Friday, 4 March 2011

Charity, Children and old age!

We had seen the dancing musical fountain in one of the famous Casino Hotels, Bellagio in Las Vegas and found it a wonderfully inspiring sight.

Yet, the jubilation in our hearts when we saw the tallest musical dancing fountain (I am not quite sure whether it was taller than Bellagio) next to the tallest building in the world (with scope to go up if anybody dares competing) in Dubai, was unmatched. Thanks to the traditional Bollywood music with ghungroo, dholak and bansuri, that the fountain was dancing to-Dhoom tana tan tanana dhoom tana tana tan..terana terana..kaise sss naino se nain milaoon sajna...

But everywhere in Dubai it was just like the fountains. Since the percentage of Indians and the Westerners is more than the locals, music at public places like malls, dhow cruises and fountains usually takes turns with English, Arabic and Bollywood....very heartwarming, I must say.

Back in the UK the theme of cuts to public budgets carries on. There is huge debate in the media about International Aid. Most people are aware that even after years of International Aid, no country's progress or turnaround can be attributed to the aid. It is more to do with the very fashionable- growth rate.

The broadcaster on Sky news was asking the question-"Why shouldnt India send us aid?" This was after he read out facts like- India has a growth rate close to 10%, spends billions on a space program, has a nuclear deterrant and has a 400 billion  defence budget, has more billionaires than the UK (many more starving people too, somebody pointed out), yet we send India "aid"?!

I wonder how many people do an annual budget presentation at home with comparisons year on year about deficits, outlays, spending on gadgets and clothes per person, holidays, education, charity, pensions etc. Would be interesting...and like the budget speech in parliament would never get past debate.... within the very few members of the household.

Talking about pensions, I recently met friends who are starting to worry about the cost of old age homes, rising incidence of dementia etc. This was more in context to the fact that they had no children to be there for them as advocates or financial managers.

I must say this is the first time I have heard a practical view about this. Most often we say we shouldn't have the expectation that our children will look after us in old age. But the very British friend's pragmatic views were that she wouldn't want her parents or in laws to move in with her, though, if they could live at the end of her garden, it would be handy...and therefore she was sure that if she had had kids she wouldn't expect physical care, yet she was worried that she would have nobody to speak for her when she would not be able to.

This is unfortunately a very real and ominous future ahead of us but is there any point worrying about it?....Not really! I think having children at least ensures you have no time to think about a future past school trips and "Take your daughter to work day".

Yes, I had to take my fourteen year old to work with me for a day to the hospital, where amongst other things like watching a baby's heart beat being monitored, holding babies, attending a video conference with another hospital for a multidisciplinary team meeting for cancer and sitting through a children's clinic, she also managed to see a baby being born by caesarean operation. Brave girl!

Outcome- "I want to do something interesting!" For instance? one may have said- but I said nothing. So long!


ever smiling survivor said...

I find my mother in law such a comfort at home and I love watching my daughter interact with her and treat her with someone her age to giggle with on her secrets.She finds company with her and knows we are around when her body fails her and I know that she'll instill "indian" ways in her.Though everytime we go out for a picnic we look for a comfortable old age home we can shift to with our friends!

brightspark said...

Going to the same old age home as your friends is attractive but as they say here in England- be nice to your children, they will be the ones choosing your old age home....I think it will be important to stay close to the children for their convenience!

As a working mum, I have always been grateful for mum in law presence...always nice for kids to have calming loving influence of grand parents.

Bangalore Bird said...

U have raised a very important social concern, about which we are doing precious little in India. Very thought provoking.A very emotive post.


brightspark said...

In India, old age homes are coming up but like a psychiatric appointment still has social taboos...

Redspect said...

"If you haven't any charity in your heart you have the worst kind of heart trouble" to cure it Help people, let's unite for one good cause, be a volunteer"save live"!