In an India where leaving your aging parents to the care of charitable or paid Old Age Homes is a new trend and in our homes parents and grand parents are increasingly abused by children with the worst insult in currency being- ” he is a Mama’s boy’, the example of Mysore’s real ‘Mama’s boys is a stuff that makes the threads of our nationhood.
I don’t remember how many times I have heard Mysore’s Dakshinamurthy Krishna Kumar on a small clip of video telling his story in the backdrop of an Arunachal Pradesh city Likabali with his mother looking at him admiringly. Each time I listen to him , my eyes turned moist and I wish I was like him.
He left his banking job , he left his home town and he took his mother to see entire Bharat and also to Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar on his Bajaj Chetak scooter gifted to him by his father twenty years before.
The reason- he realized that his mother was too busy all her life tending to children, making their food, taking care of the home that she didn’t even see the closest city temple leave aside Tiruvannamalai, Srivilliputhur etc renowned Hindu temple cities. That moment itself he took a resolve to take her mother to see the whole of India. And he did it with a great finesse, grace and devotion that puts him above all the rich, powerful and wealthy persons in Karnataka. In fact, such is the wealth of his heart and richness of his soul that he is , in real terms, the richest and most powerful person today .
Even if one has never visited a temple, never did any homam, never chanted god’s sacred name a million times and never did any pilgrimage- but served his parents well and lived a transparent honest life, for me he is god incarnate, spirituality personified.
Naturally his story, pure like a drop of dew on lotus petal, moved millions in the cyber world and an equally noble soul, Anand Mahindra promised to gift him a Mahindra KUV 100 NXT ‘ so that he can drive his mother in the comfort of a car on their next journey’.
Thank you Anand ji, for representing the wishes of us all who would have liked to salute Dakshinamurthy Krishna Kumar, the exemplary son, in an appropriate way. In a nation where Bollywood’s ugliest stories dominate media, Anand Mahindra has shown that there are Indians who recognize the non-glamourous heroes with an exemplary show of social leadership.
Why Dakshinamurthy inspires and stands out as an exception in the sea of reports of sons behaving cruelly with their parents ?
I have seen how a mother, in her late eighties, was treated badly by her rich son and daughter in law, who lived a luxurious life in a posh south Delhi colony. He was the only son, mother was dependent on him. But the couple couldn’t tolerate the sight of an aging , often demanding some attention from them and one day, son asked- Chal Ma, ashram chalet hain. She couldn’t understand. Son again said- some guest are coming, we thought you will feel disturbed hence I have arranged a stay in a good atmosphere where all people are of your age. After two three days I will bring you back.
He never came to take her back. The regular fees of the old age home was sent .
Another mother, lived with her son and daughter in-lay in Dehradun. Mother was barred to enter the drawing room, as it was reserved for the guests. When guests came home she was not introduced to them. She was not served food when the son and daughter in law were taking food . She was not told about their outing programmes. The domestic servant had a better status than the mother who held her son nine months in womb.
The old aged parents need only one thing- some love and respect. They had toiled entire life to see that their son, daughter get good education, stand on their feet and lead a good life. In Hindu way of life , each son is expected to observe the rituals during shraddha, to offer tarpan- homage to his parents who have passed away. But gradually with the English secular language schools dominating the education field the number of the children even remembering their dead parents is fast diminishing, leave aside caring for their aging mother and father.
Hence we see a extraordinary increase in the number of old age homes coming up in all cities. To leave parents to charitable old age homes is now gaining acceptability increasingly. Gone are the days when in movies some roles were shown for the parents and grand parents. Now practically all movies show single unit homes with parents vanished into a nowhere land. Children today grow up hating their grandparents and often they are not even allowed to go to them and spend some time. It was a norm in our society to hear Dada Daadi, Nana Naani stories and a lot of moral teaching was held under their loving , caring tutelage. To begin each morning with a Charan Sparsh ( touching the feet for blessings ) of parents and grand parents was the religious duty of all and to abandon grand parents, parents in villages was considered as a sin. No more now. Its fashionable to see that parents do not live with the ‘busy and high society’ children. The children , rear their kids in a way that they feel grandparents are foolish old people who know nothing about the modern life and they are in fact a burden , a liability.
Some leave their aging parents in expensive old age homes, often renamed as retirement houses where all facilities are provided. ” yes, said a old man, “living in one such homes for the last four years, all facilities are here except the love and warmth of my own home, the longing to see my son, daughter , grandchildren can’t be expressed and felt by those who have all the luxuries sans parents’ blessings and warmth of love.”
A world where parents are a burden, is fast expanding. Hence the example of Dakshinamurthy Krishna Kumar and his respected mother is a great saga of the real India that is still alive. Let such stories become part of our school curriculum. The lessons for children to show respect for parents must be a part of our education system. But unfortunately that’s the last on the agenda of our politicians.