“I use to sing this song with my friend Ajay, when I was young. I so miss him. We use to work together in a mill. We use to return back home together, each day humming this song. Her mom use to make amazing Aaloo Parathas. We use to have it with curd and pickle. Sadly I don’t know where he is now!” Emotional Rajendra went to flashback, remembering his best friend.
“I use to dance on this song with my sister! We use to go to nearby temple and dance till our last breath! Our mom use to come shouting at us, scolding for running away from work!” Ranjana in her 60s something exclaimed, looking at Hema Malini dance in the movie.
“My kids use to repeat these dialogs. They use to enact it. One use to enact Gabbar and the other kid as Sambha”, gushed someone from the front. He was very excited and enjoyed every moment of the movie showcased.
The atmosphere became rather emotional. People from varied backgrounds in the age of mostly 60 years plus stayed together at the ‘Home for old age people’. Each face telling their own stories. Grey hairs indicating hard work done by them when they were young and fresh. Each wrinkle on their face narrating different shades of life, the ups and downs they have seen and the hardship they have gone through. Their slow yet steady movements showed their determination, no matter what, they will survive all the odds. The grandpas and grandmaas started sharing better part of their life with us. Time when they were young and restless. They were aggressive and were ready to take on the world, unlike now, where they are dependent on others.
I experienced the above moments of joy and satisfaction at an old age home at my native place. And after looking at their enthusiasm, to face the odds and enjoy their remaining life, with whatever they have, I was deeply touched. Truly, age is just a number. I was sitting amongst people with 60 years plus in their age. Rotaract Club, run by our college, gave me this life time opportunity. We students a group of around 20-25 visited the old age home regularly. Our mission was to spread happiness in the society. We thought that just by contributing money or clothes, we were contributing towards their survival, but not towards their living. We wanted them to enjoy. To laugh and think life is still beautiful and nothing matters more than courage. Courage, to forget the suffering and smile!
We decided to add an entertainment quotient in the life of old age people. Movie screening was one of the events we use to undertake once in a month, selecting the most popular one among them. We also use to conduct competitions for club members and entertain the aged ones. That day, in the evening, we organized Mehndi competition. All the old age people were asked to sit in a big circle in the open area. Our members put mehndi on their hand. They were thoroughly excited. The grandpas and grandmas kept on narrating their experiences while the process of putting mehndi was on. The stories were deep, honest, touching and eye opening! I even thought of recording each story! The feelings I had, I cannot express.
All the members had that satisfying feeling. An effort well taken. A task worth doing again and again. We tried to give the aged ones something beyond money, an experience, something they deserved after toiling for all these years, a smile and a sense of belongingness!
fOoD fOr ThOuGhT: There are very few tasks that gives you actual satisfaction. You do it because you want and nothing else. No one to prove, no one to impress, no rating and performance pressure, nothing to gain, nothing to show off. It is imperative to give something back to the society in some form as we keep exploiting it in the journey of life.
PS: The above post is a real account and my recreation for Tata Nano "Spreading Smile" contest.