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    Apr 2010


    Default Parents Are Precious

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    Dr Venkatesh Balasubramaniam (who works for IIT) describes how his gesture of booking an air ticket for his father brought forth a rush of emotions and made him (Venkatesh) realize how much we all take for granted when it comes to our parents.

    My parents left for our native land on Thursday and we went to the airport to see them off. In fact, my father had never traveled by air before, so I just took this opportunity to ensure he experienced his first flight. In spite of being asked to book tickets by train, I got them tickets on Jet Airways.

    The moment I handed over the tickets to him, he was surprised to see that I had booked them by air. The excitement was very apparent on his face. Just like a school boy, he was preparing himself for that day. We all went to the airport and eagerly enjoyed the entire checking-in procedure, right from using the trolley for his luggage, to the checking in baggage, to asking for a window seat, and waiting restlessly for the security check-in to happen. He was thoroughly enjoying himself and I, too, was overcome with joy watching him experience all these things with such a sense of thrill.

    As they were about to go through security, he walked up to me with tears in his eyes and thanked me. He became very emotional and it was not as if I had done something great but the fact that this meant a great deal to him made my heart leap. When he said "thanks," I told him there was no need to thank me. But later, thinking about the entire incident, I looked back at my life.

    As a child, I remembered how my parents made so many of my dreams come true. Without understanding their financial constraints, we asked for everything from cricket bats to dresses to toys and outings, etc. Irrespective of their lack of abundant wealth, they catered to all of our needs. Did we ever think about the sacrifices they had to make to accommodate many of our wishes? Did we ever say "thanks" for all that they have done for us?

    In the same light, today, when it comes to our children, we always think that we should put them in a good school. Regardless of the cost, we will ensure that we will have to give the child the best we can from education to theme parks. Yet, we tend to forget that our parents had also sacrificed a lot for our sake so that they could see us happy. So, it is our responsibility to ensure that our parents' dreams are also realized and we give to them what they gave to us when we were young. It is our responsibility to ensure that their wishes come true and their life feels complete.

    Many times, when my parents had asked me some questions, I used to respond back to them without patience. Now, when my daughter asks me something, I try to be very polite in answering her. I realize how my parents must have felt when I was a child during such moments. Let us realize, that old age is a second childhood and just as we take care of our children, the same attention and same care needs to be given to our parents and elders. Quality time and politely answering them without anger and impatience is important. Now I see that I must look into their eyes and answer them pleasantly instead of pretending to be reading the newspapers and responding to them in monosyllables. Rather than my dad saying "thank you" to me, I would want to say "sorry" for making him wait so long for this small dream of flying on an airplane, to come true. I do realize how much he has sacrificed for my sake and I will do my best to give the greatest possible attention I can to grant their wishes.

    Just because they are old does not mean that they will have to give up everything and keep sacrificing for their grandchildren also. They have wishes, too. Take care of your parents. They are precious

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