes
G Vishwanath, JP Nagar, Bangalore

Anilkumar said...

hi monaj how r u?
do you remember there was a programme haryana matri sangh in delhi's talkatora stadium.
you were waiting for your car backside in parking. you were alone there, I came there and you hug me and said Anil, Bahgwan kare aapki sab iccha puri ho jaye jo aap chahete ho.
i came back to my home and i came to know that you will be stay in Le-meridian Hotel. Then in the Night at 1 P.M. i called you in the Hotel.
I respect you not because you are a good actor but you are good human being.
Yours anil

do you remember this?