Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Old people

The other day while browsing on another blogging site, I came across a few 'hate old people' blogrings/groups. What do they mean by that. Do they think that they are going to remain young forever? Are they really so dumb to think that they are not going to grow old? Or are they planning to commit suicide so that they do not become old?
I also felt pity for them that they must have met the kind of old people who made them feel the hatred instead of love and respect. The old people in my life, as I grew up, enriched my life. I am also grateful for the old people in

That reminds me of a friend, Pushpa, from high school. She wanted to get married to a military man. She also planned to commit suicide at the age of 45 to avoid growing old. We were 14 at that time . Pushpa would come to my house on the way to school. We used to walk to school together or take a bus. My house was near the main bus stand. So we used to take a bus whenever we didn't feel like walking in the sun. The school started at 10.45 a.m and it used to be hot at that time.

There is a defence acadamy in Pune, where I grew up. We used to see a lot of defence acadamy cadets at the bus stand. My friend was crazy about them. She used to admire them a lot. Those cadets were quite tall. Some of them were dark and handsome too. She used to say that when she married, she would marry a military man. At that time I had not thought of marriage much and I didn' t have any objection to marrying a military man.

I lost touch with Pushpa after we finished high school. But I know she did not get to fulfill her wish regarding her marriage. When I was in the Final year doing my degree, I met her at the bus stop. She was with her 2-3 year old son. She said she had married a shop keeper and was living in a small town. As she told me that, I remembered her wish to marry a military person. Perhaps she remembered that too, for, she looked kind of guilty and was suddenly in a hurry to get away.

There was also another idea she had and that was to commit suicide at the age of 45. Being teenagers, we thought 45 was very old. We did not want to be old, a burden, we did not want to suffer like old people did. Somehow suicide at 45 seemed practical solution at that time though I am sure I didn't expect/want my parents to do that . I remember the idea of 'suicide at 45' came from her. I wondered later why she thought of that.
At that time I was the eldest of the two sisters and she was the youngest of the three sisters.
She used to tell my sister that she knew how miserable it was to be the youngest as everybody bossed around the youngest. Though she said it in a joking sort of way, may be she meant it.
'You won't understand, being the eldest.' She would tell me.
Pushpa's mother was in her 50s then and her father was in his late 60s. Her mother was a pleasant lady but her father, old man, looked defeated in life. He always walked with bent head and drooping shoulders. Pushpa's eldest sister was married. The middle one was 30 years old, waiting to get married and Pushpa was the youngest, still in high school. The father was unable to find a suitable boy for the middle sister and they worried about Pushpa too, who was of heavy build, and looked older for her age. It is always the parents responsibility to get the children educated as well as married. Later I came to know that Pushpa was married off when a suitable groom was found for her but the middle sister remained unmarried.
I didn't meet Pushpa again but I hope she didn't follow her idea of suicide at 45. I have no way to find out. I wonder if Pushpa thought of suicide at 45 because she wished she was not born so late to her parents. Did she feel bad about being born to older parents? Did she wish her parents had died earlier so that she wouldn't have been born?

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