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A home away from home: Old Age Home, Kohima
Published on 28 Jun. 2010 12:26 AM IST
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Have you heard about a home built for the aged people. Wished to visit these oldies several times but personal reasons and works came in the way. A friend’s concern, my passion and curiosity for them helped me to visit them. Initially I was tentative to mingle with them for they might remind me of my late grandma. But their longing eyes and exuberant drew me towards them. They seem to have loved the sweets we gave them. Small children loves sweets ‘oldies too’.
There were a dozen of them. An observation into their lives, though only for an hour or two, made me realize so much that they were happy in the company for each other whatever may be the reasons or circumstances for their placement in this home.
I believe they have found a real home away from home. We joined their world to entertain, care and love them but the reverse happened, we were occupied with their simple humour, loving words and cares.
As I always do, I started counting their teeth one by one and one pretty granny said that she had lost her new set of tooth bought to her few days back. The whole group laughed out loud at the incident. I became part of their little world of peaceful existence with happiness and forgot all about my worldly endeavour, struggles and anxieties. I whole heartedly got involved in their world trying to answer their simple queries. As we prepare to leave, one of them asked me about the returning of the lady who took the initiative to build a home for them. I randomly said that she’ll be back soon with them. Indeed a feeling of gratitude and appreciation aroused for the proprietor and the workers.
They have tirelessly taken up the responsibility to spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally nurture the aged people. Their passion coupled with their service appeals to me greatly. They are doing something which people like me couldn’t do. I am reminded of what Shakespeare said “Be great in act, as you have been in thought”.
A poet says; “Parting is a sweet sorrow”, before we disperse, one of them hold me back to stay with them. I saw a desire in their eyes to meet and love people. I took courage to leave them with a promise to visit them again. Indeed, it was a sweet sorrow. Though a layman, I have always longed for a place where the aged people can spend time together and meet new people of their aged group. An observation into the life of my late grandma and some oldies have made me realize that our old parents need company and a place where they can be themselves and independent. Staying at home in enclosed rooms, they have self-pity, they become insecure, dependent and unhappy.
A park for the oldies can be set-up where they can feel and spend their leisure time with people with whom they can feel comfortable and at ease. It will be another home away from home. If the government of Nagaland could take up the responsibility of building a place exclusively for the oldies, then the yearnings of thousands of hearts will be fulfilled, including mine. It will be absolutely brilliant contribution. May God’s will prevail.
Kavini (Ateno),

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