Is Longevity a Blessing or Curse?
The person in this picture, I took in 2009, is not a beggar but a nice human being abandoned by his children. He used to live on the street and get a shelter in a small temple opposite our apartment. He got an old bicycle to carry his one extra dress, two bottles of water and a small bag. He cannot ride it but he just used it as a carrier.
He wakes up early morning every day for his morning rituals. He takes bath using one bottle of water, wipe his body clean, apply viboothi on his forehead, and does ‘Suriya Namashkar’ exactly at the time of sunrise. He always looks clean and carry a good smile on his face.
Around 10AM he starts walking about a couple of kilometres to the nearby big temple where he gets his lunch. He walks back in the evening, sit under the shadow, think, and go to sleep early. I forgot to ask him what he was thinking all day alone. Occasionally we give money to him and new dhoti and towel during important festivals. He will accept them with smile and bless us.
After spending the summer holidays in our village few years back, we came back to our home in Chennai. We could not see him. When we inquired, our apartment security told us that he passed away and his children were informed to do the last rituals. I did not inquire whether his children took away and enjoyed his savings. He is a teetotaller and he does not spend the money people give to him. He lived a healthy life and died peacefully. I am sure he would have prayed for the well-being of his children at the time of his death.
With an interesting and heart-breaking climax, I like to make a short film to create awareness and help people develop empathy toward elderly. Is longevity a blessing or curse? It depends on how people around treat the elderly.
We need to realize the fact that we also get old one day. We must treat the elders the way we want our children to treat us. This is a pure common sense. But unfortunately, all our misery in our life is because of our failure to understand and embrace common sense. Due to lack of common sense, we not only make the life of elders miserable but also our own living. Modern education, unbalanced growth, too much greed, lack of socialism, and pathetic governance drive our daily life in hell. For peace and sensible living, we need to include humanities in all our school and college curriculums.
Brilliance without knowledge on humanities is a dangerous weapon in the heads of people. They are deadlier than the visible terrorists carrying bombs.
Corrupt governments cannot help people like him. Through #anarchism, individual social responsibility (ISR), and corporate social responsibility (CSR) help as many downtrodden as possible. #transformindia.