Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Old age bites back?

An after dinner stroll turned out to be quite eventful and saddening today.

Close by home there is a temple outside which sits a security guard every night.
As we approached the temple we saw of couple of people milling around an old man who seem to be fast asleep. Looking at this i thought maybe the old man had lost his way. Having lived all my life in the same locality i can recognize quite a few people in the neighborhood. Thinking that maybe i would help the old man reach home, we approached the people who were standing around him. Turned out that this person wasn't someone i know. The security then told us it looked like the old man had deliberately left home as he had some bottled water and bread with him. It was his way of preparation to fend for himself.
One of the neighbors had got a blanket for the old man and asked him who he was and if he had lost his way. The old man looked like he was from a respected and well to-do-family. Any question that was asked to the old man to place his whereabouts, met with the same answer "Gottilla" (I don't know).

This situation moved me to tears. We stood there for sometime looking at the old man sleeping on the cold stone slab. And we moved on. Apparently this was the second time in the week that such an incident happened by the temple.

I wonder why people are ill-treated as they get old. I agree that they become senile and child-like. All they ask is for food,shelter and some love and affection if you are generous enough. After all the sacrifices and hardships parents face to bring up their kids, is it too difficult to take care of them nicely during their old age? Isn't it every child's responsibility and every parent's right?

It also made me think, how selfish the society in general is. All we did was, show sympathy for the old man ,feel bad for him and just get on with our lives. But then, I am an average person, whose decisions are impacted by/impact others around me. Or maybe i am using it as an excuse.
I have new found respect for people who are into serving the society. It takes a lot of selflessness and compassion to reach out and help people and give them permanent solutions to their problems.
Maybe i will go back with some food tomorrow, if not help find a shelter for the old man, thats the least i can do, if he is still around.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Weekend Gateaway : Coonoor

After a 6 month hiatus we finally managed to getaway from Bangalore for the weekend.
After a lot of internet research by K, we chose Coonoor as that was the most easily accessible place by bus. Owing K's vision still not being clear, we chose not drive.

We took the overnight bus to Coonoor and landed there at 6 AM after a bumpy ride thanks to the last minute booking of the only remaining seats at the back. The place which we had booked is around 7 kms from the Coonoor town.
We were told to look for a place called "Bison Country" opposite the 7th milestone on the road. It was quite easy to locate contrary to some of the reviews that we read about people taking hours to locate the place.
It was the most amazing weekend in a long time that we had. There was no agenda...no places to visit and we were in no hurry to get anywhere!

Between eating sumptuous meals, catching naps we managed to go on long walks on roads that seem to lead nowhere or just sit at the balcony curled up with a book. We even threw darts and even played carrom. K managed to win every single time as my carron skills are rusty :D .

The silence was defeaning sometimes to us city dwellers. The only sounds we could hear were from the farms and the plant nurseries nearby. And ofcourse the incessant chirping of the birds. :)

The homestay itself is very pleasant. It has 2 suites called "hoofs" and "horns".
And 2 rooms called "Dens". The decor is tasteful, simple and sticks to the theme of wildlife :)

We also went on a 3 km walk through the Nilgiri forest to reach the Raliah dam. It was built in 1935 and supplies water to the town of Coonoor. We even managed to spot some Malabar Giant squirrels. I was only thankful we didnt encounter any bisons. Before we set out for the dam , the caretaker asked us not to worry about the bisons. He told us we could take pictures should we encounter bisons on our way!