Hapless Parents

Greater Kashmir

Kashmir being career wise literally a no fly zone for talented youngsters who migrate towards greener pastures away from the motherland leaving behind their parents back home.
These parents live a lonely life with sense of insecurity gripping their mindset as marginally there is decline in income generating capacity with youngsters fighting it out in competitive environment abroad. A global phenomenon now and Kashmir no longer remains isolated to such a trend.
Many parents in our society instead of having three-four children are living a life of childless couples, reason being that their children in order to make a secure future, have migrated to different places and are not willing to return back to their native place and parents.
“I have two sons who are both in London at present. We had decided to send one of them to London who was not able to excel here. But my second son who was working as Engineer also insisted to go there. So we allowed both of them as we never wanted to be a hurdle in their career,” says Mumtaza, a retired school teacher.
“I am now living alone with my husband here as my both sons are well settled and married now and have no plans to come back,” she adds.
These parents take every hazard and all intricacy to help their children fulfill their dreams. However at the end, they are dissuaded and surprised on finding themselves alone and marginalized.
“My parents believed that liberty is essential for growth so they gave every freedom to my brothers and even sent them to America for studies. Now my brothers want their parents to shift there instead of coming back themselves,” reveals Nighat.
Expressing her concerns, she further adds “Since I am married and resides far away. I am always worried about the well being of my parents and call on them several times as they are elderly and living alone with domestic helps whom you can never trust.”
Such parents are facing many psychological problems and distress which they are finding very difficult to manage. The problem is severe in case of women who are more sensitive and expressive.
“I decided to send my only son to Australia to continue his studies there because of the security reasons here. Unfortunately I did not know its repercussions. Since then my wife is facing mental disturbance. This has many times led to fire related injuries to her during cooking,” recounts Ashraf, a business man.
These women who allow their children to migrate to other places not only feel loneliness at home but also find missing having their grand children around. They lack the sense of family life. “I usually avoid going on marriage parties or to meet my relatives because at such places I realize what I am missing. I see people playing with their grandchildren and I feel very bad for being away from my grandchildren,” describes Tasleem, a homemaker.
Not only are such parents worried about the insecurities of old age, loneliness, insecurity of income, but they are also missing the emotional satisfaction. “Nobody deliberately choose misery when happiness is open to them. I allowed my son to go abroad just to study and wanted him to come back after finishing the same. But now as he has settled there, I am worried about my death. At that time he will not be here and I will be buried by others,” says Ruksana (name changed) with a sigh.
Many of the parents because of the scarcity of jobs here prefer to let their children go to other places to avail good opportunities. A number of such parents risk finding themselves alone and insecure. “When my father died, my brothers who are living in America did not bother to come here. They have never asked their mother to be with them. Since then she has been living with me in my in-laws home and is psychologically distressed,” says Fatima sharing her pain.
In many cases such parents whose sons live abroad, come to know about the marriage of their children only when everything is finalized by them there and they find themselves no different from invitees.
“Whenever I attend any marriage, I am not able to sleep for the whole night remembering that my son married in London without my consent. However later he came here and we had a big reception party for them,” says Jahan
Many of such elderly women are suffering from mental trauma and even then are not ready to allow anyone to help them because of the fear of insecurity.
Despite of giving birth to children they have to live alone in the old age and have to do the smallest of work themselves.
“I am living alone with my husband as all our children are settled in different foreign countries. I want to have a domestic help but am afraid because of the increase of the crime against the senior citizens,” says Zubaida (name changed).
It is important that children should realize the sacrifice made by their parents for their welfare. They should take the responsibility of their parents and should give them care and emotional security. They should not undertake it as a duty but rather it should be the children’s gratitude and respect for their parents.