VISHU SADHYA was my 300th post.
When I posted that, I did not realize that I had completed 300 posts. This 300th mark should have come quite some time ago, but for my health condition which prevented me from using my hands for a long time. What started as a mild pain at the base of my thumb in my left hand soon became very acute and I thought I may have strained my hands while doing a particularly difficult knitting pattern. We were planning a visit to our elder son at Jallandhar so I postponed any doctor’s visit till then. As soon as we arrived in Jallandhar and I explained my problem to my son, he arranged for an MRI scan and diagnosed the condition as Tenosynovitis.
I was asked to restrict the use of my hands and hence my long absence from the blog. Though I started to write in between, I had to discontinue due to the pain. I am much better now and my son says I can use my hands for short periods. There are a few posts which I started last year, which I thought I must complete. Since I am continuing from where I left off, I had difficulty in bringing back my thought process of that time. The following post is from February 2012.
Back in Jalandhar and am still settling down and getting acclimatised. It is still quite chill here and temperatures are quite low even during the day. Added to that is the advice of my son to restrict the use of my hands by wearing splints. Easier said than done. What all activities can I restrict? Even though hubby dear takes care of all the kitchen work, still there are so many activities in my day to day life, where I have to necessarily use my hands. Anyway, I am trying to restrict as much as possible.
Good opportunity to reflect on all the years gone by, actually they zoom past me fast. Well why this sudden looking back? Not without reason. For it is only recently that I became a certified senior citizen, which gives me a lot of privileges officially and otherwise.
For the starters I became a real patti in the last year and all these years in our house patti denoted my children’s patti and now when my son tells his son, “look at patti”, I am naturally turning back to see where the patti is and only later do I realise that he is referring to me. There are other privileges or the long awaited privileges as per hubby dear. In the last few years he had been telling our children very often, “another couple of years and amma can travel at 50% concession in the Indian Railways”. And as I was nearing the magic date, here comes our hon. rly minister with an announcement that women are eligible for senior citizen concession from age 58. All the years of eagerness put to rest.
The year is very special in our family because, it is not only me, but 3 of my cousins are also attaining the magical age. I am trying to visualise 4 children all under the age of 1 year in our ancestral home 60 years ago, yours truly being the senior most among them. It must have been a lovely year back home with the bawling of 4 children and the young mothers tending them and comparing their activities. Mind you, 3 of us grew up in the same house till the age of 10 and two of us till age 15, until I went to college. When I say this to the youngsters today, they just cannot believe that 4 sets of parents with children could live in the same house for so long. Well that is history now. Today, the youngest of my cousins has come to live in the same city as I live and we meet quite often reminiscing.
What is special about attaining the age of 60? It is special because the Hindu Calendar consists of a cycle of 60 calendar years, each having a different name starting with Prabhava. When person attains the age of 60, it means he or she has completed one full cycle of the 60 years. In the days gone by, with limited availability of healthcare and nutrition, very few people completed one full cycle of 60 years. Hence there was a big celebration, which was actually a big thanksgiving for having been blessed with long life. The celebration with vedic rituals is known as “Shashtiabdapoorthi Shanthi“, during which again, the person asks for forgiveness for any sin committed knowingly or unknowingly during this long journey of life. He actually retires from active life and spends time in spiritual activities. This was also the time to hand over the responsibilities of running the household to the next heir. Symbolically, the children celebrated the shashtiabdapoorthy of the parents, thus commencing on their taking over.
However with better healthcare and other facilities, these days the average life expectancy has increased, and many people live to much older age and their responsibilities never end. In fact on attaining the age of 60 and taking retirement from one’s services, today’s senior citizens have to be more active taking care of the grandchildren and the households. The children are just waiting for their parents to retire from their professional fields so that they can have them to come over and share their responsibilities of taking care of their children and running the household.