The Life in Retirement
Amit had a small family. He held a senior position in the financial sector while Smita, his wife, was working with a marketing agency. With both the kids in the school, it was a happy family staying in Gurgaon. Amit’s father, Ranjan, was staying with them. Aged 66, he used to be a senior public sector officer before his compulsory retirement. He had tragically lost his wife to cancer just a few odd years back. She struggled hard for quite a few years, and he had been very supportive of her. The prolonged treatments of his deceased wife had drained Ranjan’s financial resources. He never asked for any monetary support from his loving children. After his wife’s premature demise, he sold his house in Delhi and shifted to Gurgaon with his son, Amit. His daughter had married and was well settled in the US.
Life was fine, but now his old age was catching up. He had lost all his personal friends in Delhi after shifting to Gurgaon. Sometimes, his grandchildren connected him to his friends via video-call, but that was rare on demand. He missed them. Amit and Smita, both used to rush to office in the morning and children to school even earlier than them. Children will come and get busy with their homework, TV, and games. Amit was returning late, almost at dinner time. Tired, he was busy with work even after dinner, spending a bit of time with two kids. Smita had to arrange groceries, the whole household, and manage maid who used to come early and leave by evening. Little time that Smita could manage to be free was spent on children, mainly focusing on their studies. No one had any time for Ranjan. He sorely missed his friends.
Ranjan was getting terribly bored with his dull routine. Eating his breakfast once everyone else in the family was gone, he was watching TV till lunch. Maid used to cook Lunch and leave for the neighbor’s housework. Ranjan was supposed to warm for his own lunch. Mostly, he will eat it cold. He used to yearn for his wife, who was always there serving him hot lunch. He had got used to her cooked meals and never thought twice over it while she was alive. Now, even a hot meal had become a luxury, best enjoyed on Sundays when everyone was off.
Afraid of his health, for there was no one to take care, Ranjan will test himself at Path-lab frequently. Laboratory guys loved him. He spent considerable time there talking to other visitors. He inevitably tends to forget his medications and no one cared. He was kind-of not useful anymore. While he worked, he had an army of staff who depended on him. Now the time was different. He was longing to be useful and vainly seeking respect.
During one of these routine visits to his Physician, he met Kanak. Kanak was a senior like him and alone. They got talking, and he was surprised to find an opportunity. Kanak used to visit and spend time in an Elder Daycare in India. Every morning, his son will drop him, on the way to his office at neighborhood NEMA Elder daycare in India. There he will spend the whole day with his friends gossiping, watching TV, playing games, and multiple activities. Most of the friends were made at daycare only and were like him only. Breakfast was at home with his family, but lunch was served hot by the loving staff at el-daycare home. Every next day, a resident nurse will record vital parameters like B.P, weight, etc. Lab tests were in-house. The nurse will also regulate medications and was quite strict.
Yoga and meditations were common in the company of experts. Kanak had all that Ranjan was missing for all these days, friends, hot lunch, fun activities, respect, medication management, regular check-ups, and more than that ‘respect.’