Every living being needs food.. Your aged parents are alive and herefore, they too need it. . But that is not the only thing, they need; They need your love, affection, care and consideration These are not very expensive. Nor time consuming . Just a casual ‘bye dad, eat in time ‘, while you leave for your office-. you have made his day ! Say a few words about your work or politics or traffic jam. – you have offered a sound sleep for him. How effortless it is, to make the elders happy! My father, after a hard day’s work, used to go to his mom, arrage her bed,( though my mom would have already done it) and exchange a few words on topic of interest for her… ‘Why is he furnishing an income and expenditure statement?” My mother used to wonder.” She should know how much money I make; I am aware of the sleeples night she spent worrrying about my future “, he would reply.
” Wear your belt, properly, dad.” My daughter.
” Insert shirt uniformly, dad ?’ My daughter in law.
Who bothers if an old man’s waist belt skips a few loops or his shirt- folds sink an inch hear and there ? But such alertness of the children and anxiety to see I go out well dressed, give me contenment . While doing pradakshinam in the Guruvayaoorappan temple some time ago, my sister who accompanied me, noticed that the jarigai borders of my veshti were unaligned and admonished me, “anna, you don’t even know to wear a veshti correctly.” Though she was not far away from truth, I chided her for diverting her attention from devotion to derailed jarigai border.
” Nothing else but the Lord’s image should be in your mind “. But later, when I moved away from the magnetic field of attraction of the Divinity, I felt pride in my sister’s consideration for me . And that is how the old minds work!
More than food, clothing and shelter, what the elders need is the feeling that they are useful, they are needed, they are not an unwanted appendix for us. The depression created by the feeling that they have no role to play in anyone’s life, might even lead to suicide or wander astray, away from home. To avoid that, they have to be entrusted with some small work, which you consider, are easy and safe for them to handle.
“Appa , please count these notes and give me the figure.” You know already the value, but still give him an opportunity to count the currency you have earned. ‘amma, keep my food ready, I might come back early today” You repeat the instruction already given to your wife and it is she who is going to keep the food ready. But your demand form your mom excites her; she enjoy musing your young days when you used to go home running from the school shoutng, ‘Amma, pasikkarathu, I am hungry”
.My wife used to consult my mother every morning, ‘amma, what to cook today?”. The old lady would suggest some menu, the younger one might or might not go by that, the elder one never used to ask for an explanation for the change and in case there were a query, a pleasing answer would have been there.
Make your parents feel, they are useful; they are needed.