Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The perennial albatross

Sometime back we got a call from one of our close relatives. Mom took the call and the person on the other side rambled on and on for over an hour. After the call mom was literally dazed and mentally felt very tired. The context of the call was pretty common, considering our present day society. The person who called, has both their sons in America. One is married and has just been blessed with a kid and for the other is fast approaching the expiry date of being an eligible bachlor. The family in India comprises of dad, mom and a bedridden grandma.

The immediate parents of the onsite kids wants to stay in US of A till their elder son settles with the newborn and parallely check for brides for the younger one. A noble and quite normal intention nevertheless. But, the ailing granma is the roadblock here, for she can neither travel nor is fit enough to be left in India under anyones care. Her situation has reached a stage where in anyday could be her last. While the son with newborn is desperate for his parents support to take care of his kid, the ailing old day is equally desperate to be with her son in her last moments. Whom to cater to is the dilemma faced by the person, who called mom and cribbed for an hour.

Conventional logic favours the grandma, for the guy at onsite is not without options. He can very well pay for a nanny to take care of his kid while his dad can stay in India and make sure the grandma's last days pass in peace. But having been to onsite to earn money not spend and the nitty gritties involved in hiring a foreign maid as nanny is the reason why he wants his parents support, who are also inclined towards their kid and their grand kid whom they'vent seen yet. Their argument being, with grandma reaching a stage that not detoriating further would be considered as improvement on her health, they are almost sure that, expect for moral support, their presence is not going to help her in anyway. They could arrange for a nurse to take care of her but past experience with other elders has shown that, it only hastens the demise rather than extending. The parents are torn between the guilt of exposing their elderly without care and not being able to be at a place where they are required and want to be as well.

Some brainiacs even suggested to pray to god for quick "relief" for granma, so that its a win-win for all!!! Just like products which have a life cycle, people are fast reaching their own cycle. The healthier you are, not being a bother to anyone, you are fine. The day you fall sick you immediately become a burden and a choice for anyone to opt for or against!! Practically, no one is at fault here. But emotions and interpersonal family bonding are the fabric which holds the society together. The day opt for our own comforts weighing it against our parents...i dont even want to think about such a scenario, leave alone dicussing it. Disgusting!!


Sriram Khé said...

"Practically, no one is at fault here."
I disagree.

The US-based son with the newborn and expecting the parents to join him and his wife so that they can take care of the kid of the guilty party #1.
Being an adult means to take ownership of the consequences for the decisions made. Deciding to live in the US has its consequences, one of which is taking care of kids without the extended family. I have observed way too many young couples from India who bring their parents over here to take care of their kids and in almost all the cases the parents are pretty much slave-labor babysitters/nannies. I will not digress into that one because I want to stay focused on making a case that there are plenty at fault here ;)

The parents of the US-based son are guilty party #2.
As we age, we are supposed to get a better handle on what exactly do we want from/in life. To be 60-plus (they have to be at least that old) and not to be able to understand what their own priorities are means that, well, the decades of experience have not taught them anything at all. Unless they figure out what their priorities are, neither your mother nor Superman will be able to help them. Those parents are seemingly trying to figure out how to expedite the exit of the ailing old woman so that they don't have to think through the issues. These parents "want to be" in America for all the wrong reasons.

Finally, regarding "i dont even want to think about such a scenario, leave alone dicussing it" ... as I often note in my blog, this is an awful mistake that people do. All of us need to think about, and openly and honestly discuss, all kinds of unpleasant scenarios and reflect on life--we will then make much better decisions.

gils said...

Boss..semma points..I need a post to answer this comment :)