Day 28th of Nov, time 3:45 pm, I just reached on Tilak Road to drop my daughter for a coaching class. A pretty old man, probably in 80s, stopped me saying, “O Saaheb, Can you help!” You know being in Cities like Pune and having experienced and heard about different ways of anchoring people who come forward for help but then troubled or looted, I stumbled first. I was not sure why, but I decided to check it.
Name – Mukund Bhave, Dual Graduate, MA, LLB, DLW – was lost. He could not recall his address; he only remembered his old house name and pointing me to other side of road to help him reach there.
Fee more gathered and to my despair they suggested me to ignore him.
I was bit nervous however helped him to seat first to nearby ice cream parlor, while after he could hardly catch breathe, his eyes showing me a alien world around, he was wearing a normal Ts and Trouser, opened up his confusing memories.
He repeatedly mentioned building he stays is ‘Pitru Smruti’ which I scanned whole area, asked people and shopkeepers nearby only to understand not really any address by that name. I requested him to show me his ID or some details. He handed me over his ICard.
I was sad to see, how old age can really play its turn. He only remembered that house and he actually came to Pune from Baramati to visit his sister, almost of same age named Mrs. Bhide who stay in Kothrud area.
With no other contacts with him, I asked him to hand me over a cellphone, he was carrying luckily! It was switched off, but I checked to good that it had some battery power still to sustain. I quickly scanned through phonebook but all it had are default operator fed numbers like Police, Customer care, etc
For a moment I thought, I should call police but I wanted to try more. Scanning through his call log, I found only a landline number which was of his home. I felt really happy that I could now fix this. Called from my mobile, his sister, also fumbling with a shaky voice could not help much. She was good enough to tell me his proper address which was a house called ‘ShivShakti Krupa’, on the opposite way around 1.5 kms away. She had her granddaughter who didn’t gave damn to speak on phone. I looked for a Rickshaw, reached the address, and was prepared to be furious to them.
Upon entering the house, typical 80s built, the sister with eyes full of tears quickly holding my hand thanked me a min of 29 times. Granddaughter did not even turn to see what’s happening. I asked who else I can talk to. Answer was both Son and Daughter in law, out for job.
She offered and insisted me to come in, sit in a room blessed with smell from old age, medicines and more importantly courtesy. I got a cold drink to finish and they both had so many things to share, probably nobody cared to listen.
Finally I requested them to avoid coming out without someone’s help, to this the answer was – sorry son, but he don’t listen and remembers, I can’t run and walk with him. Only time they get company is when the lunch, dinner is given to them.
I lost the sense for sometime, said bye bye and started back to where I should be.
Not really sure how put this, but Old age is becoming curse for the old people, left to live life till the end hopelessly? Do they not deserve a 30 min dinner table time with all?
Remembering my grandma who loved us so much and died long back, would same thing happen if she was to be alive now?
Why we have people telling me not to help? Why the rickshaw wala preached me that don’t show humanity if you want to avoid trouble? Why he asked me to pay Rs. 45 for 1.5 km when fair was 18 on meter?
Where are we heading? Why don’t we believe that we will be old one day too?
I felt accomplished to finally help the man.
Submitted By Nilesh Tapadia
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