Thursday, May 26, 2011

One of the great joys of life is the privilege and absolute delight that one encounters in the presence of grandchildren

London,  U.K    May  25,  2011     Wed  9: 27 PM  gmt
One of the great joys of life is the privilege and absolute delight that one encounters in the presence of grandchildren. Mine are here with me in London and spending ‘quality time’ here with them has been a most rewarding experience. Quality time within quotes has been done to draw attention to a terminology that reeks of corporate managerial lingo, often used by parents who consider it an obligatory duty to be with their own progeny. I find it most offensive and demeaning, not just to myself, were I to be placed in such category, but to those little wonders who inhabit such an important portion of their being with us. It is the deep innocence of the growing child that has always been a most endearing quality. To see that being destroyed or disillusioned by detachment, separation or dislike must be the most horrific of crimes that mankind can afflict upon its other.
During my little sojourn recently, I had the great pleasure of meeting a family that lived close by where we were, and to discover that they officially created a home for those little hearts that had been subjected to such harsh realities. They housed within their modest home a girl in her teens, and two young boys aged 8 and 5 perhaps, that had been displaced from their parents and had been rendered almost without help, until the state moved in and legally and officially gave their custody to this family. I learnt from them that the parents of these children had been declared incapable of looking after their own blood and so had agreed to let their children be cared after by another parent in another home. The couple that managed them and the house they were in, had their own genetic child as well, a grown son of 17 and all of them lived together as one big family. On occasion the children were taken across to their real parents to spend ‘quality time’ with them and then brought back to their foster home. And .. on most such visits, the adopted children were more at ease and comfort with the adopted than with their own.
How does a parent explain disinterest, or aversion to their own ? How can a Mother ever claim not wanting to be with her own child. To caress and hold and embrace, irrespective of their condition. These little hearts, bright and beautiful, innocent and wide eyed … how could any parent ever dream of parting with them. But they have and I am unable to assess how they feel, but I am told that there is no remorse, or emotion in the fact of the separateness of their children from them.
I marvel at the effort being made by the home that gives these lost and vacant children more than deserving, love and care. I marvel at the quality of the children that, knowing their circumstance, continue to adhere themselves to the foster than their own. And my admiration for the couple that looks after them as their own increases many fold, when I am told that the man in the house, is himself a victim of such a circumstance. As a little child he was thrown out of his home by his parents on to the streets, discarded and disowned, to fend for himself. He has today built himself up through sheer dint of hard work and existence and reached a stage of some integral comfort, to be able to volunteer and help those that find themselves in conditions similar to his. Remarkable !!
Today the home for those that are homeless, is the home where they are now. Today they treat the couple that looks after them as their own blood and treat them as parents. This is wonderful. But I wonder, when they shall mature and grow and get wise of the world and its complexities. When the vagaries of life and its harsh truths shall be known to them. When they will be subjected to reality, what then ? Would they still acknowledge those that cared for them ? Would they value the sacrifice made, or as does often happen in the West, they would leave home for greener pastures. What and how would they reflect on their life ? How would they treat their own, were they to encounter them at some stage. And what of the parent, the true blooded. Would they continue to look upon them that they discarded, with similar disdain, or would their be a change of affection ? Would they be able to know what affection to child is, having lived away in deliberate reason ? What complexities would this give rise to in the mental health of those that suffered and those that created the suffering ?
I have no answers to many of these. I have no answers because the circumstance has not subjected me to such condition. I can but only say that there rises a thankfulness towards my creator in keeping me away from such. In making my life a normal suitable one, for there are so many other that suffer.
We trouble our complicated mind with greater complications, when in fact there is enough reason to be grateful for what we have - a life of normalcy ! We tax our minds on material gains and envious visions of what we do not have, but the neighbor does. We are foolish to think thus. We forget the value of our own body, mind and normal circumstance. When we can be proud of this, boast about its purity and form, then shall we be considered as human, else we shall turn towards another kingdom, the kingdom of an animal. But even there, it has so often been noticed, parentage is guarded fiercely ! Is it so difficult to not behave even as an animal in these circumstances ?
I return to my bed … but have just hugged my blood and my blood’s blood .. held them tight, given them the warmth of my feeling and presence, caressed them and told them how much they are loved and cared for. No matter where, no matter what .. they shall ever remain so … !!
Amitabh Bachchan

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